Stretching your hamstrings ensures strengthening and lengthening of the muscles involved. This exercise helps you to pick up heavy things from the floor without causing pain to your back, forms a foundation for body’s posterior strength chain and also strengthens lower back to protect from injury.
Hamstring Stretch – Easy Stretches to Lengthen Muscles
Healthy thighs and legs indicate good health of your knees, hips and back. It is important to keep your hamstrings flexible and this can be achieved by stretching your hamstrings regularly. When your muscles are warm, you can try four easy stretches to lengthen muscles in the back of your thigh. For a hangover hamstring stretch, bend your knees slightly and stoop. Keep your neck relaxed and hold for 30 to 60 seconds before rolling up to stand. In a seated hamstring stretch, sit on floor and stretch right leg out in the front. Bend left knee and bring outer thigh to ground. Bend at the hip joint and reach for the right toe. Hold for 30 seconds. In the standing position, place your foot on a step. Flex foot and bend from hip joint with back straight. The more you lean forward, the bigger will your hamstring stretch be. In the advanced standing position, place foot on surface slightly lower in height than your hip, flex foot and crease at your hips to bend to touch flexed foot.
Hamstring Workout – 5 Exercises for Stronger Hamstrings
Hamstrings have three major muscles – Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus. All muscles originate from the pelvic bone and attach to the tibia bone on the lower part of the leg. While squats and lunges help your hamstrings, specific hamstring workout should be done to achieve effective results. Barbell Deadlifts work 100% of your legs and when done the right way, facilitate to obtain stronger muscles and burn more calories than any other single exercise besides the squats. Stiff Legs or Romanian Deadlifts are a compound exercise and build mass on your hamstrings. Ensure to maintain proper form to avoid lower back injury. Good Mornings begin like a squat but function like Romanian Deadlifts and help the entire posterior chain. Glute Ham Raises are a hamstring workout that have recently begun to gain popularity and is a little complex for beginners. Standing Leg Curl is a lying leg curl done with one leg in a standing position.
Hamstring Strengthening Exercises – Types and Tips
Lunges, curls, deadlifts and kickbacks and their several variations qualify as hamstring strengthening exercises. Some of the popular and well recommended strengthening exercises for your hamstrings include barbell and dumbbell lunges, lying leg, seated leg, standing leg and exercise ball curls, Smith machine stiff leg deadlifts, elastic band kickbacks, one legged cable kickbacks and Barbell stiff leg deadlifts. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to seek professional help before commencing these exercises. These are complex workouts and require the supervision of your trainer. A wrong form or technique can cause an irreparable injury primarily to your lower back. It is also important to start with light weights and gradually build or intensify the process to challenge your hamstrings when they are ready.