Hamstrings and cramp

Travs

Well-Known Member
Location
Surbiton
I've been trying to find if there is something specific about the ease of which I can cramp in the hamstring moreso than anywhere else. I think I've suffered since I was young but it seems weird as I don't see any logic in the muscle fibre being of any different constitution than any other around the body. For example, last night I sat on a dinning chair and tucked my feet under the chair - there was a low crossbar between the front legs and as I lifted my feet over the bar to bring them out in front, it kicked in.
I'm doing more cycling and concentrating on proper technique/use of the muscles. I'm taking on board fluids and electrolytes and stretching pre and post exercise. I appear to have flexible hamstrings according to various people over time - can't get my palms on the floor with straight legs, but can get my fingers (palm down).

Everything I try to find just comes up with the same generic anti-cramping advice - stretch/salt/warm-up/fluid etc. I don't see any cramp coming on anywhere else in the body anywhere near as easy (In fact, I don't think I've ever had cramp in my quad) so wondered if this is something that is documented or known about?
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
Is it possible that you have an old injury such as a tear that never healed properly? Or, since hamstring cramps are more common in athletes than non athletes. are you doing too much?
 
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Travs

Travs

Well-Known Member
Location
Surbiton
Cheers for the thoughts. No hamstring injuries that I remember - ie, I might have twinged when I was a kid, but nothing serious that put me out of action per se.

Stretching HFs is down on one knee, pushing hip forward for a minute - probably for about a minute each side. I stretch calves, inner thigh, quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back. If I'm missing something do let me know.
Can it be such a possibility that there is such a difference between my quad and hamstring that its being overworked? Not really feeling any ache or pain that I could then attribute to the situation.
We use to ride lots up and down the road when kids, was a fast sprinter at school and was very athletic until mid teens and just never did anything after that
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Have you ever consulted a physiotherapist to check muscle balance etc? Might be worth spending a few quid
 
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Travs

Travs

Well-Known Member
Location
Surbiton
Have you ever consulted a physiotherapist to check muscle balance etc? Might be worth spending a few quid
Haven't done so Vickster - where hamstrings haven't been worked to grow enough or is it a genetic thing? I'm guessing this is similar to the amateur gym attendant who works biceps and chest and ends up with rounded shoulders and struggles to straighten arms?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
No idea, consult a professional who can look at you and make a diagnosis of the issue and provide you with an exercise or stretching prgramme as appropriate. A sports physio with an interest in cycling would be best. There are excellent ones at Parkside hospital in Wimbledon and at a practice in Teddington for example
 

jowwy

Guru
As its the hamstrings, it could be that your saddle is slightley too high, leading them to be used more than your quads while riding. Lower the saddle just a few mm's and see how you get on
 
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Travs

Travs

Well-Known Member
Location
Surbiton
Thanks Jowwy - interesting you should say that.
I was getting a real lactic burn at the top of the hamstrings on the bike especially when putting any power through. I did feel like my saddle was right for correct leg extension.

A friend of mine said in passing he thought that it looked like the seat was leaning back a bit and that it should be flatter; so we angled it properly and it feels like heaven!

In fact, when I sit on it to start with it feels like its angled forward compared to what I'm expecting but it feels great. Think I was just dealing with a more acute hip angle which was working the top of the hamstrings a little. In fact, it actually feels like I can raise the seat a little as it doesn't feel like my legs are extended as much as they can while still maintaining a safe extension. I'll see how it feels for a few rides - I don't want to run the risk of creating the problem you're considering.
 
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