3 great exercises to strengthen your hamstrings

Stretching the hamstrings is something we do almost as an automatic response to any kind of tension in the posterior chain. In fact, it almost feels like humans are conditioned to stretch their hamstrings first, whenever they attempt to cool off from strenuous physical activity. Back pain also induces the need to stretch the hamstrings. But tight hamstrings aren’t always the problem, these problems are also caused by weak hamstrings. The two are not always the same, although they can be concomitant problems.

The Room It’s worth taking a look at the guide on how to properly stretch hamstrings, but weak hamstrings will not only need flexibility, they will also need strengthening. This process has to go beyond the usual hamstring curls that most gym goers do. This is because hamstring curls aren’t enough for a muscle that weakens with two of the most common things humans do: running and sitting. The other mistake we make is focusing on heavy lower body exercises for the quadriceps while ignoring the hamstring, which runs down the back of the thigh. Research has suggested that while the quadriceps will always be the strongest muscles, it is important to reduce the force imbalance between them and the hamstrings.

Also read: Why you need to take care of the hamstrings

A study published in Strength and conditioning diary analyzes the “relationship between the functional relationships of the hamstring quadriceps and the running economy”. He states that a better balance of strength between the two muscles can also increase the “oxygen cost of running”. The study also suggests that people perform hamstring exercises that involve horizontal movement and that “these exercises should focus primarily on the eccentric actions of the hamstrings and may include fast downhill running, overspeed running, rebounding. in the hills, exercises, as well as resistance or plyometric “.

Since there are only strong hamstrings benefits that can match the load your quads can withstand, here are three hamstring exercises you should add to your workout routine.

Split jumps or lunge jumps: First of all let’s get rid of plyometrics: the hardest but also the most fun. Plyometrics will increase explosive strength and the hamstrings, responsible for rapid changes in direction and height, will benefit. Get into a lunge position and perform a jump as you switch legs in mid-air so that you land with the opposite leg forward from when you started. You can lower your lunge at the last moment to increase momentum and use your arms to increase it. While the calves, quads, and glutes are also activated, the hamstrings will play an important role in stabilizing them for each rep and in decelerating just before landing.

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Single leg RDL: The Romanian single leg deadlift is my favorite back chain exercise, not only because it is effective, but also because of the number of variations it can offer. Standing on one foot, try bending down with or without weights as the other leg pushes back as you lower your torso to the floor. Add a dumbbell, kettlebell, or resistance band. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the variant using the mine (a barbell with weights attached to a corner in a wall or a rack).

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Single-leg RDL is excellent for those who have difficulty activating the hamstrings and needs to be felt more in that muscle. Whether your goal is endurance, power, stability, or general posture, this is the one exercise that will go a long way in injury prevention as well. “The Romanian single leg deadlift is a one-sided lower body exercise that can help increase hamstring and gluteal health, improve hip joint function and strengthen proper hamstring engagement. of the thigh; all of which can have a positive impact on bilateral strength, powerformance and health, “says a barbend.com detailing the benefits of the move.

Bridges and hamstring variations: Knowing how to hit all the muscles you want without weights is important, especially since it means you have no excuse Not train. The glute or hamstring bridge is tricky as it looks easy given how difficult it can be. To perform the bridge, you basically lie on your back and lift your hip using your glutes (and not your lower back) while your feet are firmly planted on the floor. When you take support only on the heels instead of the entire base of the foot, the hamstrings come into primary action.

Also read: How to use your body weight to strengthen your back

Start with a basic bridge hold on your heels until you feel your hamstrings burn. Once you have mastered the grips, you can lift one leg off the floor and position it in a controlled fashion for the momentary grip of the single leg bridge. This progression can be added if you add equipment such as medicine balls to rest your heels on and work on stability. And finally, try the single leg bridge on a bench, where your heels are planted on the edge of a bench as you slowly lift your hips off the floor. Switch to single-legged reps to master this move and feel your hamstrings getting stronger.

Pulasta Dhar is a football commentator and writer.

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