Today we’re focusing on hamstrings! Runners, bikers, skiers, and swimmers can all benefit from doing exercises that target muscles on the backs of the thighs, since strong hamstrings increase speed and endurance.
And that’s not all: toned hamstrings also make for shapely legs. Here are three exercises that are dedicated to that area. Repeat all three moves for a total of three rounds for an effective hamstring workout.
Lying Hamstring Curl
IMPORTANT: Don’t rely on momentum for this exercise
- Make sure the machine level adjusts to your height. Lie face down on the lying curls machine.
- Keep your torso flat on the bench. Your legs are to be fully stretched. Take the side handles of the machine into your hands.
- When you exhale, curl your legs up as far as you can, but don’t lift the upper legs from the pad. Make sure your hamstrings and glutes are tightened at the top of the movement.
- When you inhale, bring the legs into the first position. Repeat.
Advanced Lying Hamstring Curl
- Using a dumbbell between your feet lie on your stomach on the weight bench
- Keep legs tight together to ensure the dumbbell stays in place
- Squeezing your hamstrings and glutes use slow, controlled movements to lower and lift you legs
- Repeat for as many sets of reps as you would like
- Begin with a bar on a rack at shoulder height. Rack the bar across the rear of your shoulders as you would a power squat, not on top of your shoulders. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades pinched together, and your knees slightly bent. Step back from the rack.
- Begin by bending at the hips, moving them back as you bend over to near parallel. Keep your back arched and your cervical spine in proper alignment.
- Reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings. Continue until you have returned to the starting position.