Hamstrings and importance of hamstring strengthening exercises
Hamstrings are muscles that are located at the back side of the leg, right below the butt. They are important for maintaining a straight posture whether walking or standing, and they are important for knee flexion and hop extension. It is important to include exercises for these muscles in the workout plan, because by improving their strength, their flexibility will be improved as well, and they will be less prone to leg muscle injuries. However, not every exercise is for everyone, which is why it is highly recommended to get help form a professional trainer or physiotherapist, particularly if a person already has some injury of hamstring muscle.
Hamstring strengthening exercises
Bridging is an exercise that is done while lying on the back, with the knees bent and feet on the floor. The bottom needs to be lifted slowly until the knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. The back of the tights should be tightened while doing this, and the position should be kept for 2 seconds before the bottom is slowly lowered back.
Good mornings are particularly effective for runners. The person needs to be in an upright position, holding the dumbbell with both hands, and with arms in front of the body. The butt is squeezed and a bend should be brought in hips. Then the upper part of the body should be lowered down, along with lowering down the dumbbell. The body and the weight should be lifted slowly after this, and the exercise should be repeated.
Donkey kicks is another very useful exercise for strengthening hamstrings, and it is done in the kneeling position, with palms on the floor. The thighs should make a 90 degree angle with the floor, and the torso should be parallel to the floor. One leg should be lifted towards the back in an attempt to strengthen it, while the knee of the other leg should not be bent. Torso and the lifted leg should be in one line, if the exercise is done properly. Then the lifted leg should be lowered, but without touching the ground, and this should be repeated 10 times for each leg.
Standing leg curl is an exercise that requires standing by a wall or table to hold on for balance. The knee needs to be bent and heel is brought towards the buttock first, and then returned to the floor slowly. Ankle weights may be added to increase the intensity and it is recommended to repeat it 10 times.