Exercise IS your rehab, not the end result

Understanding Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: Exercise as Rehab


Welcome to another episode of the Run Smarter podcast. In today’s episode, we’ll discuss a crucial aspect of rehabilitating proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT), a condition that can disrupt your running and daily life. We’ll explore how exercise should be an integral part of your rehabilitation, not just the end result. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or simply dealing with buttock pain when sitting, understanding this concept can help you overcome PHT and return to your desired activities pain-free.

Meet Your Host: Brodie Sharp

Before we dive into the topic, let me introduce myself. I’m Brodie Sharp, a physiotherapist who once struggled with chronic injuries myself. I understand the frustration of dealing with running injuries and the confusion caused by conflicting advice in the running community. That’s why I’ve dedicated my mission to bring clarity and control to every runner, helping you overcome injuries and become a healthier, stronger, and smarter runner.

Integrating Exercise into Your PHT Rehab

The Importance of Exercise in Rehab

When dealing with PHT or any injury, it’s common to wonder when you can return to your favorite activities pain-free. However, it’s crucial to understand that exercise should be considered a vital component of your rehabilitation, not just a distant goal. By incorporating your specific activities into your rehab program, you bridge the gap between your current capacity and the demands required for your desired activities.

The Mind Shift: Exercise as Part of the Rehab Process

Many individuals ask questions like, “When can I get back to running without pain?” or “How long do I have to wait to return to my favorite activity?” While these questions are valid, it’s essential to shift your mindset. Instead of thinking of exercise as a separate step after completing rehab, consider it an integral part of your rehab process. This approach ensures a high degree of specificity and helps you adapt to your goals efficiently.

Example: Running Rehabilitation

Let’s take running as an example. Suppose you have PHT, and even running for just 10 minutes triggers symptoms. You might think that taking time off running and focusing on strength training is the solution. While strength training is crucial, it’s not the whole picture. You should integrate running, even in small doses, alongside your strength and conditioning exercises.

For example, start with four rounds of jogging for one minute, followed by walking for one to three minutes. Gradually increase the running duration or intensity as tolerated. This approach ensures that you adapt to running-specific demands while improving your tendon health.

Example: Cycling Rehabilitation

If cycling is your preferred activity, but it currently exacerbates your symptoms, you can use a similar approach. Start with short intervals of low-wattage cycling while supersetting with strength exercises like lunges and deadlifts. As your tolerance improves, gradually increase the duration, resistance, or change your posture to mimic the demands of cycling.

Example: Sitting Rehabilitation

For those struggling with buttock pain when sitting, sitting itself can be a part of your rehab. Start with short intervals of sitting, perhaps five minutes every hour. Use cushions or higher chairs to reduce direct compression on your sitting bones. As your tolerance improves, gradually extend the sitting duration while continuing strength and conditioning exercises tailored to your specific needs.


Incorporating exercise into your PHT rehabilitation is a crucial strategy to bridge the gap between your current capacity and the demands of your desired activities. Remember that exercise should be an integral part of your rehab process, not just a distant goal. Start with small, manageable steps, progress systematically, and, if needed, consult a healthcare professional like myself to create a structured plan tailored to your unique situation.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Run Smarter podcast. If you found this information helpful, please share it with others dealing with PHT. Together, we can empower more individuals to overcome injuries and achieve pain-free, active lives. Good luck with your rehab journey, and I look forward to bringing you more valuable insights in the future.