Strengthen your hamstrings with these six exercises
Having strong hamstrings makes it easier to do everyday movements like bending over while standing and getting up from a low seated position with ease. Strengthening your hamstrings adds flexibility and strength to your legs. Since they are connected to your back muscles, strengthening them can help reduce lower back pain. To work your hamstrings out, we have come up with six core exercises.
Sit down with your legs extended in front. Put your palms down and in line with your shoulders. Press down with your hands and lift your hips upward. Your body, from head to heels should be in a straight line. Keeping your core, glutes and hamstrings contracted, hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Do three sets of 10 reps each.
Good morning exercise
Stand with feet hip-width apart and keep your hands at your ears. Keep a soft bend in your knees, hinge forward pushing your hip back. Lower down your torso until you are parallel to the floor. Shift your hips forward as you return to the starting position. To increase the challenge, you can hold a barbell on your back. Repeat for about 20-30 seconds.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms out front at shoulder height. Take a deep breath and push your hips back a little. Now, engaging your core, lower down in a squat position. While you are at the bottom, pause to exhale the breath. Push back into a standing position. Do three sets of 10 reps each.
Single-leg glute bridge
Lie on your back on the floor. Keep your knees bent and hands by your sides. Then, extend your right leg upwards at a 45-degree angle. Lift your hips pushing the left foot off the floor. Engage your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift up. Lower your hips to the original position. Do two sets of 15 reps each on both sides.
Barbell hip thrust
Sit down with bent knees keeping your feet hip-width apart. Rest your upper back on a bench. Hold a barbell with your hands resting it above your waist. Push through your heels to lift your hips up, while keeping your upper back in place. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Lower your hips back toward the ground. Do three sets of 10 reps each.
Stand in a kickstand position, placing one foot behind the other. Elevate the foot that's behind and push your hips back. With dumbbells on each hand, slowly lower down to your feet hinging at your hips. Keeping your core tight, push back up to the starting position. Do two sets of 10 reps each, and then switch to the other leg and repeat.