While doing our workout, what is put on focus is shoulder, arms, legs, neck, back etc.! Triceps and biceps dominate in this male world, and who can forget the abdomen? Abs portion is the most important, no?
But, keep in mind the hamstrings too! Many of you, who are new to this fitness world, won’t exactly get what the hamstrings are.
Hamstrings are a group of few muscles which surround your knee area and thigh region. You must be aware of the squats. These are the dominant hamstring exercises.
Let’s have a closer look at these hamstring exercises.
BEST HAMSTRING EXERCISES
1. KETTLE BELL ONE-LEGGED DEADLIFT
– Stand straight, with your back upright. Legs should be close to each other, but not so close that they block each other in any movement.
– A kettle bell of suitable weight should be placed in front of you.
– Try to pick the kettle bell up with one hand, for example, let’s take the left hand first. Pick the kettle bell with your left hand.
– While doing this, you have to put your right leg up in the air, straight backward.
– While you bend forward to pick the kettle bell up, do not let your back curve even a little. This exercise is for hamstrings. If you curve your back, then the whole weight would be shifted to your back, not your hamstrings.
– Repeat this with the other leg.
2. FLOOR GLUTE-HAM RAISE
– Kneel down on the floor, with legs close to each other.
– This one is a tough bread to chew! So, better you take someone’s help. Let someone take hold of your legs.
– You get into a lying position, abdomen touching floor.
– Now, try pushing yourself upward, putting pressure on your hamstrings. Take the help of your hands for the push.
– Lower down slowly. Do not jerk.
– Repeat this up and down movement as suited by your body.
3. LEG CURLS
– This is somewhat similar to the biceps and triceps curls. You know how to do the curls?
– Lay down on a press bench. If you have the exact machine, then who needs other manual equipments.
– Your stomach should rest upon the bench.
– Now, roll up the rollers with moving your legs back and forth. Movement should appear like a windscreen wiper from sideways.
– This exercise will pressurize your hamstring muscles.
HAMSTRING STRENTHENING EXERCISES
– The basic procedure of doing squats is well known by majority of the masses.
– The squats can be made more effective by increasing the bending length, or by increasing pressure with the help of weights.
– But remember not to overdo it. These are your hamstring muscles, not a weightlifting machine.
– Also, your hamstring muscles need not grow too big! They will look a little absurd. So, limit yourself up with variations.
– Stretching exercises are the best way to develop your hamstrings! A little stretch here, and a little there gives you some real fitness!
– Let me explain you with an exercise example:
Stand straight with your feet a few inches apart. Keep your back upright, and let your arms hang down at the side.
Now raise your feet from the toes portion. Do not raise your heel. Let’s do this with the right leg first. Now, with both of your hands try to touch the toes of your raised leg. Knees should not be bent. Hold the position until you feel a stretch, and then release. Repeat this with another of your leg.
HAMSTRING REHAB EXERCISES
Sports and fitness go hand in hand. While being so active, you may face a set of injuries too. And, for your hamstring injuries, there is always a hamstring rehab exercise set. Come, have a look.
1. Standing knee flexion
– Stand straight with your feet a few inches apart. Put your hands on your waist.
– Now, bend your right knee while keep standing on your left leg.
– Hold the position for a few seconds and then release.
– Now repeat this with your left leg.
– This exercise should be done in proper sets and with adequate repetitions. This will slowly ease out your hamstrings.
– This exercise is usually suggested to the beginners.
2. Bridge Exercise
– Lie on the floor with your back in contact with the floor. Feet should be placed close to each other.
– Place your hands at the sides, with palms facing the floor.
– Now give a push to the hamstrings to lift your legs and hip region up from the ground. Bend the knees a little.
– Your back will not rise. It will stay in touch with the floor.
– You can put pressure on your feet to give the raise, and use your hands as well.
– Imagine you are forming a bridge for the train to go from the underside of your legs. Do not worry; it is just a toy train!
HAMSTRING INJURY EXERCISES
Stretching exercises are the best way to avoid injuries, as they increase the range of a body part’s movement and relieve the tension built up between the muscles.
Stretching of hamstrings is of various types. I have explained one before up in this article. Let me give you another example.
– You have a low-platform height Table or a chair? Stand near to it.
– Place your hands at your waist.
– Now keep one of the legs at the table top. Both of the legs, the one extended and the one on which you are standing, should not be bent any way.
– Now try touching the toes of the extended leg with both of your hands.
– The beginners might not be able to do it at once. So, do not worry. You CAN do it. Just a little more time and a little more stretch.
– Repeat this with your other leg.
2. Lunge with the Medicine Ball
– Have a medicine ball in your hand.
– Kneel down to the floor in such a way that you are knelt on your one leg, and the other is kept forward.
– This seems like a pose when you bend down on your one knee to propose your girl.
– Pull the ball close to your chest. The pressure is exerted by your hamstrings!
HAMSTRING STRAIN EXERCISE
Strains are quite common in sports and workout. And, we have some really easy exercises which you will enjoy doing.
1. Hamstring stretch on wall
– You have a door with a wall? Yes, you obviously must be having!
– Lay down near the door and the wall in such a way that one of your legs is extended through the door, and the other is stretched upward on the support of the wall.
– Your feet of the raised leg should point upward.
– The resistance is provided by the wall, which gives a pressure to your hamstrings.
2. Chair Lift
– Have a chair in front of you.
– Now, lay down with your back on the floor. Lay your hands sideways, with the palm facing the floor.
– You have to lay down in such a way that your feet are towards the chair, and the head away from it.
– Now put both of your legs on the chair while lying down. Remember doing the bridge exercise? You have to do the same, but with the help of the chair.
– After placing the feet over the chair, push your hip and lower back region upward.
– The palms provide the push.
– Hold the above raise and then lower down.
– Repeat as per your capacity.
HAMSTRING STRETCHING EXERCISE
As I already said, stretching lowers down the risk of injuries. Thus, stretching should not be eliminated from any workout!
1. Tip over Tuck Hamstring Stretch
– Stand straight with your feet apart at a considerable distance.
– Lock the fingers of both of your hands, at the back.
– Now, you have to bend your torso down and at the same time, extend your hands at the back up towards the ceiling. Extend your hands away from your head.
– Now hold the position for a few seconds, and then release.
– Come back to your original starting position.
2. Forward bend with your back curved
– Sit on the floor with your legs lying close to each other and extended forward.
– Toes should point in the upward direction.
– The upper body should be kept straight initially.
– Now, slowly bend your back to touch the toes with both of your hands.
– Do not let the knees bend. Just let your back acquire the curve.
– You have to touch your head with the legs. Let this be your aim, with the limiting conditions.
– Do not jerk and over-pressurize your body.
HAMSTRING RECOVERY EXERCISE
1. Prone knee bend
– Lie down on the floor with your stomach in contact with the floor.
– Extend your legs backward. Have pointed toes.
– Now, bend your knees alternatively, one after the other. It is kind of a swing.
– One knee gets bent; the other leg is still extended. While the other gets bent, the former is extended.
2. Forward lunge
– This is as simple as any stretch! You have to practice kneeling on one leg. But do not completely kneel down.
– Raise your knee a little above the ground level.
– Just constantly put pressure or give small jerks while kneeling down.
EXERCISES FOR PULLED HAMSTRING
1. Prone hip extension
– Lie down on your stomach, on the floor.
– Keep your legs close to each other and extended straight. Have pointy toes!
– Now without bending the knees raise the left leg to a certain extent. The angle from the ground can be about 30 degrees.
– Slowly lower it down, and then raise the other leg to the same height. Do it alternatively.
– This one is an interesting activity cum exercise!
– We all enjoy cycling, no? Well, in the hustle and bustle of the city, we have our cars and motorbikes. So, let’s take out some time for this exercise! C’mon you need to have the perfect hamstrings! Take out your bicycles, and invite me as well!