Rob Riches
     

Rob Riches

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2007-11-21

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Fitness Competitor | Author | Host @beastsportsnutrition Athlete @powertecfitness Production Manager Latest Legs Workout

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The hamstring is one of the most injured muscles in sports. The Nordic ham curl (sometimes called the poor man’s glute-ham raise - aka GHR) is great for hamstring hypertrophy, increasing eccentric strength, and can help reduce the risk of hamstring injury - partly because it lengthens the hamstring itself. Like the GHR, they’re both bodyweight knee flexion movements that hammer the hamstrings. The difference is that the glute-ham raise uses a device that puts the body in an optimal position that allows a more effective range of motion. Both are awesome for hamstrings and while the GHR is a little more effective, you should feel no qualms about doing them Nordic style if you don’t have a GHR chair. It’s a “functional” exercise; it helps you run quickly and safely, which is a pretty natural movement. It’s also great for hypertrophy if you’re interested in building your physique and it’s good for people who just want their muscles to be strong. The Nordic ham curl is improving eccentric strength, which means you shouldn’t drop straight down to the ground from kneeling. You also don’t want to bend too much at the hips; you can lean forward a little, but try to keep the hips fairly neutral. I like to keep my feet in dorsiflexion (toes pointed down, not back), which helps the calf to contribute to knee flexion torque. You should really focus on trying to get your all out of the lowering portion (the eccentric phase). When you’re sprinting, your knee angle opens up during the swing phase and this lengthens the hamstrings while they’re heavily activated. The lowering phase of the Nordic ham curl will prepare the hamstrings for sprinting and help prevent signals. If you’re training for hamstring injury prevention, don’t even perform the concentric phase. If you're unable to control the lowering portion then try supporting yourself with a resistance band suspended from a power rack. This exercise will be shown in detail as part of my latest training video with @beastsportsnutrition which will be going live this week #nordichamstring #bodyweighttraining #legtraining #fitness

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