This week’s exercise of the week is the hamstring curl and variations. The hamstrings are primarily a knee flexor, and secondary hip extensor and posteriorly tilt your pelvis. Training the hamstrings in a manor that is easy on the lower back will help you build strength, create balance (front-think quads, back hamstrings) and build muscle. So it goes without saying, if you have not learned how to extend your hips (basic floor bridge) by primarily using your Glutes, get there first with basic bridges and single leg bridge variations. Then add the exercise’s below (progression is in order from easiest to hardest.)
Ball Hamstring Curl- Like the rollout variations, start with the biggest wheel and work to a smaller one. Keep your glutes engaged and abdominals braced and curl the ball underneath and gradually lift your hips to a fully extended position.
Slider Hamstring Curl- Same as above, except with sliders. Keep your glutes engaged and abdominals braced and curl the sliders underneath and gradually lift your hips to a fully extended position.
Single Leg Hamstring Curl- Now with one leg, same as before except really focus on keeping the hips in a flat stable position (try to put a stick on your hips and remain level throughout the movement) Progress to these, and do fewer reps!
Hamstring Curl with added resistance- Put an Olympic plate down on the sliders or on a slideboard as shown below.