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Natawat Thanomsat

Chronic Hamstrings Injury VS Starting on GST

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Natawat Thanomsat

Hello,

I'm a newbie here on GB.  I just bought F1, H1, and Stretch courses yesterday, hoping to start my fitness journey anew.

Long story short, I injured (pulled) my right hamstrings about 13 months ago from doing 5RM Barbell Back Squat in StrongLift 5x5 program.  Despite finding help from PT who led me through series of isometric/eccentric rehab exercises told me to lower my squat volume, I continued to squat heavy and sustained my injury for the next 4 months.  I also got hip impingement from the same side as well although it is now much better.  The hamstring strain, however, never really got better over the years.  The pain was right where sitz bone (ischial tuberosity) and hamstrings meet, so it is extremely likely that it's tendon inflammation issue. ;(

The thing is I want to start F1, H1, and stretch courses right away, but I'm so worried that my hamstrings issue may flare up again.  I regularly do yoga for over a year, and every time I try any forward fold or front/side splits, my hammie would cry for mercy.

How should I proceed with the GB Programs I bought?  What are some caveats if I delve into specific causes, regarding my chronic injury?

 

Thank you,

NT

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Coach Sommer

Hello Natawat,

- What GB courses have you purchased?

- Note that this time if your Injuries flare up, it would be most helpful if you actually listened to your body. ;)

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Natawat Thanomsat

I bought F1, H1, and all stretch courses. :)

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Michael Tolles

Natawat

The F1and H1 start you slow and easy which is the best time to work on form. H1 starts mostly working on wrist  flexibility and mobility. H1 starts slow also and will not affect your hamstrings as much. The stretch series will affect the hamstrings especially the middle and front stretch so go easy to let the hamstrings adjust to the work. If you push too hard you will ache , if you do as coach says and do what with you can with modifications you will adjust over time and find the pain will abate and you will feel more of the stretch. I started and pushed a little past the moderately uncomfortable that coach Sommers recommended and I ached for a few days after especially my hips. After a few weeks my stretches improved and the ache subsided and I felt the stretches in the right places. I do not recommend doing as I did, but follow what coach Sommers says during the video because if we push too hard we creat inflammation and it hurts so back off a bit let the body adjust  and you will move ahead.

Michael

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Natawat Thanomsat

Thank you very much for the replies.  I think I'll give F1 and H1 a try first, while incorporating isometric glutes/hips/hamstrings rehab exercises in on my active rest days for a while.  If things go well, I'll slowly add stretching courses into my routine. :)

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Everett Carroll

Hi Natawat,

That sounds like a good plan. Ease in gently and be sure to stay consistent with your rehab exercises as well as your GST. When you do begin the stretch courses, don't feel like you need to complete the entirety of each series at first. Play it safe and hold off on the more intense stretching that comes at the end of each series. There is outstanding scaling information in your course library so utilize those options and the wealth of information in the private course forums.  

Enjoy the process!

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David Klausen

I injured my hamstrings several times at the exact same spot where the tendon attaches to the sits bone back in 2006-2007. 

It got so bad that it caused me to stop training acrobatics and transition 100% to weight training.

I never hurt my hamstrings again doing squats, but after 7 years of no stretching and only lifting, I felt like shit all over. Strong, but shit.

I purchased F1 and stretch series to try to regain the ability to move I once had. 

My number one concern has been that I might re-injure my hamstring tendon. 

After 1 year of patient and CAREFUL stretching, I have improved my hamstring mobility quite a bit. I still have a long way to go to flat pike and flat pancake, but it is a lot better than what it was. 3 weeks ago, for the first time since 2006, I could enter a pancake stretch and not feel like the hamstring tendon is about to come loose from the bone. Suddenly it felt almost invulnerable. (which of course caused me to stretch 4 times harder than normal, in celebration of how good it felt, leaving me so sore I could not train properly for a week... bad idea)

Part of the success has been due to discovering and improving how tight I was in my quads, hip flexors, thoracic spine and calves.

 

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Alessandro Mainente

I'm happy to see your journey and I understand you. I had a bad chronic injury at groin which leads to stop of any stretch and gymnastics tumbling for more than 2 years.

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Natawat Thanomsat
On 12/25/2016 at 10:24 AM, David Klausen said:

I injured my hamstrings several times at the exact same spot where the tendon attaches to the sits bone back in 2006-2007. 

It got so bad that it caused me to stop training acrobatics and transition 100% to weight training.

I never hurt my hamstrings again doing squats, but after 7 years of no stretching and only lifting, I felt like shit all over. Strong, but shit.

I purchased F1 and stretch series to try to regain the ability to move I once had. 

My number one concern has been that I might re-injure my hamstring tendon. 

After 1 year of patient and CAREFUL stretching, I have improved my hamstring mobility quite a bit. I still have a long way to go to flat pike and flat pancake, but it is a lot better than what it was. 3 weeks ago, for the first time since 2006, I could enter a pancake stretch and not feel like the hamstring tendon is about to come loose from the bone. Suddenly it felt almost invulnerable. (which of course caused me to stretch 4 times harder than normal, in celebration of how good it felt, leaving me so sore I could not train properly for a week... bad idea)

Part of the success has been due to discovering and improving how tight I was in my quads, hip flexors, thoracic spine and calves.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience.  It is really invaluable to hear from people who share same burden and how to deal with it.  I am curious how you turned to weight training, especially barbell squat, with minimal side effect to hamstrings tendinopathy.  Was it really low intensity with a lot of isometrics and eccentrics work?  How did you slowly work your way up to higher intensity?  Also, could you elaborate "careful" hamstrings stretching that it does not worsen your injury? 

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David Klausen
On 12/27/2016 at 10:34 AM, Natawat Thanomsat said:

Thank you for sharing your experience.  It is really invaluable to hear from people who share same burden and how to deal with it.  I am curious how you turned to weight training, especially barbell squat, with minimal side effect to hamstrings tendinopathy.  Was it really low intensity with a lot of isometrics and eccentrics work?  How did you slowly work your way up to higher intensity?  Also, could you elaborate "careful" hamstrings stretching that it does not worsen your injury? 

 

TLDR:


What made things better:

- Deep soft-tissue work by a good therapist.
- Daily mobility work of low intensity to achieve full ROM.
- Gradual progression of intensity and volume in full ROM.
- Pause squats (weighted mobility)
- Not training through "bad" pain


What didn't make things better:
- Avoiding full squat ROM for 4 years.

- Bro-split bodybuilding training

- being stupid




My main injuries were: 
- Tears in the hamstring attachments on both legs, in several places, due to high-kicks and aerials (no-handed cartwheels). The tears were never so severe that I got massive swelling or bruising, but I re-injured the same spots maybe 15-20 times from 2006 to 2008. This is because I am an idiot, and should probably have my leg-privileges revoked. It got worse each time.
- Massive impact trauma to the glutes and perineal muscles, due to hitting a rock with my ass at high speeds in a freak snow-board accident that makes for fun stories... and thumb-sized lumps of palpable scar-tissue embedded in the muscles close to my tailbone. 

By careful stretching I mean:
There's a couple of different types of pain that I get when stretching. In most muscles for me, this is the "good" pain or moderate discomfort that coach talks about, where the muscles relaxes as you stretch, and there's a sense of relief. In my hamstrings, I have had a lot of adhesions between muscle, fascia and scar tissue, especially close to the knees and groin. When I stretched my hamstrings too hard, I have mostly felt a "tear-warning" sensation in the adhesion areas, that overpowered other sensory inputs, like a sort of panic. I discovered quickly that if I stretched with anything more than 35-40% tension on the muscles while experiencing this "tear-warning" sensation, that I would be very sore for a whole week afterwards, unable to stretch, and even less flexible after the soreness subsided. I once tried to push it a little, and immediately felt a minor tear that left me sore for 3 weeks.
The first time I did the FS-series in late 2015, I had to stop at the narrow hurdler, because I could feel my old tears aching in a bad way. It took several months before I could go through the whole FS series. It took 8 months before I could do the whole series and feel confident through the hard stretches at the end.
I learned I had to be careful with jefferson curls. I discovered that when I increased the weight to 40 kg, I could go MUCH further into the stretch than I could with 20 kg and feel great while in the position, because the "warning" sensation I get when stretching without weight got shut down. I think this caused me to accumulate more microtrauma in the soft tissues than my body was ready for, because from april-june I actually regressed in mobility and was constantly sore, and I attribute this to going too heavy and too far with j-curls too fast. Once I backed down to 20 kg, and backed off a bit on the ROM of the stretch, I started to get more flexible again.
In October, I started seeing a well reputed muscle-therapist and getting deep tissue work done to break up a lot of painful adhesions. I immediately started seeing faster gains in flexibility after the first session.

How I developed my squats over time:
I think I avoided hamstring tendinopathy by very gradually increasing the ROM and load, and always giving my legs and hips enough time to recover between workouts. I never got sore in the belly of my quads or hamstrings. I always get sore in my groin area, where the hamstrings and adductors attach, regardless of which squat style I use. Because I was afraid of tears in this area, I wouldn't squat if I had DOMS for a whole 4 years.
For the first few years after my injuries, I only did wide stance sumo-style squats and sumo deadlifts in a technique that put more load on my adductors, glutes and lower back than on my quads and hamstrings. Whenever I felt mild pain when squatting, I would wrap the top of my thighs with kneewraps for compression on the upper hamstring, which helped a lot. I always stopped my training sessions whenever I felt sharp pain like something was tearing or about to tear. Once I got more confidence in the strength of my tendons, I started adding posterior chain exercises stiff legged deadlifts with low weights, and lunges with moderate weight. I also added a lot of concentric-only work wenever I had the energy for it, like sled-pushing and powercleans, as I knew the concentric portion of lifts cause less damage to the connective tissue, and was a good way to add volume. After a few years of this, I had built up to a 150kg sumo squat for 5 reps, but was very disappointed with my lack of leg development, which caused me to re-evaluate my approach in 2012. I noticed that most gear-equipped powerlifters who squat sumo have unimpressive legs and wide trunks, while squatters who go deep with a more upright torso tend to have bigger, more well-developed quads. I made it a goal to adapt my body to olympic style squatting. I started doing a lot of low-weight pause squats, pausing at the bottom, for as deep as I could go, to adapt my body to the bottom position. In the beginning, going ass to grass felt like it would tear something, but after a few months of this, I could comfortably sit in the bottom squat position with bodyweight on the bar. When I was not in the gym I would get into a squat position whenever I could and just sit there and hang out, feel around for tight spots or weak spots, and try to contract and relax my muscles to see how it affected the areas where things felt off. Only after the bottom position of the squat started to feel comfortable and safe did I start building up strength again by increasing volume and intensity. This time I was more satisfied with the leg development I got from the training. One accessory exercise that makes my groin feel bulletproof before squatting is getting in the bottom squat position with 60 kg and hang out for like 30 secs for a few sets.
Looking back, there's a LOT I could have done better to fix my body much faster. What took me from 2008 to 2013 to accomplish could probably have been done in a fraction of the time with a proper rehab schedule and planned progression. My main goal in the beginning was not to rehab and get mobile though. I was after hypertrophy and strength, so I trained my legs once every 4-6 days, following a typical bodybuilding bro-split. Squats would typically be in the 5-15 rep range. The major noticeable changes to my ability to squat deep without pain came in only a few months in 2013, when I started doing daily work outside the weight-room, just hanging out in the bottom position often. Thinking back, I have no idea why I didn't start doing that right away. But like I said, I'm an idiot. I thought I knew everything I needed to know about training in 2009 at the age of 20, without having read a single book or study. I hope someone invents a time-machine one day so I can go back in time and punch myself.






 

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