6 Exercises to Strengthen Weak Hamstings

Better Hamstring Strength
I have learned a lot over the last six months as it relates to the pelvis and hamstring activation, the importance of the adductors, and how much breathing plays into performance and activation.  Having mastered bro science in my 20’s I thought lifting was the gateway to becoming a better athlete. 
 
Fast forward into my mid 30’s my perspective was shifted significantly when I walked into an Ido Portal seminar. 5 years ago and got my ego crushed!  There were some monsters in the room that moved like transformers and I had to ask myself what have I been doing wrong?  My mind was blown that as strong as I was I couldn’t keep up!  After two days of getting my butt kicked my mind was changed forever.
 
Over the last few years I have constantly been on a quest to understand how the human body works and what I can do to master this untamable beast.
 
Working my way through FRC, PRI and a number of courses I started to get a deeper understanding of how the body works and what fundamentals are necessary to perform well.  The simple truth is that a good athlete just figures out how to get the job done.  Like a puzzle, athletes understand what is being asked and somehow manage to close the deal.  Typically the best in the world are also the best at compensating!  
 
I knew I needed to think long tern and how compensations would affect health! Could an athlete get the job done easier if they had the right tools? What is the price these athletes are paying in the process of doing things improperly?
 
The conclusion that I’ve come to is that many top athletes as well as your every day lifters lack the necessary foundation in movement skills and awareness!  But these can be taught! It is our job to present the information and make the changes required to turn things around.  The nucleus of it all is breathing.  Setting up an optimal environment for pressurizing the system.  
 
I needed to know how to assess clients and then determine how to prep the system for battle.  The next layer of performance comes from understanding how much the ribs and pelvis play into every movement.  Understanding joint centration and a developing a thoracopelvic canister that can serve as your platform for stability and power.  Once these two concepts are addressed then it’s time to work from the midline outward to build your athlete from the ground up.  This rebuilding process can take months to reinstall the kindergarten concepts necessary to get everything working properly, but once it is addressed watch out!!!
 
What I’ve put together is a great set of exercises for all the essential steps to train your hamstrings the right way!  Most people have a hard time dissociating their lumbar spine from their pelvis. Then when most athletes go to use their hamstrings they are in some type of anterior tilt which doesn’t provide an optimal position to create tension.  Without having the pelvis in a good position it’s nearly impossible to create high levels of strength in the hamstrings so the lumbar spine picks up the slack.  This not being learned properly with isometric training means the minute an athlete gets dynamic that they use the same patterns they always use, leaving them at the risk for injury while also operating at lower levels of performance.  The little program I put together here starts with some dissociation of the lumbar spine and pelvis to ensure you’re able to align your pelvis which ensures you can create a good fixed point. Then we attack low level activation of the hamstrings to start to turn them on.  The third drill ensures that we pressurize the system which allows for high levels of activation of the hamstrings as well as sets a good canister to work off of.  The fourth drill is a high level activation drill to really turn things on.  The Superman’s are used to get more dynamic without getting too crazy. The final drill is used to really challenge the system in a safe but effective way. 
 
I put this together in such a way that athletes and coaches can see how we break things down into pieces while having a test at the end to evaluate the effectiveness of the teachings.
 
Give this a shot and let us know what you think!
 
Banded Quadruped Lumbopelvic Dissociation (15-20 reps)

 
Supine Bridge (15 sec x 3 rounds)

 
Banded Supine Bridge (15 sec x 3 rounds)

 
Post Leg 90* Hammy ISO (10 sec x 3 rounds, then switch legs)

 
Walking Superman’s (16 reps)

 
Eccentric Hamstring Loader w Disks (AMRAP 3-5 sec eccentrics)

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