Eccentric Hamstring Exercise
Eccentric Hamstring Exercises
- Leg curls can be performed using a leg-curl machine. If you are standing, you can hook your ankle up to one of the cuffs attached to a leg-curl machine -- start with light weight. Curl your heel up to your glutes and then slowly lower to the count of 10. Repeat 8 to 12 times on each side and work up to three sets.
If you're working without weights, stand next to a wall for support and simply curl your heel up and down, adding a little resistance of your own and focusing on the lengthening. You can also do this lying down, with or without weight.
- A hamstring dead-lift is another effective exercise. You can hold dumbbells (soup cans or water bottles will also work if you don't have weights at home), a weighted bar or nothing at all. Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and slowly bend forward, hinging at your waist. Stop when your back comes to parallel with the floor and slowing lift back up, driving through your heels and keeping your knees slightly bent. Repeat 8 to 12 times and work up to three sets.
The "good morning" is an eccentric exercise that targets both your hamstrings and lower back. Hold a weighted bar on your shoulders (if you're not using weight, you can simply hold your hands behind your head) and perform the same motion, folding forward at the waist until your body is in a 90-degree angle. Slowly lift back up, keeping your core engaged.
Finally, a move known as the Nordic hamstring exercise requires the use of a partner. Kneel on a padded mat with your partner behind you and holding on to your ankles. Slowly lean your body forward and then lift back up, using an eccentric contraction of the hamstrings to do so.
- Breathe deeply and move slowly during all of these exercises. Never perform them two days in a row, unless under doctor's orders. The hamstrings should rest one or two days before you repeat the exercises.
When you've finished exercising, take 10 minutes to cool down, walk around and stretch your hamstrings (from a seated position, fold forward and reach your hands toward your feet; pause and take 10 deep breaths).