Resistance bands can be very effectively used to target the muscles of the hamstrings. They are a very common piece of equipment in home training set ups but a lot of there most effective exercises often go a miss, especially when it comes to the hamstrings. Try adding some of these 6 hamstring resistance band exercises into your next workout.
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The hinge is the movement pattern that builds the hamstrings, exercises like deadlifts and straight leg deadlifts are hinge exercises. Building strength and muscle in the hinge movement pattern with just the bodyweight is an impossible task. All the other movements patterns can be overloaded (stressed) in a way that creates adaptation with bodyweight except for the hinge movement pattern. That is why having a band for your home training is so advantageous, because it can allow you to target the hinge and build the hamstrings so much more effectively than just using bodyweight training.
The band allows you to build an extremely minimalist home training set up. For some people, this is their ideal resistance training set up, with a band, one or two kettlebells and their bodyweight and they have enough to build a base layer of strength in all movement patterns. If you’re using a minimalist training set up, it’s important to have access to a lot of exercise variation, to keep your training fun and interesting, have a look through our movement library to help design your sessions.
The resistance band is an exceptional way to maintain strength whilst traveling. For those of us that have a very consistent movement practice and enjoy training whilst on vacation this can be very beneficial. The resistance band has been shown to effectively maintain muscle mass when performed with enough band tension, meaning you can ensure you do not lose any muscle when you do not have access to a gym.
Finally a huge benefit of these movements is that they provide a very safe and easy way to move though the hinge range of motion, making them very effective warm ups. Take the banded good morning for example, this allows us to hinge with some tension on our lower back and hamstrings, allowing us to warm up both the muscles required to work the hamstrings and the skill of the hinge movement.
Overload is the amount of stress placed on the body in order to create an adaptation. A lot of resistance bands do not create enough overload to create an adaptation. This is a huge problem as it means you will not be making any progress. If this is just for a few weeks until you have access to a gym then it is not an issue, but if it is for an extended period of time you can find yourself wasting your time with your training. The key here is to find a band that provides enough tension to create adaptation.
Progressive overload is where the stress placed on the body is consistently getting more and more challenging. This is very difficult to do if you just have one band or two bands. Over the course of a few month your body will adapt to the stimulus and you will no longer make any progress. This is where having access to free weights becomes extremely beneficial, to allow the long term trajectory of your training to be constantly progressing. If you really do not want to use free weights, I suggest finding a variety of bands with very high tension. Once you’ve mastered the one of the highest tension, then accept that some of your training will be maintenance.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.