J Life | April-June 2019 apr-may-19-jlife - Page 7

In these two exercises, the hamstrings and glutes of your standing or front leg are being strengthened in a lengthening position. This contraction is called an eccentric contraction and provides more strength and stability when the hamstrings and glutes are elongated. After performing these two hamstrings exercises, try your hamstrings stretch again. See if you notice more stretching sensation along the back of your thigh. Please note that it is possible to have tight and weak hamstrings as well. In this case, I would recommend improving the range of motion of your hamstrings position to the 80-degree angle before adding strengthening exercises. You may also experience some soreness in the back of your thighs following these exercises which can be a good sign that change is occurring. This soreness should last only 2 to 3 days. EXERCISE 1 HAMSTRINGS STRENGTHENING IN STANDING • Place your foot on a blanket a few inches away from the wall • Step your back foot 2 to 3 feet behind you with the long edge of your foot parallel to the wall • Slowly bend and straighten your front knee without moving the blanket *If the blanket touches the wall, slowly move out of the position by taking small steps in with your back foot instead of trying to pulling your front foot away from the wall. Perform 5- 10x’s on each side 2 • Feel the underside of your front thigh and inner thigh of your back leg engaging SINGLE STRAIGHT LEG DEAD-LIFT • Point both feet straight ahead, shift weight onto your left leg and lift your right leg straight back behind you. • Keep your right toes and knee cap pointing straight down to the ground by lifting your inner right thigh more towards the ceiling Perform slowly and with control Work up to 5 to 10 repetitions on each side to start This is a balance exercise, be patient and practice • Reach your chest forward and try to lift your thigh/heel as high as your hip while keeping your hip squared to the ground • Reach your fingertips towards the ground. Keep your standing knee unlocked but straight • Feel the muscles working along the back thigh and outer hip of your standing leg 7 7