Hamstring Strengthening Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Jo! Today I am going
to show you some hamstring strengthening exercises. Now I’ve already showed you a whole lot of
stretching exercises for your hamstrings, so you can check those out on my other video.
Once you’ve gotten everything stretched out, you can come here and we’ll do some strengthening.
So we’re going to start off on our backs. Here we go. The first exercise we’re gonna
do is called bridging. So you want to have your feet about shoulder width apart. You
want your neck to be nice and relaxed, you don’t want to strain your neck, and what you’re
gonna do is you’re gonna go straight up. Now you want to keep yourself in a line. You don’t
want to hyper extend your back and arch it, and you don’t want to be slumped down either.
You want to come where you are in a straight line, and you are just going to pause, and
slowly come back down. That’s working those hamstring muscles back there. Do about 10-15
until you feel that burn, and if you get to 20-25 and it’s really easy, then you can switch
to one leg. You’re still coming straight up, and you want to be in a straight line. You
don’t want to be arched, and you don’t want to be down low. If you are down low, if you
can’t get straight, then that means you probably not ready for a single leg. Slowly coming
down, slowly coming back up. So that’s the single leg bridging. Then the next one, I’m
going to have you roll over onto your tummy. This would be a good one if you have some
ankle weights or some kind of weight you can put around your ankle. You will probably eventually
want to use ankle weights. Otherwise, just try it without it, and see how it feels. It
depends on what kind of injury you have to your hamstring. What you are going to do is
just bring your heel back as far as you can to your bottom. Now my back is probably arched
a little bit because I am up on my elbows. You don’t have to be up on your elbows. Make
sure you are comfortable. If you want to lie all the way down like this you can, but you
really want to go nice and controlled, all the way back as far as you can. Slowly come
back down. So the next exercise we’re gonna do is going to be standing up. Okay, so the
next hamstring strengthening exercise is going to be standing. With your standing exercises
hold onto something to start off with, you can even just get a chair and hold onto the
chair, but you want to make sure that you’re stable, so you are doing the correct form.
If you’re not doing the correct form, then you are not really getting good exercise.
So the key with this one is the top part of your leg, you want it to stay flat and even
with the other leg. So I’m going to show you what I am talking about. You wanna curl your
leg back, a hamstring curl, and keep this part in the same spot. So your hip is not
flexing. If you’re coming up like this, that’s not the exercise that we are looking for,
so see if you can keep your hip straight, and just bend at your knee. So you are curling
back. This is another one that if you can do this 20-25 times, and you’re not having
any pain, then you can get some ankle weights, and start building yourself up to get more
resistance for that hamstring curl. The last two exercises I’m going to show you, I’m going
to briefly go over them because I did show you them in the knee strengthening exercise
video. So you can go check that one out to have a little more detail. So the last two
are squats and lunges. So the next key component with the squat is, remember how we talked
about, you don’t want your knees going in front of your toes. So in the other video,
I had you actually sit down onto something like a chair or a couch, but I’m just going
to show you without anything behind me, and this is the higher level where you know you
can squat down and come back up without falling. You want your feet about shoulder width apart
and you want to make sure those knees do not go in front of the toes. If you are squatting
down like this, that is not what we are looking for. Stick your bottom back like you are going
to find a chair. So you’re squatting down. You’re keeping equal weight through your feet.
I’m not back on my heels, and I’m not up on my toes, but there’s equal weight through
out my feet. I’m squatting down and coming back up. Use your arms as a balancer, bring
your hips forward, your center of balance, make sure it’s not too far forward, and not
too far back. If I’m trying to sit, and put my bottom straight down, I’m not going to
be able to do that without my knees going in front of my toes. Squatting down, and coming
back up. So that’s the squat. The last one is a lunge. So in the other video, I showed
some books on the ground that you could use as a target. Now this is the step up where
you don’t have a target, but same kind of thing, you want to get in your lunge position,
but you don’t want that knee going in front of the toes. You want your toes pointed forward.
Toes pointed forward in the back as well. You’re going to go straight down to the ground
and come back up. You can either stay in one spot, as long as your knee stays behind your
toes, or when you lunge down, you can step back, and that’s going to give you that extra
push on those hamstrings. So you can start off in one spot, do about 10-15 of those.
Then make sure you switch sides, or you can lunge down and come back up. Alright, so there
you have it, those are your hamstring strengthening exercises. And remember if you want to see
the modified versions of the squats and lunges, go check out the knee strengthening exercises
at askdoctorjo.com And remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

Daniel Yohans

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