Hamstrings are one of the more neglected muscle groups in athletes’ training. Maybe because they are on the backside of your thighs and you don’t see them easily and then you tend to skip training them and promise yourself to do it tomorrow. Or maybe it is because they are quite painful when to work out, even with occasional cramps?
The hamstrings (the biceps femoris, the semimembranosus, and the semitendinosus) are important not just for the looks from behind, but also for the knee joint stabilization and for preventing injuries.
Hamstrings account for about 25% of all athletic injuries. Research suggests that relatively weak hamstrings, compared to the quads (the front of the thigh) may be the cause of the high incidents of hamstrings strains and for anterior crucial ligaments (ACL) injuries. For optimal knee health and joint stability, the quadriceps should be slightly stronger than the hamstrings, in about 3:2 (or 3:1) ratio.
For these reasons, forget the “out of sight, out of mind” rule, and focus on your hamstrings training regularly.
You may be already doing the “conventional” exercises for your hamstrings, such as lunges, squats, leg curls (seated, lying, standing), bridges or deadlifts.
Let me introduce to you a new, vicious, exercise that is simple to do, with no need for heavy weights or high repetitions.
Hamstrings Evil Exercise
It is a quick wake up of your hamstrings and glutes.
It is very evil.
It is very effective.
It is like peppers, the smaller they are, the spicier.
You need a yoga block, but if you don’t have any, you can use a water bottle, a foam roller, a book, or anything similar.
- Lunge with your legs creating a 90-degree angle. Which means that you don’t want to sink your hips forward/down, but instead you stay upright.
- Bend your back leg. If you are on the hard ground, put some padding under the knee.
- Place a yoga block (or your tool) just under your glutes and squeeze it with the heel (of that bent back leg).
- Do 10 small pulses, and then squeeze and hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Do 3–5 sets.
- Watch a video…
Don’t be surprised if you cramp up already on the first few squeezes. With time, the stronger you get, the better it gets.
Eating more plants (vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and nuts) will improve your athletic performance. If you don’t know how to incorporate it into your life, check “The Athlete’s Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle” and enjoy your journey to feeling stronger, better and healthier.