It’s the out of sight, out of mind muscle. The hamstrings. You don’t see them unless you are looking in a mirror. However, for a muscle group that is unseen, they carry a lot of weight. Hamstrings are notoriously responsible for high incident strains and ligament injuries. Research has shown that women, especially, are prone to knee injuries resulting from weak hamstrings. Avoid injury with these 4 exercises below to develop your hamstrings for the perfectly proportioned leg.
1. The Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is one of the most effective ways to developing your backside. Grab a barbell loaded with light to medium weight. It’s best to begin light to maintain perfect technique than to opt for heavy weights without perfect form. Begin by holding bar at hip level with palms facing down. Lower bar to below knees by moving rear as far back as you can while keeping knees only slightly bent. Keep bar close to the body, head forward and shoulders back. Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range of motion, return to starting position, standing tall.
2. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts
The single leg is the same movement, except with one leg only. Begin by holding a kettlebell in one hand. Stand on one leg. Keep knee slightly bent, and bend at the hip, extending free leg behind you for balance.
3. Kettle Bell Swings
The kettlebell swing is based on the deadlift movement and hits almost every muscle in the body. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and soft knees. Keep back flat and chest raised as you swing the weighted kettlebell up, slightly above shoulder height and down between your ankles. There should be only two movements, hips moving down and back, and then up and forward, finishing at lockout.
4. Box Squats
Begin by placing a barbell across the back of your shoulders. Squeeze shoulder blades together and rotate elbows forward. Place feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Push knees and rear out and begin the squat into a seated position. Keep shins perpendicular to ground. While keeping weight on heels, push feet and knees out, standing to upright position.
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