Working your hamstrings and boosting your leg power

April 24, 2017

This month, we were featured in Health and Fitness Magazine showing you how to work your hamstrings and boost your leg power.

1. ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

Benefits: The Romanian deadlift is a great exercise to strengthen not only your hamstrings, but all the muscles in your posterior chain (your glutes and lower back, too).

– Grab the barbell at hip level with your palms facing your thighs (pronated grip).
– Keeping your grip tight and the bar against your thighs, push you hips back, as if trying to touch a wall behind you with your backside.
– Lower yourself as far as you can while maintaining a natural spine position (A).
– Pause in the bottom position before driving your hips forward, squeezing your glutes at the top position (B).

TOP TIP

Build up to performing 10 reps, making sure you control the weight on the descent.

2. SWISS BALL CURL

Benefits: Swiss ball hamstring curls are a great way to hit your hamstrings (backs of thighs) as you use them to bend your knees. You’ll also work your glutes and core.

– With your back and arms on the floor, place your heels on the Swiss ball (A).
– Squeezing your glutes, lift your hips off the floor, bringing your body into a straight line (B).
– Keeping the focus on your hamstrings, bend your knees by bringing your heels towards your backside (C).
– Squeeze in this top position, before slowly straightening your legs back to the start.

TIP: When you bring your heels to your backside, focus your attention on your hamstrings,maintaining tension at the back of your thighs throughout the move.

Swiss ball curls

3. HAMSTRING WALKOUT

Benefits: Hamstring walkouts are a very effective way to hit these muscles, particularly if you have specific weakness in the area or are coming back from injury.

– Begin lying on the floor in a supine position.
– Bridge your hips up, by squeezing your glutes, until your hips are fully extended (A).
– From this top position, keeping your weight on your heels, mimic a walking movement as you step your feet away from your backside (B).
– Then walk your heels back to your hips, focusing your attention on your hamstrings.

TIP: Keep your backside squeezed throughout

Hamstring walkout

4. SWING

Benefits: Kettlebell swings are a fantastic exercise that will hit your hamstrings hard, while also working your glutes and lower back. The dynamic nature of the exercise will also get your heart rate up.

– Stand up tall, feet shoulder-width apart, with both hands holding the Kettlebell.
– To start the movement, push your hips back slightly, before quickly extending forwards.
– Keeping your core tight and glutes engaged,repeat this motion, increasing the range of movement each time, until you are flexing (A) and extending (B) at the hips.
– Work within a range where you can maintain a neutral spine.

Kettlebell swings