Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adjust Lunges and Step Ups To Strengthen Hamstrings

I will always stress strengthening and conditioning your is one injury that you want to avoid. Hamstring injuries can derail your whole season because just when you think the "hammy is healed," you "tweak it" again.

Lunges and step ups are strength exercises that you should be doing as an athlete. These exercises use the same pathways that it takes to run. Make these small adjustments when you do these exercises to work your hamstrings more and quadriceps less:

1. When doing the lunge exercise, step out further and your hamstrings will be worked more. A small step works your quadriceps more. Most people have adequate quadriceps strength and inadequate hamstring strength. Dominant quadriceps and weak hamstrings can lead to serious injuries such as knee ACL tears.

2. A higher step used for the step up exercise will work your hamstrings more. Your step platform or bench should be at least knee high.

Making small changes to your exercise technique can make a big difference! Try these techniques the next time you do lunges or step ups!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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