Oct 16, 2013

{Fit and Strong Day 15}: Toughen Those Hamstrings

We've covered the front thighs or the quadriceps in Day 14.  Now we go to the back part or the hamstrings.  Having read this article and another article I now have a good solution to my knee problem and to prevent future injuries.  The hamstrings provide counter action to the quadriceps and both should have equal strength, but between the two, the hamstrings should essentially be the stronger one.  

As for me, I'd really do my best to toughen those hamstrings, knowing now that it is very beneficial to my knees, particularly the injured one.  Also, I could probably run faster and have better leg endurance when I have a good balance of strength between the quads and the hamstrings.

  • Leg curls - this perfectly targets the hamstrings.  Unfortunately, I have to go to a gym to do this on the leg curl machine.  Any ideas for improvisations on this one?  Let me know.
  • Walking Lunges - I think this works both the quads and hamstrings.  For added resistance, carry dumbbells in each hand.  This is a good cardio exercises as well.
  • Kickbacks - While standing hold the back of a chair for balance.  Bend the right knee at 90 degrees.  Kick back the right leg, then go back to bent knee position.  Do several repetitions before switching legs.
  • Step Ups - You'll need a raised surface for this, perhaps a stable low stool or the bottom step of the stairs.  Just make sure you won't slip or fall.  Step on the raised surface with the right leg and pull yourself up, with the left leg hanging.  Then let the left leg touch the lower surface again.  Do several repetitions before switching sides or you can do this alternately, like doing it in a stairmaster.
  • Single-leg Touchdown - Stand on the right leg in a relaxed posture. Bend slowly, starting from the hips, the knees and finally the ankle and try to touch the right toe with the left hand.  Slowly straighten up again and repeat the process several times before switching sides.  

I'm sure I'll be having stronger hamstrings in no time if I do these simple exercises, and so would you!  

For other exercises you've missed, check the series on 31 Steps to Fit and Strong.

4 comments:

  1. Yes, I really hope so that these could help me, too. I, too, have been suffering from an injured right knee for the longest time (since 2009 pa ata, when I was still mountaineering), had consulted ortho doctors already and had done 7 PT sessions pero until now, ouch pa rin. huhu. wala naman makita sa x-ray kaya MRI daw baka dun makita, eh I haven't undergone MRI pa. so i'm still clueless why I'm still in so much pain. I'll try to do these exercise din. Thanks for sharing ha. Nice one. :-)

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  2. I sometimes fear my left knee would buckle while doing squats so when it comes to bending my knees considerably, I do it slowly. When running, I wear compression support, particularly on longer runs. I have not gone for X-ray but I'll give it time with these hamstring exercises first. If there's no improvement, time to go to the ortho.

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  3. thankfully, no knee problems yet for me. but these are definitely helpful exercises which would take quite an effort from me since i'm not really a physical person.

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  4. I'm not getting any younger exercising my knees before getting in the game is really important.

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