These Exercises Will Work Those Hammies!
While hamstrings may not do much for appearances, they are one of the most important muscles in your body. The hamstrings keep your knees healthy as they help them properly bend. Your hamstrings also protect your joints by keeping your quad muscles properly aligned. With unhealthy hamstrings, your knees and joints can weaken which can lead to bigger problems down the road. So how does one isolate the hamstrings to ensure they are being properly worked?
The following exercises are designed to attack your hamstrings to make sure they are getting properly worked. See the exercises below and be sure to pass these along to all of your friends looking to strengthen this very important muscle.
Basic Hamstring Curls using a machine
This is the most basic of all hamstring exercises. It is very effective to build strength safely and you will solely work your hamstrings. Make sure to contract your core and glutes at all times, as those will get activated as well. As you curl the weight up, don’t let your foot drop down quickly but resist the weight. This is the eccentric part of the motion (because the hamstrings get stretched in this position) and contributes to muscle growth and strength.
Hamstring Curls on the Balance Ball
Hamstring Curl on the Balance Ball is my favorite exercise to target the hamstrings, build core strength and the glutes. This exercise is much harder than the other versions above but it is worth practising it. Anything that our body has trouble performing is actually what might be the best for your health. Think of single-legged squats, hand stands, those exercises require full body balance and strength and will contribute to your every day life as well (so-called “functional training”).
I recommend you try this exercise and perform 5 repetitions maximum. Even if you can only do one full repetition, you will get better as you progress.
The key to this exercise is to push through your heels at all times and keep your pelvis tucked in. You should never try to lift your hips as high as you can, as that will put a lot of pressure on your lower back. Instead, keep your hips low but contract your core and glutes very tight, the whole time.
As soon as you feel you cannot hold the position anymore – stop. Do regular hamstring curls or glute bridges instead, to build up strength. But don’t give up on this exercise – it will give your hamstrings a really nice curvy shape and reduce cellulite as well. Just keep practising!
Hamstring Curls using a towel
This exercise is the home variation if you don’t have a balance ball. However, this is actually far more challenging than the version on the ball.
Here, the leverage is different, as your legs are closer to the floor. You have no option to “cheat” and use other muscles to perform the exercise.
Your hamstrings, core and glutes will be on fire. If you have trouble performing this exercise, don’t extend your legs thus far and keep the movement closer to your body. Also, you can build up strength by performing elevated glute bridges and regular hamstring curls.
See the full article from askdeniza.com here.
To Your Health And Wellness!