Face down Hamstring Curls
Face down hamstrings are a great “finisher”/”recovery”/”pre-hab” type exercise that works on the ligaments and tendons in the hamstrings. These can also be done as a warm up before starting training if you have any issues with your hamstrings.
At OC, behind the Athletic Training Platform(Belt Squat machine) we have straps connected to clip that is then connected to a band. Take the band and choke it on an upright or something secure, slip the loops over each foot and lay face down. Get some tension in the bands so that it is working both eccentric and concentrically(both directions kicking your butt and straightening your legs out should have band tension).
To ensure your working all portions of your hamstrings just change the direction your feet are pointing – neutral, toes out, toes in. For beginners we would recommend doing maybe 50 total repetitions. As you get more advanced or your hamstrings feel stronger you may increase the number. The track athletes that we work with typically do 300 hamstring curls a day and usually 2-4x a week(total of 600+ reps a week).
For another variation or if you suspect you have a bi-lateral deficit(one hamstring stronger than the other) you may do just one leg at a time. For even more variation and/or difficulty you may add ankle weights and perform the facedown hamstring curls.
After doing some hamstring curls it is normal for behind your knee where your hamstring crosses the knee joint to be sore and for your hamstring in general to feel “worked”.
Since we have added this exercise into peoples training we see a lot less hamstring issues but we also routinely get feedback that peoples knees “feel better”. Try them out and see if they work for you.
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