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  • Deanne Panday

Importance of your hamstrings



We often find ourselves intensely working our glutes. And why not? A sculpted butt is one of the many things we wish to achieve through our workout regime. But did you know, glutes are not the only muscles shaping and toning your butt? Amidst the heavy focus on our butt, we tend to forget working our hamstrings. They are as important as your glutes. The lower part of your butt is attached to your Hamstrings. Although often neglected, hamstrings serve as a muscular pillar which hold up your butt.


Now, What exactly are Hamstrings and what role do your Hamstrings play?

The hamstrings are the tendons that attach the large muscles at the back of the thigh to bone. The hamstring muscles are the large muscles that pull on these tendons.These muscles span the thigh, crossing both the hip and the knee. They originate or begin at just below the buttocks, arising from the bone on which we sit.


Knee Function

The main function of your hamstrings is to bend your knees. This movement is performed during daily activities such as walking, running, climbing stairs and jumping. Your hamstrings also help rotate your lower leg.These movements optimise the position of your lower legs as you walk. Your hamstrings also function like brakes on a car to slow the speed at which you swing your leg forward while kicking or running.


Hip Function

Your hamstrings perform. Although the muscles in your buttocks are the main muscles that perform hip extension, your hamstrings help with this motion as you move from sitting to standing, as well as with squatting and jumping. Hip extension performed by your hamstrings also helps lean your body forward as you run.


IMPORTANCE OF HAMSTRINGS


1.Explosiveness

When executing explosive movement, like jumping, sprinting, power walking, etc. these muscles play an important part in shifting the load from your knees to your hips. For example, a sprinter’s ability to launch off the blocks and catch speed depends on strong hamstrings.


2.Deceleration

When you’re running downhill, the lengthening of your hamstrings helps you to control the speed of the descent. This ability to properly decelerate lowers the amount of pressure on the joints in your lower body and prevents injury.


3.Posture

Strong hamstrings work to stabilize your hips and keep your spine properly aligned.

If your hamstrings are weak and tight, they’ll tug on your hips, tipping them forward and compromise functional movement. A swayback posture, in which your lower back arches and shoulders round may result.Hamstrings also keep your knee and surrounding connective tissue in alignment.


Perform the given below workout to fire up your hamstrings and make your glutes pop!

4 X 20 : Squats

4 X 20 : Lunges

4 X 20 : Dumbbell Deadlifts

4 X 20 : Leg curls


STRETCH YOUR HAMSTRINGS


Tight, weak hamstrings lead to an unhealthy and constricted body. By strengthening and stretching your hamstring muscles as part of your everyday fitness routine, you can achieve strong thighs that will support the rest of muscle groups, preventing injuries and improving physical abilities. However, the hamstring muscle is one of the easiest to workout with a foam roller by performing the Hamstring Roll exercise - a great foam rolling movement for loosening the hamstrings and working out any tight areas of muscle. Foam rolling the hamstrings to loosen the muscle, increase blood flow and work out muscle knots. This is a great method of warm-up and recovery.

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