Here are two hamstring exercises that I’ve had a tremendous amount of success with — yet I feel as if they’re still somewhat underused in the training of most athletes. So I decided to do a quick blog post to share them with my readers.
Upright Sled Walks seem to have taken a back seat to prowler pushes and heavy sled drags. Although I love prowler pushes and heavy ass sled drags (HASD’s); they aren’t meant to replace the upright sled walk. This is because dragging a sled with a vertical posture will hit the hamstrings better than dragging with a forward lean. Upright sled drags are especially great to incorporate during the competitive season because the concentric-only action will not make the athlete sore. In fact, they can be used the day after a game to accelerate the recovery process while also strengthening/conditioning the hamstrings. This exercise is one of the “staples” in the in-season programs I design for my NFL clients. NOTE: Make sure your entire foot strikes the ground when performing upright sled drags and think about “pulling the ground back” (fully extending) with every step. *See video below for proper foot strike/exercise technique.
Eccentric Valslide Leg Curls are one of the best off-season exercises for helping to prevent hamstring pulls and tears. (I don’t program these during the competitive season as they do have a tendency to cause muscular soreness.)
During the late swing phase of the sprint, the hamstrings contract eccentrically to decelerate the lower leg. This deceleration prevents the lower leg from extending too far out (excessive knee extension). If the knee excessively extends during this part of the swing phase, the foot will strike the ground out in front of the athlete’s hip; this is the #1 cause (overstriding) of hamstring pulls during sprinting. This is why eccentric strength must be part of a comprehensive strength program. I prefer the valslide eccentric leg curl (as opposed to a leg curl machine) because the glutes are involved to a greater degree. (FYI, furniture sliders can be used to perform this exercise if you don’t have the Valslide.) *See video below for proper exercise technique.
Start incorporating these two exercises into your programs and enjoy your new-found strength, speed and hamstring health!
SUPER STRENGTH – The final batch
Pictured above is my last box of Super Strength DVD’s. After these 80 copies are sold, this product will no longer be available. Although I am extremely proud of this dvd; I will eventually be coming out with an updated version, so I felt it was time to say goodbye to this classic 🙂
To celebrate the success of this DVD, I’ve decided to offer the remaining inventory at a discounted price. I was also feeling kind of sentimental so I individually signed all of the remaining DVD’s as a “thank you” for your support.
Thanks again for making SUPER STRENGTH an international success!