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Thread: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

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    Default Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Any tips or ideas on how I can avoid cramping up while doing squats? I'm really having a hard time even with just my body weight while doing squats, lunges or similar exercises. By the 2nd rep I can feel my hamstrings starting to twinge and trying to push through just leads to wicked cramps and soreness. Is this a flexibility thing, or something else?

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Always happens to me if I haven't been lifting for awhile. After a few workouts it gets better, so maybe I'm not experiencing your same issues. I will say that my hamstrings do get strained when I am careless and make the mistake of not driving through my midfoot/ heel. That's pretty easy to do if you are wearing shoes that aren't flat (non zero-drop running shoes for example).

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Similar to SBL, I cramp when I've been away from the gym for a while. I've had complete failure with about 85lbs on my back on my 2nd set -- rather embarrassing IMO.

    My solution has been to start with the 5x5 method for the first 2 weeks of working out:
    Squat is performed 3x a week. 5 sets of 5. Every day you add 5lbs (2 2.5lb plates). The benefit is that you're re-training your muscles to fire correctly and you're getting your muscles prepped for higher weight.

    After those two weeks I settle into my standard routine.

    Other things:
    I have found that as I get older I need to warm up more. At this point that's spending 5-10 minutes on a stair machine before I even get to the squat rack.

    I'm making sure to begin hydrating about 30 min before I leave for the gym. This ultimately helps regulate body temp - by my 4th set of squats (always first in the routine) I'm dripping sweat and the gym's ventilation SUCKS - if I get too hot I'll end up cramping or failing too early.

    Finally, I've had a lot less cramps with supplementing Mg. My old GP specialized in sports medicine and suggested that I do it. Now it's just habit. (Careful though, can do a number on your GI)
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Wow OP, you're cramping really early! It's all about blood flow. Too much too fast through contracted vessels and the system backs up and you cramp.
    What false_asthetic says above is solid truth and good advice. Sounds like a good routine too.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Interesting... do you guys cramp in the same area if you run? If so, how long until it happens?

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Get your knees further apart. Don John gives good book. Squat and elbows force your knees as far apart as is comfortable and feet flat on the ground.


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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    As has already been said on this thread, it happens to me every time I start doing squats after a layoff. It goes away after a week or two.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    These things happen when you are an old fart.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    I hate the name of this book but it is great. I give it a lot of credit in me being fairly pain free these days. Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance: Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza: 9781628600834: Amazon.com: Books Forget the foam roller. Rolling with a ball is awesome.

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    Default

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/098252...dpL&ref=plSrch

    More than I ever thought there was to know about squats dead lifts etc. Almost intimidating.
    [CENTER]Randy Larrison
    My amazing friends call me Shoogs.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Get your knees further apart. Don John gives good book. Squat and elbows force your knees as far apart as is comfortable and feet flat on the ground.

    The important part of this is AS COMFORTABLE.

    Your body/pelvis might not allow you to go wide or deep. My PT showed me real skeletons and pointed out that one would've been able to do deep squats with legs spread rather wide because of the structure, the other would've been limited severely... they were both males fwiw.

    Also, its worth trying to squat in flats or bare feet. Cuz you're using your glutes a bit more than your quads.

    Quote Originally Posted by maunahaole View Post
    These things happen when you are an old fart.
    Fuck dude, I'm only 34.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    OP and I have known each other since 4th grade and we are both north of 50 now. Just that he's not a fat fuck like I am. Oh to be 34 again.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    OK you get it Tolhurst. The method automatically accomodates individual body morphologies.

    I'm on week two. Time to start walking up/down weights. Glad to report zero pain, first time ever no pain from squats and hopeful I'll make it all the way thru.

    Heck with the barbell, this rocks.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Once you get past all the Comrades! Pavel Tsactsouline's Enter the Kettlebell is a great training guide for cannon balls with a handle. I'm working my way back up to the 53, 5x5 ladders with the 36 so far., along with wall squats and getups with a 44. still a long from where I was but I'm getting there.
    Frank Beshears

    The gentlest thing in the world
    overcomes the hardest thing in the world.

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    Default Re: Squats and Hamstring Cramps

    Pickle juice should help. Sounds dumb, but it helps.

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