Vivian Grisogono


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Benefits: Strengthens the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh against gravity.
The muscles shorten to work concentrically as you bend the knee, and lengthen out eccentrically as you control the reverse movement. Besides helping to prevent hamstring injuries, it is an important exercise for muscle balance in the thighs, to protect the knees, hips and lower back.
Position: Lie on your stomach on a firm surface. You can put a cushion under your hips if it is more comfortable.
Action: Bend one knee as far as you can without forcing the movement, then slowly lower the foot to return to the starting position. Relax completely.
Repetitions and frequency: 5-10 times, 1-2 times a day on each leg in turn. If one side is weaker, do more repetitions for that leg
Note: If you get cramp in the muscles after a few repetitions, you are dehydrated and need to drink more plain water.
After injury: Important following hamstring, calf, knee, hip and some back problems. Following injury to a cruciate ligament in the centre of the knee, hamstring strength and efficiency is vital for recovery and prevention of re-injury.
Progression: When you can do the exercise easily, you can use a weighted boot or ankle weight. As you get stronger, you can use a hamstring curl machine and use gradually increasing weight-resistance.