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Hamstring strengthening at home?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm ready to start running again after my pulling my hamstring playing soccer but want to do something to make my hams stronger.

Any ideas for strengthening a hamstring at home (without a gym)? I know leg curls are normally the way to go but I just quit my gym so I don't have access to that equipment.
post #2 of 15
i assume you don't have weights, either, for something like a standing dead-lift.

maybe find a cord that stretches, attach one end to your ankle, the other end to whatever will allow you to flex (heel to butt) the hams. at some point, as far as really addressing the situation and getting the hamstrings stronger, you'll need weights; otherwise you're quickly into the diminishing returns area.

also, resume jogging when you're able. just as biking will focus on the quads(front of the leg), so does jogging work and strengthen the hamstrings. and stretch those things after the jog. treat this as long-term; it takes longer than you'd think (based on how you feel) to truly get the hams back to optimal strength and balance.

edit: also, if you have a partner available, you can have them supply resistance with their hands, varying the degree and duration of pressure while you do the flexing motion.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 26, 2001 01:03 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #3 of 15
Uh oh! here she goes again with the stability ball. Lie on your back. Put your heels on the ball, hip width apart, knees parallel. Keep abs contracted. Gradually extend your into a bridge position. At the top, straighten your legs. Now roll down vertebra by vertebra, keeping your legs straight. Now keep your legs straight, and come back up into the bridge. It will be hard, to keep your balance, but that's what makes it good.
post #4 of 15
somebody please deflate that darned stability ball before somebody's eye gets put out...

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, Ryan and Lisa. Now what the heck is a stability ball?

If it's what I'm thinking (a big ball?) then I'm not sure I understand the exercise you're talking about. When you say "Bridge" do you mean that I lift my butt off the floor so that my weight is supported by my feet (on the ball) and my shoulders on the floor? Ugh, reminds me of doing neck bridges in wrestling practice! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #6 of 15
Yep, a big ball. Similar to the wrestling bridges, but the weight is more on the shoulders and less on the neck.
post #7 of 15
I think they are called Roman Situps.

Lay on your stomach with your feet firmly anchored undersomething heavy. A heavy sofa may work, if not have some one sit on it while you do these.

Bending at the knees raise your body off of the floor. You can use your hands to assist (sort of like a push-up) but use your the contraction of your hamstrings as the primary lever.

Second- Pick up some rubber tubing or some ankle weights. For the tubing. Wrap the tubing around the leg of chair by the floor. Wrap the other end around your ankle. Stand facing the chair. Keep your upper leg still and contract at the knee pulling against the cord. Go to about a 90 degree bend.

With the ankle weights - do the same movement just replace the tubing with the ankle weights.

Third option. With a parnter. Lay on your stomach. Have a partner stradle your butt holding your ankle with one hand - two if you have really strong hams. As you do a leg curl have your partner apply resistance. Make sure your partner has a sense for how much pressure he/she is applying so they can keep it equal on both legs.

Fourth - Straight leg deadlifts. Use a couple of full gallon jugs to start. Stand with your feet close together. Keeping your back straight, hold the jugs in each hand. Bend at the waist to the point where you feel the urge to roll your lower back. At that point raise back up. Make sure your arms hang straight down to the ground. It also helps if you think of pushing your butt back while you bend at the waist. This puts the majority of the work on the hams and lower glutes and not on the lower back.

Just a few things I've used from time to time.
post #8 of 15
Walk backwards up the stairs.
post #9 of 15
Lie face down on the bed or coffee table if you have one with knees just over edge (like leg curl machine at the gym) Fill a book bag or small gym bag with some weight (start light until you see what you like). Grip the bag between your feet and do leg curls.

Get 2 bags with weight and handles, a broom or mop handle and do straight leg dead lifts.

Lunges, lunge walk, any type of lunge.

Few quick and easy ones...have fun
post #10 of 15
Cycling with clip in peddles and full peddle strokes are great. Also a stretch band is great. In my general fitness routine for getting ready to ski, I include work in the gym for hams. Leg pull with about 50 lb. Great for putting a lot of strenght in the hams. Also, don't forget to lossen up.
post #11 of 15

You should be able to do straight leg deadlifts with dumbells at home. Find a couple of paint cans (with handles) and do the exercise like this.

post #12 of 15
Here's a no brainer. Put on your ski boots and do standing leg curls. Careful not to let your working knee get in front of your standing knee.

The bands are great. I will probably bring a few to Fernie, if anyone wants to see some stuff.

BTW, you can do the bridge exercise with the feet up on your ced. The hamstrings act more as stabilizers, but its still pretty decent.
post #13 of 15
Here's a good one (and similar to the one LisaMarie mentioned, minus the stability ball). Lay down on the ground in front of a coffee table (or any other thing of roughly the same height). Put your heel up on the table in such a way that your legs are bent about 90 degrees. Press your heel down against the table as you rasie you butt and lower back off the ground. Concentrate on using just your hamstrings. Lift untill only your shoulders are touching the ground, then lower and repeat. Do this movement slowly for 2- 3 sets of aroung 15-25 reps each.

You'll definitely feel it in your hamstrings!
post #14 of 15
You can also do these bridge exercises with one knee bent up to your chest. You will really need to keep your standing leg in alignment.
Keep in mind that bridges also work the abdominals eccentrically, which means they are lengthening as they contract. So they are the perfect balance for crunches, which involve concentric abdominal flexion. Try to feel as if your abs connect to your spine as you go up and down from the bridge.
post #15 of 15
Your gonna need 10 feet of sugical tubbing, 3 tins of axle greese, 20 10 weight ball bearings, and a live chicken...opps wrong forum. GO TO A PHYSICAL THERAPIST.
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