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Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

Exercises > Strengthening (Joints)Hamstring Strengthening Exercises

 

The following hamstring strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the hamstring muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these hamstring exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Hamstring Anatomy

Figure 1   Hamstring Anatomy

Begin with the basic hamstring strengthening exercise. Once this is too easy, progress to the intermediate hamstring exercises and eventually, the advanced hamstring exercises.

Hamstring Strengthening Basic Hamstring Exercise

To begin with, the following basic hamstring strengthening exercise should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily. As your hamstring strength improves, the exercise can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided it does not cause or increase pain.

Static Hamstring Contraction 

Begin this exercise in sitting with your knee bent to about 45 degrees (figure 2). Press your heel into the floor tightening the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times as hard as possible pain free.

Hamstring Exercises - Static Hamstring Contraction

Figure 2 Static Hamstring Contraction (right leg)

Hamstring Strengthening Intermediate Hamstring Exercises

The following intermediate hamstring strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 - 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the hamstring exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Bridging 

Begin this exercise lying on your back in the position demonstrated (figure 3). Slowly lift your bottom pushing through your feet, until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Tighten the back of your thigh (hamstrings) as you do this. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower your bottom back down. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Hamstring Exercises - Bridging

Figure 3 Bridging

Resistance Band Hamstring Curl

Begin this exercise lying on your stomach with a resistance band tied around your ankle as demonstrated (figure 4). Slowly bend your knee tightening the back of your thigh (hamstrings). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Hamstring Exercises - Resistance Band Hamstring Curl

Figure 4 Resistance Band Hamstring Curl (right leg).

 

More Intermediate Exercises

For more intermediate exercises that are designed to improve your hamstring strength and are vital for optimal hamstring conditioning 'Become a Member'

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Hamstring Strengthening Advanced Hamstring Exercises 

For advanced exercises that are designed to improve your hamstring strength and are vital for optimal hamstring conditioning 'Become a Member'

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Physiotherapy Products for Hamstring Exercises & Rehabilitation

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with hamstring strengthening exercises and rehabilitation click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.

 

Other Exercises

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Find a physiotherapist in your local area who can assist with hamstring strengthening exercises and rehabilitation.

 

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