A Test for Pulled Hamstring Risk

Hamstring strength test

Here is a simple test we have adapted for use at home, which may be helpful for predicting your risk of a pulled hamstring. It can show if there are any problems in the area, so if there is you can look at how to prevent hamstring injuries.

Isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC test).

The test is particularly useful for sprinters, footballers, and other high-risk athletes as well as those who have had a previous injury and need to be aware of the risk of recurrence. It is known as the isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC test).

How to perform the test

The athlete is positioned with the knee bent to 90 degrees with the heel resting on bathroom scales, which are placed on a firm table or box.

The athlete pushes their heel downwards into the table as hard as possible but without lifting their hips or buttocks off the ground.Hold the contraction for three seconds (or if you are using digital scales as long as required to give a reading).

What does the test measure?

The peak force is measured and the test repeated for the other leg. To make the test more accurate a professional therapist would use a sphygmomanometer (sphyg – mom – an – ometer) instead of bathroom scales which is a device consisting of a small airbag connected via a tube to a meter that records air pressure.

How often should I do the test?

If the test is performed weekly then any significant drop in force developed by the hamstring muscles could be an early warning sign that you may be at risk of a hamstring strain. Equally, if one leg is stronger than the other then this also needs to be addressed.

Read more on the treatment, prevention, massage, taping, rehabilitation and exercises for pulled hamstrings.

Recommended products

We recommend the following products to help treat Hamstring strains:

Cold wrap

Cold Therapy Compression Wrap

Cold therapy is important for reducing pain and swelling. A reusable gel pack can be used for both hot and cold and an elastic sleeve enables easy application and compression.


Thigh Support

Supports and protects your muscle while it is headling as well as helping to reduce pain and swelling. Retains heat later in the rehabilitation process.

Foam roller for calf muscle

Foam Roller

A foam roller is an excellent piece of kit which can be used in place of massage to treat muscle injuries. They are also excellent when use regularly as part of your warm up.

Resistance bands

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are important for most sports rehabilitation and enable you to exercise any muscle from the comfort of your own home.


More on Hamstring injuries:

Hamstring contusion

Hamstring Contusion

A hamstring muscle contusion involves a direct blow to the back of the thigh causing the muscle to be crushed against the bone. Here we …
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Hamstring massage

Sports Massage For Hamstrings

Sports massage or soft tissue massage is important for recovering from pulled hamstrings as well as preventing injury. Here we explain how sports massage is …
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Sciatica

Referred Hamstring Pain

Referred hamstring pain is pain at the back of the thigh which originates from the lower back, sacroiliac joint or buttock muscles. Here we explain …
Read More
Hamstring strain assessment

Hamstring Strain Diagnosis

Hamstring strains are strains graded 1, 2, or 3 depending on how bad they are. A professional therapist will perform some specific tests to help …
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Hamstring strain exercises

Hamstring Strain Exercises

Hamstring strain exercises are important for recovering from hamstring injuries. Here we demonstrate and explain hamstring stretches, isometric strengthening, dynamic strengthening and functional or sports …
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