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Strength Training/Tight hamstrings=torn ligaments?


I have short muscular legs, with tight muscles. These are great for sprinting, but I have had my share of torn mcl and acl ligaments.
I am wondering if the two are related? If I concentrated on stretching instead of weights, would I reduce the risk of injury?
The reason I ask is that I am currently seeing a physical therapist about my lack of healing in my knees-meniscus tear in one and stretched acl in the other. She said my hams were very tight-more so than normal.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Barry,

Thank you very much for your question.

First, I must say that I am NOT a physical therapist, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but here are my thoughts on the matter:

First and foremost, how did your therapist determine that your hamstrings are tight? There is a very simple test for it. Just lie down on your back, and see how high you can raise each leg. If you can get to at least 80 degrees, you're fine. If you can't, then you may be legitimately tight.

The greatest causes of MCL and ACL ligament tears are an imbalance between quads and hamstrings (usually the quads overpower the hamstrings), as well as an imbalance between the "inner quads" (called the "vastus medialis") and the "outer quads" (called the "vastus lateralis"). The outer quads usually overpower the inner quads.

Stretching certainly helps with rehab, but it's just a small part. You also need to strengthen the right muscles (a qualified therapist would be able to assess what's truly weak), re-establish control in some basic motions, eat right and sleep right.

Nutrition plays a huge role in how fast you recover, and so does sleep.

Also, keep in mind that by their nature, ligaments and menisci take much longer to heal than muscles. The reason for that is that muscles get blood supply, so they get all the nutrients in the blood. Ligaments and menisci don't get a blood supply, so they're much slower to hear. Patience and persistence are key.

Hope that helps!


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Igor K


I specialize in the over 40 age group. I can answer questions about strength training, aerobic exercise, weight loss, nutrition and athletic training. I can not give medical advice.


I was selected as one of the top 5 personal trainers in Toronto by the Metro News newspaper, and I had an interview featured in a book called "Interviews with Top Personal Trainers." I was the only Canadian trainer in there.

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