Think you need a machine to build strong hamstrings? Think again!
Hamstrings are part of the posterior chain, a powerful group of muscles that include the back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. A strong posterior chain gives runners a stong push-off, promoting forward motion.
I love hamstring sliders for a few reasons:
- The movement specifically targets the hamstrings in a unique way.
- Can be performed at a higher frequency because they are easy on the joints, quickly developing muscle strength while being easy on the lower back and knees.
- Endless progressions and regressions to match you current strength level and long-term goals.
Equipment: sliders (I use furniture sliders for meant for carpet)
How to perform hamstring sliders:
- Lay on your back, with butt near the end of a yoga mat. Place each heel on a slider.
- Engage the core and glutes into a bridge. Maintain isometric hold while sliding the feet away from the body, achieving full extension.
- Return to starting position.
Variations are plentiful! It’s best to start with the basic movement, mastering the exercise and engaging the correct muscles without compensation. I utilized a resistance band above my knee to increase my hip abductor strength (abduction is movement away from the body). A short foam roller placed between the thighs works hip adductor strength. Adding weight to the slider or the core provides more of a challenge. A glide mat can be utilized for an eccentric variation (heels remain static; body slides on glide mat).
Single-leg hamstring sliders are the ultimate challenge, only to be attempted by experienced athletes.