Functional Training for your Hammies

December 8, 2008

Hamstring training = leg curls right??

Not very functional

Not very functional

A great new(er) hamstring exercise is the slideboard leg curl. Whats great about this exercise is that it allows you to train the hamstrings while integrating other lower body muscles like the glutes with core contraction so that we can develop strength in the hamstrings while training for function. Another great thing about this exercise is that we can add load to it so that we can continue to develop strength as we get stronger, as opposed to developing muscular endurance (as with stability ball leg curls). 

There’s just two problems: 1) Slideboards aren’t cheap and 2) Most gyms don’t have one.

So what are you to do?

Simple, if you have a small towel or facecloth (that you are not currently using), place it on the floor and it will reduce friction enough to allow you to perform the exercise. The exercise is not complicated, however you do have to pay attention to technique. You’re not just flexing and extending your knees; you want to flex and extend the knees while keeping the glutes and core contracted tightly. A couple hints:

1) If your hips drop during the movement, the glutes are contracted enough.

2) If you feel it in your low back, your core muscles are not engaged enough.

So if you are looking for a great bang for your buck posterior chain exercise, you could  do a lot worse than slideboard leg curls!!




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