Get on the Glute-Ham Bench

26 Feb

DSCN1899DSCN1900In any sport that involves running — especially sprinting — hamstring strain injury is a common injury.

During sprinting, the hamstring muscle group is important because it decelerates knee extension and extends the hip.

Despite its importance, the hamstring muscle group is often ignored or neglected in favor of hip/quad dominant exercises (e.g., squat, leg press, etc.)

It has been demonstrated that risk factors such as weakness, lower hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio, and decrease in optimum length can be improved with hamstring eccentric training.

The Glute-Ham Raise is (arguably) the best exercise for the development of hamstring strength and hamstring injury prevention.  According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “… hamstring eccentric training seems to be crucial to address different risk factors for hamstring strain injuries, such as eccentric and concentric strength, hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio, and flexibility.” (Guex, K

Try performing the exercise by lowering yourself (eccentric phase) slowly — for example, to a 4-second count — then quickly and forcefully returning to the upright, starting position.

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