The hamstring exercises are important to increase the strength, flexibility and resistance of the leg, in addition to being important to prevent and relieve pain in the lower back, since many of the exercises involve this region, and to prevent the occurrence of injuries. In addition, these exercises help to lift the buttocks, increasing muscle mass in the worked area and reducing excess cellulite.
It is important that posterior leg exercises are performed under the indication and guidance of a physical education professional to avoid the occurrence of injuries as much as possible, especially in the case of people who do not have much flexibility or who are sedentary.
The squat is a complete exercise that involves several joints and several muscles, including the muscles in the back of the thigh. There are several ways to do the squat, which can be done with just your body weight, with dumbbells, with the bars on your back or shoulders, according to the person's training level and goal.
In the case of positioning the bar on the shoulders, it is important that you hold the bar crossing your arms, that is, the right hand holds the bar touching the left shoulder and vice versa. In the case of the barbell on the back, which is the most common, it is recommended that the bar be held by placing the elbows towards the floor. In both cases, the heels must be kept fixed on the floor and the movement must be carried out according to the orientation received and in its maximum amplitude so that the muscles are worked correctly.
How to do it at home: At home, you can perform the squat with your own body weight and dumbbells, also paying attention to the range of motion and the fixation of the heel to the floor.
The exercise is one of the main exercises to work the posterior muscles and the glutes and can be done with either barbell or dumbbell, depending on the preference and degree of training of the person. The movement of the stiff is simple, the person should hold the load in front of the body at about hip height and lower it keeping the back aligned and the legs stretched or slightly bent. One way to give more emphasis to the movement is to push the hips back when the load is lowered.
There is also a variation of this exercise that is popularly known as "good morning", in which the bar is placed on the back, as in the squat, and the person performs the movement of the stiff.
Some people, to give a greater training load and favor hypertrophy, combine the stiff with another exercise for the posterior, often lying or sitting flexors. That is, they perform a series of one exercise and then perform the other. In these cases, it is usually necessary to have an interval of 1 min to 1 min and 30 sec for the muscle to recover enough to start a new series.
How to do it at home: To do the stiff at home, just have two objects with similar weights that can play the same role as the dumbbells and then do the same movement.
3. One-sided Stiff
The unilateral stiff is a variation of the stiff and also allows you to work the posterior muscles, in addition to promoting flexibility, strength and balance. The exercise should be performed by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of the body with one hand. Then, the leg corresponding to the hand that holds the weight must remain fixed on the floor, while the other is suspended in the air while the movement is performed. The movement is the same as the stiff, that is, the load must be lowered and then raised to the hip height, and this must be done according to the amounts indicated by the training plan.
At first it is common that there is imbalance and, therefore, it is recommended that the person leans slightly on a more or less high surface to avoid imbalance.
How to do it at home: As it is an exercise that does not depend on machines or barbells, the unilateral stiff can be easily done at home or outdoors. person picks up an object that he considers heavy and that can perform the same function as a dumbbell or kettlebell, or even use his own body weight to work the posterior muscles.
Like the squat, the deadlift is a complete exercise as it involves multiple muscles and joints, although it places more emphasis on the muscles located at the back of the thigh. This exercise is the opposite of the stiff, that is, instead of lowering the load, you must lift the load to hip height and then return it to the starting position. It is important to pay attention to the position of the spine and hip to avoid compensation.
Therefore, it is recommended that the exercise be done next to a mirror so that the posture can be observed in the first repetitions, making corrections if necessary.
As this exercise normally uses high loads to work the leg more and requires proper posture during its execution, it is not recommended that it be done at home so that injuries can be avoided.
5. Flexor seated
The sitting flexor, also known as flexor chair, is also an exercise indicated for strengthening and hypertrophy of the muscles present in the back of the thigh. It is important, before starting the exercise, that the bench is adjusted according to the person's height, being important that the back is well supported on the bench and that the knees are also aligned with the bench.
After adjusting the bench, the legs must be secured with the bar present in the equipment to avoid any type of compensation to perform the movement and then the movement of flexion followed by extension of the knee, and the extension should be performed more slowly to further stimulate muscle strengthening.
How to do it at home: This exercise can be done at home with the help of a medium-sized Pilates ball. To do this, you must support the ankles of the ball and pull the ball closer to the body by bending the leg and, if you stretch the leg, position the ball in the initial location. This exercise requires strength and body awareness, and it is important to keep the abdominal muscles contracted so that the posterior leg muscles are stimulated.
6. Flexor lying down
The lying flexor, also known as table flexor, is also one of the most used exercises in leg training to work the back of the thigh. Before performing the exercise, it is important to adjust the equipment according to the height and size of the legs, to avoid hip detachment and low back overload.
To do the exercise, just lie down on the equipment, fit your hip into the curve of the device, bend your knees to about 90º and return to the starting position more slowly. The amount of repetitions can vary depending on the type of training and load placed. It is important that the hips and legs are stabilized in the equipment so that there is no overload to the lumbar region.
How to do it at home: This exercise is a little more difficult to do alone at home, however it is possible to adapt it so that the same movement can be performed. For this, you must lie on a bench, with your belly facing down, and leave your feet out of the bench. Then, pick up the dumbbell with your toes and perform the same movement: bend your knees to a 90º angle and return to the starting position.
7. Back extension
This exercise, in addition to strengthening the lumbar region, also works the posterior muscles and, for that, the person must position himself on the machine, so that the hip is at the same height as the support, and then lean forward. Then, with the abdominal muscles contracted and with the strength of the posterior muscles, the body must be lifted until it is in a straight line, repeating the movement again afterwards.
How to do it at home: To do this exercise at home, it is interesting to have someone else help you to hold your ankles during the movement. It is also interesting that it is done next to a mirror so that the posture can be seen when returning to the starting position, as compensation often occurs with the hip, which facilitates the ascent but is not recommended.
The "kickback" despite being a more glute-oriented exercise also works the muscles located in the back of the leg. At the gym, this exercise can be done on a specific machine, in which the chest must be supported on the machine support and the leg must push the bar also present in the equipment, being the movement performed by one leg at a time. To work the muscle more it is recommended that after extending the leg, the return to the starting position is slower. The number of repetitions and sets to be performed depends on the type of training and the person's objective.
This exercise can also be done on the multi-station machine, where the person can attach one of the pulleys to the ankle and perform the same movement.
How to do it at home: To do this exercise at home, the person can stand on all fours and perform the same movement: stretch the leg, so that the knee is straight do not go too far beyond the height of the body, preferably staying at about the same height as the head, and slowly return to the original position. To intensify the exercise, you can put on a shin guard with weights. It is recommended that the person is placed on a mat or mat so that they do not hurt their knees during the exercise.