Your hamstrings make up some of the most important parts of your leg – from walking, to running, to any number of exercises!
Keeping your hamstrings strong and in shape helps create a solid foundation for any other lower-body work you do. In addition to being beneficial for your exercise goals, healthy hamstrings can help prevent injury and keep you moving at your best!
The History Of Hamstrings And Hamstring Exercises
Interestingly enough, the word “hamstring” comes from the Old English “ham” or “ham”. The term meant the hollow of the bend of the knee and started to be used around the 1400s.
The “string” portion of the term refers to the tendons of the hamstring. They can be felt on either side of the back of your knee.
Improvements in physical therapy techniques over the last several decades have seen the creation of multiple hamstring-focused exercises that can be added to any number of exercise routines.
So What Is A Hamstring?
Your hamstrings are made up of four muscles in your thigh area:
- The semitendinosus
- The semimembranosus
- The biceps femoris long head
- The biceps femoris short head
Walking, jumping, and running are all due in part to the work of the hamstrings.
Getting Hamstring-Exercise Ready
Before you launch into your hamstring exercises, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Make sure you’ve stretched out your hamstrings before partaking in any hamstring exercises. This will help prevent any injuries that may otherwise occur.
- If you’re planning to do the exercise as part of rehabilitation post-injury, make sure to speak with your physical therapist to know the correct number of repetitions you’ll need per exercise.
Give Your Hamstrings A Boost
One great workout to try is the single-leg dumbbell deadlift. To perform the exercise:
- Grab a dumbbell and hold it in your right hand.
- Bend down towards your toes while lifting your left leg up behind you until it’s parallel to the floor.
- Hold your position for a count of 5. Make sure not to let your dumbbell touch the floor.
- Gently come back to your starting position.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for the desired number of repetitions, then switch to your left side for a balanced workout.
Strong Hamstrings, Healthy Legs
Exercises like the single-leg dumbbell lift are a great way to stretch out and build stability in your hamstrings, as well as in your upper legs.
Another benefit of strong hamstrings is that by working on them, you can pretty effectively prevent injury that might occur from muscle strain or tearing.
Try Another Hamstring Exercise
There are many exercises that you can do to work on your hamstrings!
Another move that you can try is the glutei bridge, which involves lifting your torso and upper legs into the air from the ground. This exercise not only works the hamstrings but can help strengthen your core and glutes as well!
Get Hamstring Smart
A well-rounded workout should include leg work – especially when it comes to the hamstrings! Because these muscles are so important to your body, working the hamstrings can help benefit just about every other exercise you do.