Upper-Hamstring Exercises

Runners leg knee pain injury
Sometimes assistance is needed for stretching the hamstrings. (Image: blyjak/iStock/Getty Images)

The upper hamstrings, sometimes referred to as the glute-hamstring tie in, is one of the more important muscular junctions in the body. This is where some of the most powerful movements the body creates are generated. This is also a place where some postural problems begin. Because of this, this area needs to be strong to help prevent injuries and maintain good posture.

Stiff Leg Deadlift

The stiff leg deadlift is one of the best exercises for the upper hamstring region. To do the stiff leg deadlift place a barbell at your feet and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat to grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart, and lift your hips in the air, keeping just a slight bend in the knees and your back straight. Use your hips and hamstrings, not your back, to lift the weight off the ground until you are standing straight. Bend at the waist with the knees slightly bent, and the back straight until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Repeat.

Good Morning

The good morning has the same movement as the stiff leg deadlift, only instead of holding the weight in front of you, the weight is placed on the shoulders, much like it would be in a traditional back squat. This change severely alters the leverage of the weight, meaning that a much lighter weight must be used for this exercise to be done correctly.

Single-leg Floor Bridge

The single-leg floor bridge may look simple at first, but after a few reps, you will feel your upper hamstrings burning. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground about 6 inches from your butt. Lift one foot in the air and drive the hips up by pushing off the ground with the opposite leg. Make a straight line with the shoulders, hips and knee. Hold at the top for a moment before slowly returning to the ground, but before any weight can transfer back to the ground, lift the hips right back up again.

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