This article will provide you with a toolbox of excellent strength and flexibility exercises to keep your hamstrings in top condition for all activities.

Guidelines

– The exercises are listed in order of difficulty.

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– Work through the list one by one to ensure you are competent and confident with how to do each of the below.

Explanation

– Start by doing 1 set of 10 reps for each exercise as a circuit to build up your endurance level.
– When comfortable, increase this to 2 – 3 sets of 10 reps making sure your form is maintained throughout.
– If you need to, rest for up to 60s between each set.

Exercises

Sumo Squat to Hamstring Stretch

– Stand with your feet wide apart, squat down and hold on to your toes whilst keeping a flat back with head and shoulders up

– Still holding on to your toes, straighten legs as much as you can to feel the stretch in the hamstrings. Hold for a second then repeat the process.

ex1-sumo

Split Squat

– Stand with hands on hips and feet in a split stand position

– Descend towards ground keeping front knee behind toe and back knee just above the floor

– Keep head up and maintain a tall posture

– Repeat

ex2-split

Forward Lunge

– Stand tall with feet together and step forward with one leg, slightly further than a split squat

– Descend towards ground keeping front knee behind toe and back knee just above the floor

– Keep head up and maintain a tall posture

– Push back forcefully with control to start position

– Repeat

ex3-lung

Forward Step Up & Drive

– Stand tall facing a stable box or bench and place one foot on top

– Push powerfully upwards with front leg to lift yourself on to the box

– Descend slowly with control

– Repeat

ex4-fwd-stepup

Side Step Up

– Stand tall laterally to a stable box or bench and place one foot on top

– Push powerfully upwards with front leg to lift yourself on to the box whilst looking forwards

– Descend slowly with control

– Repeat

ex5-slide-stepup

Arabesque

– Stand with feet shoulder width apart

– Step forward, titling and reaching forwards, until front leg becomes completely extended, chest is parallel to floor and back leg is completely extended kicked out behind you

– Hold position and repeat

ex6-arabe

Swiss Ball Leg Curl

– Lay in a supine position on floor with legs extended and heels on a swiss ball

– Curl heels towards you, flex knees and lift hips

– Hold position and repeat

ex7-swiss

Glute-Ham Bench Extensions

– Lay prone in a glute-ham bench with legs and body fully extend

– Flex back and reach to floor

– Extend back and lift body upwards

– Hold and repeat

ex8-glute

Single Leg Squat

– Sit on edge of a box or bench that is approximately hip height

– Extend one leg in front of you and lift off the floor

– Stand up slowly with control on other leg whilst reaching forward with hands and keeping a tall posture

– Descend and repeat

ex9-single-leg

 Nordics

– Knee on floor with feet tucked under and solid object or have a partner hold your ankles firmly on the floor

– Fall forwards as slowly as possible for a s long as possible

– When you can no longer hold position place hands out in front of you to break fall

– Ascend and repeat trying to fall further for longer each time

ex10-nord

 Tips

1.- Don’t rush through the exercises.
2.- Ensuring have to highest quality of movement throughout each rep is very important to obtain the most out of them.
3.- When you are confident you can carry out 1 circuit of the 10 exercises with good quality, time yourself to see how long takes to complete.
4.- Try and beat this time in your next workout. If you do you’ve just got stronger and more flexible!

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