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Knee Strength

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby BrunoM » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:48 pm

Are there hamstring exercises that don't involve freeweights or machines?

Right now I do squats, step ups and step down, all targeting the quads.
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Postby bodyresults » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:10 pm

BrunoM wrote:Are there hamstring exercises that don't involve freeweights or machines?

Right now I do squats, step ups and step down, all targeting the quads.


There are a few options. The 1 leg deadlift is a good exercise. If you perform it with minimal leg bend more of the emphasis is placed on the hamstring. You'll still probably need to use some weight to make it challenging but you could hold a weighted pack or other household objects.

Another is the manual hamstring curl. You'll need a way to anchor your lower leg down. This is a very challenging exercises most people will need to assist themselves with their arms.
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An easier exercise is where you elevate your heels with your back on the ground and thrust your truck up. It hits both the glutes and hamstrings. The higher the elevation the more focus on the hamstrings.
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If you can use dumbbells or a barbell then my preference for pure hamstring strength would be the Romanian Deadlift
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Postby bird » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:15 am

For clearer deadlift instructions, check this out. http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Deadlift_Videos
For the previous deadlift video, it is actually not recommended to continue the movement in mid-air like that between each rep. At the end of each rep, the weights should rest on the floor.
Oh, yeah, Deadlifts are great for Hams and the entire posterior chain, as are kettlebell swings.
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Postby bodyresults » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:44 am

Mark Rippetoe has excellent information and that is a good video on the deadlift.

The exercise I suggest is a different exercise sometimes called the Romanian Deadlift and sometimes referred to as the semi-stiff legged deadlift. Bird may not be familiar with it.

The standard Deadlift is an excellent exercise but it has some risks. It’s really best to work with a hands-on coach for proper execution. The Romanian deadlift is easier to do with strict form to minimize lower back flexion on put most of the emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings. On the Romanian deadlift the key to getting more hamstring involvement in to only have a small knee joint bend of about 15-20 degrees. That in combination with keeping a neutral lower back will keep the muscular tension on the hamstrings and glutes.

When doing any type of deadlift the less knee bend you use the more tension on the hamstring and the more restricted the range of motion will be in the hip. A person can get extra range motion on the other side of the joint by using flexion on low back but it’s risky under the load of a deadlift. Therefore on a Romanian deadlift with on 15-20 degrees of knee bend most people will not have the hamstring flexibility to have the barbell reach the floor while maintaining a neutral lower back. It’s perfectly fine for the barbell to not come to rest on the ground between reps.

In the video I posted I used a regular deadlift to get the bar into the beginning position for the start of the exercise. It’s just as common for people to start with the bar in a rack a mid thigh level so you don’t have to pick it off the floor. A person will typically will handle about 70-80% in the Romanian Deadlift of what they would use in the regular deadlift.
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Postby bird » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:42 pm

Sure, I'm familiar with it. I just didn't recognize it based on that video.
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Postby tyler4588 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:03 pm

Another question, if I may:
Does strengthening those muscles around my knee help to mitigate the problems created by high-impact exercises like running? If not, what else can I do to prevent injuries from impact?
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