The hamstring muscles are essential for flexing the leg and extending the thigh over the hip. Can work this region of the body with exercises to strengthen the specific hamstrings that gradually strengthen them.
Don’t you know how you can strengthen these muscles? If you are interested in learning more about it, consider these alternatives so that the hamstrings are strong and can fulfill their functions.
What are the best exercises to strengthen the hamstrings?
Something prevalent, especially in sedentary people, is suffering from stiff hamstrings. However, contractures and pain in this area can also appear in those who play sports.
For this reason, it is of great importance to perform certain exercises that serve to strengthen this muscle group. Within a weekly routine, you can add specific movements and exercises that help you strengthen your hamstrings. Some of them are:
1. Retained hamstrings
Also known as Nordic fall or Nordic curl, it is an exercise with eccentric overload. According to a study published by The American Journal of Sports Medicine, this type of movement is used to strengthen and prevent hamstring injuries.
To start, get on your knees. You need something or someone to hold your legs at the ankles; It can be a companion, a bar fixed to the wall, a machine with a low pulley, or a backrest.
Once positioned, drop your body forward slowly, if possible, with your hands on your hips or your chest. When you are about to hit the ground, reverse the movement to climb slowly. If this is too difficult, you can help yourself by putting your palms on the ground.
2. Russian skipping
Basically, this exercise consists of running unusually: with your legs extended forward. To do this, keep your knees ‘locked’ and your quads contracted.
Spread your legs as wide as possible to take each step. Help yourself with your arms, also stretched out. When the straight right leg goes forward, the left arm extends forward.
3. Hamstring bridge
To do this exercise, you must lie on your back on the mat and bend your knees to support your feet’ soles on the floor. The arms go to the sides of the body.
From that position, lift the balls of your feet and support only the heel. Raise your left leg so that your calf is parallel to the floor and your toes are pointing to the ceiling.
Then, lift your hips by using your pelvis, but without detaching your shoulder blades or head. As you progress with the exercise, you can place a fitball under the leg you are working on.
4. Femoral curl with fitball
This is one of the most basic hamstring-strengthening exercises, and it also allows you to work your hamstring as well. To start, lie on the floor on your back and stretch your arms. Rest your heels on the Swiss ball or football, which you will place in front of you.
Then, raise your body so that it forms a straight line, diagonally to the floor, and leaves your hips “in the air.” Only the head and the upper part of the back have to be supported.
Both up and down hills are beneficial activities to strengthen the lower body. If you want to make the exercise more complicated, you can choose different slopes, inclinations, or lengths of the slopes. Try to increase the difficulty of the climb or descent to achieve better results.
6. One leg balance
Standing with your back straight, bring your right leg back as your torso goes forward. The idea is that an imaginary diagonal line is formed between the heel and the head. Help yourself with your arms to have more balance. Hold for at least 20 seconds before returning to the starting position.
The first few times, do the exercise without loads, but then, as you improve your resistance and balance, you can use a dumbbell, a plate, or a kettlebell in front of your chest.
The deadlift is a prevalent exercise in gyms, and it can also go a long way in strengthening your hamstrings. To start, place a bar – with a weight that suits your physical condition – in front of you. Then bend your knees and lower your body so that you can grab the bar with both hands.
At all times, the spine must be straight and the gaze forward. Load the body’s weight on the balls of the feet, raise the bar slowly, with the arms at the sides of the knees, to return to the starting position.
Ultimately, other exercises to strengthen the hamstrings are isolated knee flexion, supine hip raise, and lying knee flexion. Consult your trusted coach for them and add them to your usual routine!