Let’s discuss a pulled hammy (hamstring) or other muscle strain that happens particularly with sprinting.    Here are some articles to read for those that really like information. 1.  American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons  2. PhysioRoom

There are a multitude of reasons why we strain our muscles during sprinting efforts: poor mechanics, imbalances in our musculature, restricted joints, not being warmed up enough, etc.  The bottom line is, we went faster than our body could handle at that moment and we strained our muscles.  Strains happen to world class sprinters who have been sprinting most of their lives, so it’s not entirely because we are common folk trying to get fit.  The best ways to avoid them are to warm up well, go slightly slower than you would like, gradually work your speed up, and to not race others.  Racing others when you are inexperienced with sprinting will lead to you pushing your body past it’s limits.  It’s easy in weightlifting movements to see where your limits are.  With sprinting, it’s a lot harder because you may actually be able to move that fast, but your tendons, ligaments, and musculature just aren’t ready.  If you have a tendency to have strains with explosive efforts like sprinting, then you must go very slowly in the beginning and see what your body can handle.  This is where being aware of what you are doing in a workout is important.  Do you know how long it takes you to run the 400m, 200m, or the turf during workouts?  Do you ever look up at the clock when you leave and enter from the running portions of WODs?  If not, start doing this.  See where you are with the running.  Then, when we have higher intensity efforts, you have a gauge for what you have been able to handle.  Example: if I typically run the 200m in 1:10 during WODs and now we are doing 200m repeats, I’ll see if I can safely hold between :50 and 1:00 for all efforts and see how my body responds the next day.  The same goes for 400m and turf repeats.

When you are “sprinting” or going faster than usual, listen to your body.  If anything starts to feel even remotely tight, it’s a warning to you.  STOP!  And if you do pull something, stop immediately and start your recovery process.  Ice, elevation, compression, and NSAIDs if you take them.  DO NOT stretch a pulled muscle!  You just over-stretched and essentially tore it a bit.  Would you stretch an open cut on your arm?  Let it heal!  You can do gentle, active range of motion exercises, any exercises that don’t flare it up, and keep icing for a few days.  Avoid irritating it for at least a week and then gradually return to activities that require usage of that muscle group.   And ask us for help.

Monday’s WOD:


Light good mornings  3×8-12reps



4 Rounds

400m Run

30 Wall Balls (20lbs/14lbs)

**Compare to 5/5/13.  Scale the weight and rounds as needed.

Categories: CFSL BLOG


Stewie · May 4, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Happy birthday Jmax!!

Cepeda Carson · May 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Awesome information! The most comprehensive explanation I’ve read on the subject of pulled hammys. Thank you, Ruth!

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