Having a wide variety of training tools allows a coach and athlete to regionally target specific areas of the anatomy. Choosing the appropriate exercises that specifically develops the upper or the lower section of a biarticular muscle can lead to an adaptation that protects an athlete from injury. The Journal, Science Medicine and Sport recently published an article that examined the anatomic distribution of acute hamstring injuries in a large population of football players. They based their findings upon their utilization of 'Magnetic Resonance Imaging' which produced detailed pictures of the tissue post trauma.
The study looked at the MRIs and determined the location of where each athlete sustained tissue damage to their hamstring. The locations of the hamstring muscle injury was first divided into proximal (nearest to the center of the body) or distal. Injuries then were classified as a specific type such as myotendinous junction (where the tendon and muscle bisect) or a location such as the muscle belly or myofascial (fibrous tissue surrounding or invested in the muscle).
Researcher found when trauma occurred, the long head of the biceps femoris was the most often injured, which was damaged fifty seven percent of the time normally at the proximal myotendinous junction.
Common exercises for the hamstrings in weight rooms are leg curls, glute-ham raises and the Romanian deadlift. These are wonderful exercises yet they target the distal end of the muscle.
To best train the proximal end of the long head of the often injured bicep femoris an athlete should use the Pendulum Reverse Glute/Ham. Repetitions emphasizing the eccentric or lowering phase of the lift and training to failure will decrease the stiffness of the myotendinous junction, which will mean a healthy strong hamstring and therefore a healthy strong athlete.
Hamstring Training on the Reverse Glute/Ham