Athletes in the offseason — from weekend warriors to GOATs — primarily focus their training regimens on staying in game shape and minimize the risk of injuries.
Some spots oftentimes need extra attention, your hamstrings being one of those muscle groups. Almost weekly during the regular season, you’ll read the latest injury report and discover a top running back or receiver or other position players have had their seasons cut short due to hamstring strains or tears. It’s why the NFL recently announced that they were investing $4 million to fund research into hamstring injuries.
Alex Guerrero can understand the NFL’s concern. Guerrero, co-founder of TB12, is best known as seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady’s body coach. From the beginning of their relationship, the pair have focused on doing everything possible to extend the future Hall of Famer’s career, including specific attention to the hamstrings. The results speak for themselves. Whereas it used to be rare to see an NFL player continue at the age of 40, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal caller recently celebrated his 44th birthday preparing for his 21st NFL season.
He credits Guerrero with helping him remain virtually injury. And Guerrero says keeping him on the field requires loads of hamstring work to ensure pliable muscles.
“Pliable muscles are long, resilient and move without restriction, enabling them to absorb and dispense forces. In other words, to fully contract and relax under load, repetitively, and without injury,” Guerrero explained.
He, Brady, and the TB12 team advise that focusing on weight training alone could be costly for any athlete.
“In an attempt to gain strength and power through exclusively using traditional weightlifting, we end up shortening the muscles under load. We then step out onto a field, a court, or the ice and we go ahead and ask that same tissue to not only fully contract but also fully lengthen repetitively under load and to do that explosively. That right there is the biggest mistake.”