Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Hamstring exercises to use

Not everyone has hamstring issues but generally most people have these issues-

A) Most are strong on knee flexion exercises ( leg curl ) and are weaker on hip flexion exercises

B) Most are people have weak hamstrings compared to the quadriceps and illiopsoas. You see many people have strong/tight illiopsoas and therefore you need to work the hamstrings in hip extension since the illiopsoas is a hip flexor.

Below is a list of the best 4 exercises to improve on your weak hamstrings

1. Glute-ham raise

* This exercise looks simple enough but trust me it is brutal. If the full exercise is too much at first you might need to focus on just the eccentric part the movement just going down as slow as you can. The best thing about this exercise is it can be done anywhere you just need to have something to hold your feet.


2. Single leg bridge feet elevated

* Again another exercise that needs very little equipment to perform. This exercise is a favorite of sprinters to develop the hip extension function of hamstrings. You need a bench to elevate your feet. Lie on the ground with your heels elevated on bench with legs slightly bent. Bring the non working leg into your hip and hold it there as you press the other heel into the bench and elevate the working leg into extension. Hold and squeeze for 1 second at the top.

3. Leg curl

* Some might say its not functional and its worthless but if its part of a training program and not the only exercise you use then it is beneficial especially as a way to load the hamstrings and to build mass.

4. Leg curl with floor slides or slideboard

* This great exercise can be done on a slideboard or by using towels under the feet on a tile or gym floor surface. The nice thing about this exercise is it works both hip extension and knee flexion functions of the hamstrings. I like how Mike Boyle teaches it in this video below.

5. Stiff leg deadlift

* Of course you need a deadlift movement to work the hamstrings! Work to push your hips back into an invisible wall behind you as you keep the legs stiff to really hit the hamstrings. Deadlifts allow you to lift heavy loads and hit your hamstrings like no other.

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