Avoid this PAINFUL mistake in the gym

The hamstrings are very important muscles that keep you active, help in running and also decrease low back pain and stiffness!
 
Most people who go to the gym and train their hamstring by jumping in a machine and mashing out 10 or 12 reps before moving on to the next exercise.
 
This is the worse thing to do. The hamstrings cross two joints, the knee and the hip. If there is an issue with strength in the knee you get knee pain and if there is an issue in the hip you get low back pain! Training these muscles in different ranges of motion and performing multiple sets and reps within a well planned and thought out the workout is crucial to improving
Below are the top exercises and how to perform them!

Seated Hamstring Curl

This exercise works the hamstring in the most stretched position of knee flexion, as the hip is in a flexed. This exercise is very beneficial for improving low back pain.

Key Points

  • Check the active range of motion and don’t let the machine pull you out of keeping tension
  • If you are more flexible, lean forward at the hip in increase the stretch on your hamstrings
  • Ensure your pelvis is locked into place and you brace to create stability
  • Stop 10 degrees short of fully straightening the legs as the hamstrings lose their line of pull and the calves will initiate.
  • Spend time in the top of the range of motion, under tension of course!

Lying Hamstring Curl

This exercise works the hamstring in the mid-range of knee flexion, as the hip is slightly flexed. The benefit to this machine is you can extend your body to emphasize the shortened range as well as the traditional mid-range.

Key Points

  • Push quad/hips into the pad to create stability
  • Ensure your lumbar spine is not moving by contracting the glutes
  • Focus on pulling your hamstring from your knee up to your hip, don’t worry about the pad
  • Stop 10 degrees short of fully straightening the legs as the hamstrings lose their line of pull and the calves will initiate.
  • Spend time in the top of the range of motion, under tension of course!

Standing Hamstring Curl

This exercise works the hamstring in the short range of knee flexion, as the hip is in extension. This machine is not common in many commercial gyms but is important in overall knee stability and low back health. By being able to train hamstrings in the short position, you are able to target the weakest area of the hamstring!

Key Points

  • Push quad/hips into the pad to create stability
  • Ensure your lumbar spine is not moving by contracting the glutes
  • Focus on pulling your hamstring from your knee up to your hip, do not try to get the pad to your butt as maximum tension is created slightly above 90 degrees of knee flexion
  • Stop 10 degrees short of fully straightening the legs as the hamstrings loose their line of pull and the calves will initiate.
  • Spend time in the top of the range of motion, under tension of course!

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