What Kind of Cardio Works for a Pulled Hamstring?


A hamstring strain or pull is a partial or complete tear of one of the hamstring muscles in the back of the upper leg. Pulled hamstrings can be debilitating, but there are some cardio exercises that still can be done.

Arm Cardio

  • Perhaps the best way to avoid harming an injured hamstring while getting a cardio workout is using an arm bicycle machine, which uses only the rotation of the arms to raise the heart rate.

Low-Impact Exercise

  • Stationary biking and swimming are two relatively low-impact exercises that often can be while you recover from a hamstring pull.


  • The severity of the pull will largely govern which cardio exercises are possible; for mild pulls, you might be able to walk and jog slowly without pain after a few days.


  • A hamstring pull should be iced and rested immediately after injury. Activity that uses the muscle should be resumed slowly and warily, and any activity should be aborted if it causes pain.


  • Stretching the legs regularly before or after exercise, and warming up before intense activities such as powerlifting and sprinting, can help prevent hamstring pulls.

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