Today I focused primarily on two muscle groups that I need to build and define in order to bring balance and symmetry to my body, the glutes and the hamstrings. My goal is to bring a better version of myself to the stage each time I compete. However, building strong glutes and hamstrings is important for all of us. Many of us lead a lifestyle that includes prolonged periods of sitting and standing day after day. This can cause the glutes to become weak and over time fail to activate. I know this sounds silly, but the glutes are responsible for powerful movements, such as hip extension, hip abduction, and hip external rotation. When your glutes don’t properly activate, your body will compensate, possibly resulting in lower back pain.
What about the hamstrings? Out of sight, out of mind. We all have the tendency to give priority to what we can see in the mirror, ignoring the posterior section of the body. Hamstrings are made up of three muscle groups and comprise a large part of our legs. Research suggests that weak hamstrings may result in imbalances that can cause knee problems, strains, and ligament injuries. We often begin our workouts with heavy compound exercises that emphasize the quadriceps. Try doing some hamstring focused exercises early before your legs are too fatigued.
Here is the workout I did this morning. Keep in mind that the sets, reps, and rest are specific to my goals. Modify as needed.
Warm Up: 10 minutes on the stair stepper at a level 6 to 8. Light touch on the handles. Avoid leaning forward. Press through the heel to activate the glutes.
Plate Loaded Glute Kickbacks: 4 sets of 15 reps with no rest (pause and squeeze the glutes at the peak contraction)
Superset: Plate Loaded Single Leg Hamstring Curls: 4 sets X 15 reps & Straight Leg Dumbbell Deadlifts 4 X 20 reps with 45 seconds rest between the supersets
Seated Hamstring Curls: 4 X 15 reps with 30 seconds rest
Squat Machine: 4 X 15 reps with 30 seconds rest
Abductor machine: 3 X 20 reps with 30 seconds rest (lifted off of the seat and holding sides of the machine)
Calf Machine: 7 X 15 reps with 30 seconds rest
Finished with Killer Cardio HIIT on the Stairstepper (modify as needed). Workout is listed below–
Warm up 5 minutes: Level 8
30 seconds level 10 followed by 60 seconds level 15 (repeat for a total of 7 times)
30 seconds level 10 followed by 60 seconds level 16
30 seconds level 10 & 60 seconds level 17
30 seconds level 10 & 60 seconds level 18
5 minutes level 8 every other step
Cool Down: 5 minutes level 6
-Petersen, J., & Holmich, P. (2005). Evidence based prevention of hamstring injuries in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(6), 319-323.
-Holcomb, W. R., Rubley, M. D., Lee, H. J., & Guadagnoli, M. A. (2007). Effect of hamstring-emphasized resistance training on hamstring: quadriceps strength ratios. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 21(1), 41-47.
-Ebben, W. P. (2009). Hamstring activation during lower body resistance training exercises. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 4(1), 84-96.