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Stability Ball Hamstring Curl for Stronger Running [Ep43]

Stability Ball Hamstring Curl for Stronger Running [Ep43]

In this video I’m going to show you a simple
but effective exercise to target your hamstrings. Whether you’re rehabbing a hamstring injury,
or simply trying to strengthen your hamstrings, the stability ball hamstring curl is a great
exercise. Today, I firstly want to show you how to get
started with this hamstring exercise. Stick around to the end of the video as I’ll then
be showing you how to progress the exercise and make it more challenging, as you strengthen
those all-important hamstring muscles. So to begin with lay on your back with both
heels and the bottom of your calf muscles on the ball. You may want to put your elbows
on the ground beside you to provide stability here, as you proceed to engage your core,
clench your butt and lift your hips off the floor. Maintaining this elevated position, with your
hips off the floor, pull the ball in towards your butt, flexing both the knee and the hip
as you pull your heels in towards you. From the point where your can’t pull the
ball any closer, slowly return the ball to the start position as you straighten your
legs. Aim to achieve three sets of twenty, slow
and controlled reps. I’m often asked why I don’t get runners
to lift their hips up as far as possible with this, as you’ll see some coaches do, keeping
the hips pushed into extension as the knees flex in isolation. Simply put, that’s not how the body works.
The hamstrings are what we know as a bi-articular muscle group, meaning that they cross two
joints – in this case, both the knee and the hip. Classically we categorise the hamstrings
as flexors of the knee, and extensors of the hip. However the important point to make is that,
as with most bi-articular muscles, when the hamstrings contract we only normally get their
concentric action at one or other of the involved joints. Think about it in running gait. When looking
at the hip and knee in the sagittal plane, simply looking at flexion and extension, we
only ever see two combinations – we see the knee flexing as the hip flexes, and the knee
extending as the hip extends. It’s these two combinations we want to mimic
as we’re training the hamstrings through this exercise. So you’ve been practicing the stability
ball hamstring curl with two legs, and getting pretty strong at it? Maybe it’s time to progress the exercise
and challenge yourself one leg at a time! The exercise is very similar to the previous
double leg version, except it significantly increases the load on the hamstrings, and
of course challenges your core strength much more, as your body is now working asymmetrically. The set-up is very much the same, except we
now have to consider what to do with the free leg. I get my athletes to keep the hip flexed
on the hanging side, as it seems to help with maintaining core control. Let me know in the comments, how you get on
with the stability ball hamstring curl, and if you have any questions! Speak to
you soon, Bye now!

6 thoughts on “Stability Ball Hamstring Curl for Stronger Running [Ep43]”

  1. Excellent video & explanations James, thank you.
    I have an issue with this exercise: it seems this exercise requires a small stability ball. The one recommended for my height (1m86 / 6ft1) was a 65cm diameter ball, but doing the exercise is difficult. Which ball size do you recommend for this particular exercise? Yours looks small in the video.

  2. Great videos:) I am 16 and I want to run a marathon by the end of this year, I started running around a year ago and I am learning lost of new tips from you, keep up the great videos

  3. James, excellent Youtube channel, absolutely top class. Just a quick question – I can see how this exercise helps with the knee flexion function of the hamstring, but it's a bit harder to see where it benefits the hip extension? Could you shed some light please? Cheers.

  4. Whenever I do this I feel like my Hamstrings and calves are on the verge of cramping. It's the weirdest sensation. I do deadlifts and other stuff for my hamstrings. I don't understand why this exercise feels so terrible to me 🙁 does anyone have advice??

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