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Coach Sommer

Bodyweight Hamstring Curl

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Coach Sommer

I use a variation of this movement with my athletes. Begin on your knees with your shins flat and your feet either secured by a training partner sitting on them or anchored under something (couch, bookshelf etc). If training alone, as you descend use your hands to self spot and aid in the performance of this exercise. I prefer to use fingertips with the hands turned fingers backwards during the spot as this tends to minimize unconsciously over-spotting.

If training with a partner, I have found it most effective to have the partner hold your arms extended behind you (it will appear as though he is holding the reins to a horse carriage). He will then spot you by pulling on the arms and controlling the rate of descent and ascent. Again, it is quite easy to over-spot this movement.

From the kneeling position, you will now descend to the floor. Keep the body extended with the hips flat at all times. Do not allow the hips the pike and the glutes to extend out behind, as this is simply the body seeking to escape from the strain of the movement. Using either the hands or the assistance of your partner, provide just enough assistance to complete the repetition.

It is a very productive movement using just bodyweight, but later on when strong enough, you may also hold a weight plate across the chest to increase load. Add load cautiously however, as this movement places significant stress on the hamstring insertion (up high on the hamstring at the bottom of the glute) and it is possible to overload and get a hamstring pull that you could most certainly live without!

The best performance I know of with this movement was done a member of the Bulgarian Mens National gymnastics team who was capable of an astounding 25 reps, completely unaided and unspotted. Sadly, all of my athletes still require a light spot during their repetitions :(.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Guest Ido Portal

Coach!

This exercise is a staple in my program and used often in supersets with the squat variations. (one or two legged)

You can also use the swedish ladder for anchor, and instead of padding the knees, I prefer to put a foam under the kneecap, at the shin and to slightly elavate the patela off ground.

It helps with my ears, since I get a lot less complaints from my athletes.

Also using an elastic band secured to a higher bar in the swedish ladder and attached around the chest and under the armpits is another good option for self spotting.

I have a number of athletes that are able to complete 1-3 reps of this movement. (me included)

25 reps is amazing.

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Coach Sommer

The third exercise in Ross' video is a hamstring curl (also sometimes called a leg curl), not a glute ham raise. A leg curl pivots around a single axis, which in this case is the knee. A glute ham raise pivots around two different axis; the knee and the hip.

There are several versions of glute ham raises available; one of which can be performed utilizing the same anchoring system as Ross demonstrated in the leg curl. From an anchored kneeling position, and while keeping the hips flat, lean forward as far as possible. Now keeping the hips stationary, lower the upper body until the forehead touches the ground and then return back to the leaning, flat hipped position. The greater the degree of lean, the more intense and productive the movement will be.

Do not allow the hips to push backward as the torso lowers to the ground. This will greatly negate the benefits of this movement. Maintain the stationary position of the hips for all of the repetitions; the torso will pivot up and down around the hips, but the hips will remain stationary.

By the way, nice performance by Ross.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Martin

Coach, so what is the difference between Ross' leg curl and the bodyweight hamstring curl you described?

Do you have a picture of your exercise, because after re-reading it again it still sounds similar...sorry, perhaps i'm just a visual learner lol :lol:

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Coach Sommer

The leg curl and the hamstring curl are simply different names for the same movement. The confusion came from Ross' movement originally being identified as a glute ham raise.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Guest Ido Portal

Another common name is 'Harop Curl'.

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George Launchbury

Hi Ryan,

May not be the norm here ...but elsewhere, T-Nation links are normally accompanied with the warning that it might not be work/family safe!?

Sometimes due to language, but mainly images that might get the unsuspecting browser in trouble with their boss/wife.

:)

-= G =-

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Coach Sommer

Zennode has the right idea as far as the anchoring of his feet, however the range of motion is far too abbreviated to be sufficiently effective. It will be more beneficial to extend the range of motion by lowering the torso completely to the floor prior to returning to the upright position. Review my initial post for instructions on how to self-spot this movement.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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zennode

Ok, so I lower all the way even if I can not come back up on my own?

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Coach Sommer

If training alone, as you descend use your hands to self spot and aid in the performance of this exercise. I prefer to use fingertips with the hands turned fingers backwards during the spot as this tends to minimize unconsciously over-spotting.

The above is from my original post.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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