Exercise To Stretch and Strengthen Hamstrings

Exercise To Stretch and Strengthen Hamstrings

Sports Physiotherapist,  Angus Tadman demonstrates an eccentric exercise that is very effective in both stretching and strengthening your hamstrings.

Full Video Transcript

Hi, guys, Angus here from St Leonards Physiotherapy. What I wanted to go through with you today is a particularly good exercise for stretching out the hamstrings and strengthening the hamstrings and the posterior chain of our body, which includes the glutes. And basically, this exercise is what we call eccentric focus, and I’m gonna show you what that means.

Eccentric exercise is when we’re loading up a muscle at the same time as lengthening the muscle. So, it’s going into a stretch position, but it is also contracting to prevent us from dropping a load that we’re carrying, or the weight, or whatever that might be. This exercise that I’m gonna show you today is particularly good for anyone who’s participating in running or running sports, particularly sprinting. So, we’re talking football, soccer, any of those kind of types of running, where you need the power and the length in your hamstrings to prevent injury.

So, let me show you the exercise. It’s called a stiff-legged deadlift. And what we’re aiming for here is to get that stretching sensation at the back of the hamstrings when we come down. So, we’ve got our bar, which can have weight on it, but maybe just to start off, practice with just a bar without weight to get the technique. Slight bend in the knees, pressure slightly back towards the heels, and we’re trying to maintain that neutral lumbar spine.

As we lower the weight toward the floor, we’re keeping our knees in that same level of bend, and we wanna feel the stretch coming into the back of our hamstring muscles. And then, on the way up, you can just move a little bit faster, the idea being, we wanna emphasize this slow downward eccentric phase where our muscle is lengthening to get that stretch at the end, and then coming up a bit faster on the way up.

So, give this a go in the gym. Of course, if you’re having any pain or discomfort with regards to a hamstring injury or your lower back particularly, then please come and see us to be assessed. But otherwise, enjoy guys.