Another athlete pulls up, limping from running track at the London Olympic Stadium 2012. And the team’s strength and conditioning coaches hold their heads in their hands – because they’ve failed to prepare the athlete. These strains shouldn’t happen if training is conducted properly.

The hamstring group are a secondary hip extensor, and should be trained as such – not a knee flexor. Forget leg-curls for functional hamstring strength. Bent-leg and straight-leg hip extension exercises are the order of the day.

Under-active or weak glutes (backside muscles) are usually another major factor in hamstring strains. These synergistic hip extensors have to do their share of the work or the hamstrings become overworked and eventually fail. So don’t fall foul of bad training methods, work on glute activation and include hip lifts and straight-leg deadlifts in your program and have happy hamstrings.


    Don Heatrick BSc. (Hons) Level 4 Strength & Conditioning Coach, Muay Thai Coach

    Don Heatrick

    Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

    Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), and now a podcast host and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

    Don helps committed Thai boxers organise training for accelerated self development & Muay Thai performance.

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