by: Lino Cappelli
The hamstrings are an integral part of lower body function; they help maintain knee health and contribute to power production during hip extension. However they usually go by under trained, and the results can be seen in the numerous and constant knee injuries at both the recreational and competitive level.
One of the most common justifications for under working hamstring is that unless you have a curl machine or GHD, it’s very difficult to do so. It is understandable that most crossfit and functional training facilities do not possess this equipment because it is very expensive and does not match the minimalist and sports specific themes, also- most of us consider deadlifts and squats enough stimulus to the hamstrings, but they are not.
The hamstrings must be trained in isolation on top of the stimulus they get from the compound lifts because the big lifts recruit muscle from the quads and glutes. The simplest way to isolate the hamstrings is with “buddy” hamstring: you get a buddy to kneel on the soles of your feet and you do something similar to a glute-ham raise, minimalist and effective. Unfortunately, you don’t always have a buddy, or at least a competent one, so today you will learn how to build a “forever alone” hamstring trainer.
We put together a very simple, effective and frugal hamstring trainer using a 2” thick by 10” wide by 12’ long piece of lumber that cost $18. We had an employee at Home Depot cut it up into:
- 3, 20” pieces for the crossbars.
- 2, 12” pieces for the columns.
- 2, 30” pieces for the main body.
Then we screwed everything together using 3.5” deck screws, a box of 50 costs us $7.
To make it more comfortable and sanitary, old gym matting was cut up and glued onto the main body and covered in duct tape.
Here is a quick demonstration of how the exercise should be done:
ALWAYS maintain a straight line from knee to ear.
Start from the top and push your hip through, descend as slow as possible until the resistant is too great and brace with your hands on the floor. Push off the floor as you push your hips through on the way up to maintain a straight line between knee/ear
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