7 Essential Hamstring Exercises for Athletes

Strong Hamstrings are essential for Crossfitters. As a large two-joint muscle (hamstrings attach to both the hip and the knee) they have a lot of influence on how you move. If they’re not functioning correctly due to inflexibility, the slack will be picked up by your quads and pelvis, which ultimately leads to lower scores or even injury.

The posterior chain is simply the backside of your body and its primary muscles include the lower back, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and calves. This area is often ignored and misunderstood. Many people sit for 8-10 hours per day. Because of the seated position the quadriceps become short and tight and even impeed the glutes.

Strong Hamstrings – Make Sure to Stretch

The most important part of well developed Hamstrings is to stretch them.

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching is a very effective method. It works on the stretch reflex by contracting and relaxing muscles throughout the stretch to increase range of motion. Lay down so it will help to eliminate the pelvic tilt without much effort required.

Start by lying on your back and loop a towel, resistance band, rope, your hands etc. around one leg, extend it as straight as possible, as close to 90 degrees as you can before your hips begin to tuck.

  • Push your leg away from the band at around 25% effort, as if trying to lower it back down, engaging your hamstrings and some quad strength for around 5-10 seconds.

  • Relax your leg quickly.

  • Using this relaxation as a stretching aid, stretch the straight leg up further towards your body as you relax using your leg muscles and assistance from the band.

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