Do You Still Do Hamstring Curls?

When I was younger, every morning I would east breakfast and watch ESPN.  I recently recalled that ESPN2 aired a fitness show that completely embodied the 80’s with high-waisted bathing suits and hair that would make Bon Jovi jealous.  Hamstring curl machines are one of those useless pieces of gym equipment that waste space and are not “functional” for the majority of people.  If aesthetics are one of your goals (aka you are a bodybuilder who needs to build nonfunctional hamstring mass), then maybe it may help you, but considering that 99.9% of the population is not, then why utilize this machine when there are more effective exercises?  Watch this clip and enjoy the awesomeness

There are multiple ways to work your hamstrings, but one of the most effective ways is through movements that involve hip extension with knee flexion (the movements that your hamstrings perform).  Hip extension with knee flexion is typically seen in movements such as sprinting and exercises such as glute-ham raises and slideboard hamstring curls , which are tremendous for recruiting the posterior musculature (more bang for your buck) in this specific way.  Although most gyms do not have slideboards, Valslides are a simple, cost-effective substitute.

Although we train a miltitude of athletes with different needs, we use slideboard hamstring curls with every client because of its versatility (we do not have a glute-ham @ Endevor).  Once the basic pattern is mastered, athletes can continue to challenge themselves through various progressions.  Below are the variations.

With any variation, be sure to get into hip extension by squeezing your butt through.

Slideboard Hamstring Curl

Eccentric Only Slideboard Hamstring Curl

Slideboard Hamstring Curl w Speed Emphasis

Slideboard Hamstring Curl w/ 1-Leg Negative

1-Leg Slideboard Hamstring Curl- BRUTAL

No Slideboard=Stability Ball is also a choice

As you can see, there are many variations (you can utilize the valslides will almost all of these) for an athlete to progress.   Do not forgot that using these exercises also contributes to pelvic control, one of the main functions of your core.  Adequate pelvic control IS essential for good core control, and it’s ability to transfer force from the lower to upper extremity.

Cheers to your 80s hair and bathing suits,

Matt

 

 

 



Categories: Strength Training

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