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Ramy Ashour in action

Pre-Season With SquashXtra: Hamstrings - Halt The Hurt!

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With the new squash season approaching, we've delved into the SquashXtra archives to bring you some of the best advice and tips to have graced our pages in the past few years to help you get into prime condition ahead of the new campaign.

From technique tips to injury advice, SquashXtra has you covered.

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From your average club player to the world’s elite, hamstring strains have long plagued squash players across the globe – just look at Ramy Ashour, who has been ruled out for most of the past two seasons with his recurring hamstring injury.

The lunging, explosive sprinting and jumping endured in an average squash match are all factors which make a hamstring injury a squash player’s common nemesis. Below is a brief guide to how you can treat a troublesome hamstring, and how you can help prevent it from cutting your court time short in future.

Symptoms
People often refer to a ‘pulled hamstring’. In actual fact, hamstring injuries have three grades, ranging from a mild strain to a partial or even full tear. An injury can cause symptoms from merely a tightness in the muscles located at the back of your thigh, to pain when walking, straightening your leg or bending over, bruising, swelling or even difficulty walking unaided.
If the injury is severe, or you think it is getting worse, it is advisable to seek medical advice as the worst hamstring injuries can even require surgery.

Managing Your Hamstring Injury
Less severe hamstring strains should be treated using the simple RICE principle. This should be maintained for at least the first few days after the injury occurs.
REST (relative rest is best; try to avoid increased strain on the hamstrings)
ICE (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes on again)
COMPRESSION (support such as a tubigrip may ease symptoms)
ELEVATION (only elevate if comfortable)

Prevention is Key
A common mistake that most of us make is stopping our injury management once the pain subsides. As with many muscle strains, the chance of reinjuring the hamstring is high, meaning it is important that your rehab continues even when the injury feels initially better. To make sure those hamstring issues and niggles don’t return to hinder you on court, continued rehabilitation including strengthening and appropriate warm-ups before training and matches, is vital. The exercises which follow are designed to get you back to your best on court and help prevent the chances of the injury recurring.

A Basic Guide to Hamstring Rehab
All exercises should be pain-free and only progressed when the lower level of exercises can be completed without pain.

Stretches
Complete the exercises as you find comfortable and appropriate for your rehab, aiming to build up to the stated duration and repetitions.

'A Common Nemesis: Hamstring Strains' as it appears in SquashXtra Issue 03

The new issue of SquashXtra is out now and you can find exclusive interviews with the likes of Ramy Ashour and Nouran Gohar, coaching tips from the legendary Jonah Barrington, comprehensive ball reviews, a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes at SQUASHTV and much, much more.

You can find SquashXtra at your local club or you can download it for free on your mobile device via Google Play for Android and iTunes for IOS.

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