Proximal or High hamstring tendinopathy can be an extremely pesky condition to get rid of. It causes pain in the area of the sit-bone and can severely limit a runner’s ability to sit or run comfortably. I’ve previously written a comprehensive blog post about what causes high hamstring tendinopathy and what runners can do to help them avoid this injury.
The most important change that you can make to your running style, if you’re struggling with high hamstring pain, is to reduce your over-stride.
You may find this video useful - I explain the concept of overstride and how it relates to high hamstring pain in more detail.
What is over-stride and why is it a problem?
It’s when a runner’s foot makes contact with the ground far out in front of their body. That position brings the high hamstring tendon into a position where it is more likely to compress against the sit-bone and if you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that it’s that position that can really irritate the tendon.
How can one reduce over-stride?
I explain/demo this in detail in the video above, but some of the most effective cues that I find reduce over-stride in my patients include:
Thinking about making contact with the ground underneath your body rather than in front of.
Trying to land softly.
Increasing your step rate slightly (here’s a guide on how to do this)
It’s best to introduce any changes very slowly and retrain your pattern using walk/run drills. This will help your body get used to the new strains that it is suddenly having to absorb due to the changes you’ve made. You can end up with other injuries if you’re too aggressive with it.