Cycling and Hamstring Rehab

Seeking a bit of advice / guidance / opinions / similar experiences on maintaining cycling, or even continuing to train with a grade 2 hamstring tear suffered playing hockey. I am lightly training / playing on the injury as only a couple of games left of the season (which i know is not advisable) but having to get from week to week alongside a rehab programme. Interested to know if anyone has any info on incorporating cycling into a rehab programme for a hamstring tear and whether this can actual help or possibly hinder rehab? It’s incredibly frustrating as was really motivated training for an event that i’ve Had to pull out of so keen to jump back on the bike asap. Thoughts appreciated!!

Talk to your ortho about PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections. That’s a perfect scenario for one

I’ve had 2 hamstring tears:

PT then prolotherapy then PRP
Also, estim, massage, exercises, etc.

I’m not really sure that any 1 of those really helped. And there are a few that I think hindered my recovery but it’s only a guess.

The biggest take away for me was to just let my body heal and then give it a bit more time before jumping back into anything. Every time my hamstrings started to get better my doc + pt would give me permission to start doing more activities. I’d go too hard (like an excited puppy) and undo the healing process. Finally, I just gave up on being active. It really sucked and put me in a bad mental state. BUT I actually healed.

I really wish the dr + PT would told me at the beginning to just lay off of everything for 8-12 weeks. I also wish I had had the self control to JUST STOP. I guess wisdom comes with experience and age.


Funny, I posted basically the same question but 2.75 years after very similar injury… I’ll watch your thread too!

For what it’s worth, my experience was cycling largely came back quick with only nagging ongoing issues and everything I read said it was one of the best ways to get moving earlier in the recovery as it’s low impact.

For fun, I went back to look at my strava history on TR calendar to see how it progressed…

1+ week after - 5 mile ride at around 18W - it was really just to move things around and it hurt…
2 weeks - 10 mile ride around 50W
3 weeks - 7 mile ride around 125W
4 weeks - 20 min x 200W as part of longer ride - my FTP back then was maybe 230-240 before injury
5 weeks - 666W 30 sec sprint coming into work for a KOM that stands to this day…

After this, I was kind of back to my baseline for the time - but my volume was nearly all 45 min frequent commutes and shorter efforts - never a ride over 100 TSS the rest of the year - which hid underlying weakness around this injury from me.

When I got into longer and harder rides the following year, and started training seriously following year, I realized I had some work to do going back to that injury with it being only source of cramps when I cycle - has gotten better after thousands of miles, but still not quite right, hence my longer post tonight.

Hope this is useful and maybe you will have a better plan than I did!

I have to back up those suggestion caution. I gave my hamstring a minor tweak about 15 months ago. I kept riding on it for another week since I knew I had a trip coming when I’d be off the bike and I did more damage. Ended up needing about three months completely off the bike, and it was sore riding for almost a year. It still aches from time to time now.

Much better to talk to a PT as soon as possible (apparently the first few days of treatment are important) and then stick to your rehab.

I came across your thread and am curious how you made out with your hamstring tear? How long was the recovery?

I recently tweaked my hamstring in the gym doing squats. I would describe it as not really painful, but I know there is something going on. It is incredibly frustrating and was curious what you found worked best for your recovery.

A year and a half from my last post on this with similar scenario to OP -

6 months ago I did a few weeks of PT - good experience to pick up a range of exercises and have some accountability to get them done regularly. Followed that with a few days of running at different lengths and paces on an extended vacation working up to a 10k.

I found that even after multiple years, running still exposed some residual issues from grade 2 tear, but now I’d say it’s finally back to normal other than always being the first of my hamstrings to suffer cramps after a really hard ride.

Cycling was great to keep active and get moving much earlier, but also wasn’t enough on its own to get full capability back - the few days of running when on vacations with no bike was key I think as it tested a fuller range of motion and stress that hurt initially but then adapted as I worked through it. Again, long long after the initial injury!

1 Like