Physician Led • Outcomes Centered • Patient Focused

Hamstring Injury Prevention

Here is a link to the website of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, where the Nordic Hamstring Exercises were initially described.  The video clips that show the exercises can be seen on the right-hand side of the page.  Just click under each picture.  The first shows proper technique for these exercises when first starting them.  The second shows the subject being pushed from behind and able to resist it — a higher degree of difficulty that should be reserved for athletes who are farther into the program.  Please note that “Training Number” indicates the number of times per

week that these should be performed — for example, once per week during week one.  These video files are also fairly large, so you’ll need to allow a couple minutes to download unless your connection is very fast, but they’re worth the wait!

Training program – “Nordic Hamstrings”

Nordic Hamstrings is a strength exercise for the hamstrings muscles that emphasizes eccentric muscle contraction. You start from a knee standing position with a partner holding your ankles down. You then lean slowly forward with a steady speed. The back and hips are held straight. The forward falling is resisted with the hamstring muscles as long as possible until balance is lost and you fall on your arms.


Week Training Number Series/ repetitions Comments
1 1 2/5 Straight upper body (with a slight bend in the hip) throughout the whole movement. Resist Falling as long as possible. Fall on your arms, let the chest touch the surface and push up immediately until your hamstring muscles can take over the movement.
2 2 2/6 Try to reduce the lowering speed more.
3 3 3/6-8 Gradually increased load. You can resist falling even longer, and for an increasing number of repetitions.
4 3 3/8-12 Full program: 12, 10 and 8 repetitions.
5 3 3/8-12 When you can control the movement in all repetitions, you can increase the load by allowing more speed in the start phase. Additionally, you can have a partner give your shoulders a little push.

Practical tips

– Use a soft material under your knees. The need for this will increase as the loading increases.

– Try to relax in the ankles and calves. If not, you can potentially get cramps.

– Follow the suggested progression, and you will avoid overuse and possible injury.

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