Here is a simple test adapted for home use which may help predict your risk of a pulled hamstring.
Measuring hamstring strength
The Isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC test) is particularly useful for sprinters, footballers, and other high-risk athletes. Also for those who have had a previous hamstring strain. This group need to be aware of the risk of recurrence.
How to test hamstring strength
Place a set of bathroom scales on a small, firm table or box. Position yourself so your knees are bent 90 degrees, one heel resting on the scales.
Pushes the heel downwards into the table as hard as possible. Do not lift your hips or buttocks off the floor. Hold the contraction for three seconds. Or if you are using digital scales as long as required to give a reading.
Measure and record the peak force generated. You will need a partner to read this for you. Then repeat the test with your other leg.
A professional therapist uses a sphygmomanometer (sphyg – mom – an – ometer) because it is more accurate than bathroom scales. It consists of a small airbag connected via a tube to a meter that records air pressure.
How often should I do the test?
Repeat the test weekly. If the force you develop by the hamstring muscles drops significantly, 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.