Great Exercises for Hamstrings

Great Exercises for Hamstrings

Your hamstring muscle is actually a group of three muscles running along the backside of your thigh. Strong hamstrings are very important for athletes. Training them properly can help you lengthen your stride, give you more power, improve your balance and stabilize your knees. So working your hamstrings will lower your risk of injuries.

Function

The hamstring muscle helps you bend your knee. The muscle is important for optimal athletic performance but is often overlooked during training. Most training regiments for hamstrings will consist of lower-repetition exercises.

Swiss Ball Curl

Lie on the floor with your upper back and shoulders touching the ground and your arms out to the side. Place your calves on top of the ball and lift your hips and lower back off the ground. Pull the ball toward you until your knees and butt are high in the air and then push the ball back until your legs are straight. Perform this exercise five to 10 times.

Glute/Ham Raise

This difficult exercise corrects muscle imbalance. You’ll need access to a glute/ham machine at your gym. Rest your mid-thighs against the padding and place your feet on the plate. Lower your body toward the floor, keeping an arch in your back. Use your hamstring to pull yourself upward. Try to perform eight repetitions.

Deadlift

The deadlift works your hamstring and almost every other muscle in your body. It must be performed with good form in order to prevent injury to your lower back. Standing in front of a barbell on the floor with feet shoulder-width apart, squat, grab the barbell and slowly stand, all while keeping an arch in your back. Once you’re standing tall and straight with the bar in front of your groin, lower the bar to the floor using the same motion in reverse.

Strain

When one of your hamstring muscles is so tight it gets stretched too far, you have a painful hamstring strain. One symptom is sudden and severe pain during your workout. Another is pain in the back of the thigh and glute muscle while walking or bending over. Minor strains heal on their own but severe cases may need surgery.

Prevention

To prevent experiencing the pain of a hamstring strain, make sure to warm up and stretch before your workout. Equally train your hamstrings and your quadriceps so that both muscles are strong. Increase the intensity of your strength training slowly. If you feel any pain in the back of your thigh, stop the exercise you are performing.

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