Ham It Up Sculpt Horny, Robust Legs Copy

Glutes get all the attention these days. Nothing compliments your bum like tight, sculpted hamstrings. Shapely hamstrings are not only a synergist for many buttock movements, they also give the profile a sexy curve and are the perfect accessory for your skinny jeans, shorty shorts and leggings. Well trained hamstrings are even more important than looks for injury prevention, especially in athletes.

In fact, thigh injuries are one of the most common in sports. And you don’t have to be fit for a match or game to be at risk. Hamstring injuries usually occur while running and sprinting, especially with quick bumps and quick stops. Since we know that you regularly incorporate HIIT sprints into your workout, hamstring strength and conditioning are essential to keep you away from the doctor’s office, the gym, and on the way to your goals.

I know what you’re thinking, “I’m already training hamstrings.” The question is, are you exercising them enough, as one of the leading causes of hamstring injuries is muscle imbalances. For example, typical leg workouts emphasize the quads, and when the front of the thigh is more developed than the back, the thighs are at risk of injury. And once you have a thigh injury, some research suggests the recurrence rate is almost twice that of other injuries

What can a suitable girl do? Consider adding volume to your hamstring training with ours HAM IT UP program with Ashley Kaltwasser, Bikini Olympia Champion 2015. Ashley is an eleven-time IFBB bikini champion and former division 1 athlete and knows everything about the functional and aesthetic importance of hamstrings. Ready, Set, Go HAM!

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DO IT RIGHT

GLUTE-HAM RAISE

GLUTE-HAM RAISE

This exercise can be done with a partner holding your ankles or by securing your ankles under a device. When stepping from the floor, you should fold a towel or mat and place it under your knees. Descend to the floor and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your knees. Activate your hamstrings and glutes to control movement. When you hit the ground you land on your hands. Gently squeeze your hands off to return to the upright position.

Ashley’s tip: “The less you bump off the floor, the more you rely on your hamstrings to get the job done.”

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

Start standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. With a slight bend in your knees and your back straight, push your glutes back and pivot them at your hips to lower your body down and grab the bar just outside your legs. Look straight ahead as you move your hips forward to lift the barbell. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, then slowly lower the barbell back to the floor, keeping the weight close to your shins. The further the weight is from your legs, the more you feel it in your lower back.

Ashley’s tip: “If you have difficulty gripping the bar, try a reverse grip by lifting gloves or harnesses.”

BANK DUMBBELL HAMSTRING CURL

BANK DUMBBELL HAMSTRING CURL

Place a dumbbell face down on the bench between your feet. Take the bench to stabilize your torso and core. Curl the dumbbell by pulling the Achilles tendon together. Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Ashley’s tip: “Make sure your feet are firmly fused together so you don’t drop the weight.”

HAMSTRING CURL MACHINE

HAMSTRING CURL MACHINE

Lie face down on the machine with the pad against the back of your ankles. Keep your hips pressed into the bench as you slowly bend your knees up. Press the top for two seconds and slowly bring the weight to the starting position. To repeat.

STABILITY BALL WITH ONE LEG

STABILITY BALL WITH ONE LEG

Lie on your back on the floor with your heels on a medium-sized exercise ball. Raise your hips as high as possible, keeping all of the weight on your upper back and shoulders. Keeping your hips high, lift one leg straight in the air and roll your heel positioned on the ball toward your butt, then straighten your legs back to the starting position.

Ashley’s tip: “Don’t let your hips drop and try to keep the working leg from twisting in and out. The straighter the line, the more you target the hamstrings. “

GOOD MORNING

GOOD MORNING

To feel this exercise in your back rather than your lower back, remember to push your hips / glutes back instead of bending your body forward as you start moving. Remember to keep your weight in your heels, bend your knees slightly, and keep your hamstrings and glutes tense throughout the exercise.

Ashley’s tip: “Make sure you don’t bend over or lower yourself over 90 degrees.”

PULL THE CABLE

PULL THE CABLE

Attach a rope to the cable machine’s low pulley. Take one end of the rope with each hand and stand away from the stack. With your weight bent slightly in your heels and knees, fold it down at your hips until your torso is about 45 degrees from the floor. Finish the repetition by pushing your hips forward and squeezing your glutes.

Ashley’s tip: “Make sure you have a straight back – no bending over.”

DUMBBELL SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT

DUMBBELL SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT

Holding a dumbbell by your side in your right hand, bend your left knee slightly, and lift your right leg a few inches off the floor. Once you find balance, move your hips back to initiate the movement and reach the barbell toward your left leg while lifting your right leg behind you like a pendulum. Keep your weight in your heel and use your hamstrings to rise again.

Ashley’s tip: “Move in a slow, controlled motion to complete the move effectively and safely.”

STOP WITH ASHLEY

Look at Ashley’s “Keep It Fresh” Column at FitnessRxWomen.com for their fun and tasty tips on life. You can also find her on Facebook (/ BikiniProAshley), Twitter (@AshleyKFit), and Instagram (AshleyKfit). Ashley can be contacted for appearances via www.fmg-fitnessmanagementgroup.com.

REFERENCES

1. Liu, H., Garrett, W., Moorman, C. Yu, B. Injury rate, mechanism, and risk factors for thigh strain injuries in sports: A review of the literature. Journal of Sports and Health Sciences
1 (2): 92-101, 2012

2. McAllister, MJ, Hammond, KG, Schilling, BK, Ferreria, LC, Reed, JP and Weiss, LW. Muscle activation during various thigh exercises. J Strength Cond Res 28 (6): 1573-1580, 2014
http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Citation/2014/06000/Muscle_Activation_During_Various_Hamstring.11.aspx

3. Vigotsky AD, Harper EN, Ryan DR, Contreras B. (2015) Effects of exposure on good morning kinematics and EMG activity. PeerJ 2: e708 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.708

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