This hamstring exercise focuses primarily on building eccentric strength of the hamstring muscles. Use it for general strength training and rehabilitation. The Nordic hamstring exercise is a popular choice for sports where hamstring injuries are common – the biggest culprits are soccer and sprinting, due to the eccentric contribution just before and during the foot strike in the running motion. The exercise is suitable for beginners and advanced users – adjust the resistance in the range of motion and the external weight according to the training status of the person.
Kneel on a soft surface, such as an exercise mat, with back straight, hands at chest level, palms facing away from body. Have a spotter hold the lower legs. Lower the body to the floor slowly and in a controlled motion – resist the urge to fall by tightening the hamstrings. Keep the hips straight. On the floor, use a push-up motion to return to the starting position. Do three to five reps per set.
Do it well
Slowly lower your body forward. Avoid jerking and keep the hips straight.
Once you experience too much strain on the hamstrings, relax and use the arms and hands to break the fall.
Use the hamstrings to resist falling until the downward movement can no longer be resisted. At that point, relax the hamstrings and drop to the floor, slowly lowering yourself with your arms and hands. Do the desired number of reps.
Add extra weight by holding a weight plate or dumbbell in front of your chest and then doing the standard exercise. The extra weight increases the tension on the hamstrings, making progressive overload a part of the training program.
- Biceps femoris