Hamstrings – Responsible for Knee Flexion and Hip Extension
That’s more of the generic definition of the responsible of the muscle group, but it goes much deeper than that. In terms of athletic performance, the hamstrings do much more. Hamstrings are responsible for speed, explosiveness, deceleration, and stability just to name a few. Most individuals generally have underdeveloped hamstrings and could benefit from incorporating some hamstring accessory work in order to improve their athletic performance. As we’ve mentioned before, accessory work is a great way to even out any imbalances, prevent injuries, and increase your body’s potential to perform. Here a couple of hamstring exercises that I’ve recently started to incorporate weekly into my training and have noticed a difference in my lifts and quality of movement.
Banded Reverse Hypers. We don’t have a typical Reverse Hyper machine at the Sweat Shop, but as most of you know, there’s always a way! As a matter of fact, there are usually bands laying beside the GHD machine for the purpose of doing banded reverse hypers. Loop the straps of the band around you ankles and grab onto the back plates for the feet. With your legs straight, raise your heels to the ceiling and squeeze your glutes for a second or so at the top. It’s important to remember to keep the midline neutral and avoid any over extension in the lumbar. Try it for 3 x 20 reps and you should feel a nice burn in your glutes and hamstrings.
Laying Banded Hamstring Curls. I started doing these a few weeks ago, and man do they burn! Similar to the reverse hypers, loop the band around your ankles. You can perform these laying on the ground, but I prefer to lay face down on a bench so I don’t have to put my face near the ground. The focus here is simple, pull your heels as close as you can to your glutes and stay in control as you extend your knees back to the starting position. Start off by trying 3 x 20 and see how it goes!
There are plenty of exercises to get the hamstrings going, these are just a few that I’ve experimented with and find effective. Tackle these at the end of your workouts or before to get some activation. Give them a try and let me know how they go! Enjoy!