Hamstrings In My Sights

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Hamstring Hell: Sliding Leg Curls

by Ben Bruno – 8/13/2013
Hamstring Hell: Sliding Leg Curls

Here’s what you need to know…

• Sliding leg curls are the real deal. They hammer your hamstrings in a unique and painful way.

• Unlike some exercises, they can be trained with higher frequency, which makes them ideal for fast hypertrophy gains.

• Sliding leg curls can be systematically progressed or regressed to match your strength level so you can experience consistent long-term gains.

Sliding leg curls are no joke. I’ve absolutely buried top athletes with those “wussy” sliders. And I’m talking super strong guys that can squat and deadlift obscene weights and do glute-ham raises like nobody’s business.

From a programming perspective, not only do they absolutely torch the hamstrings while being easy on the lower back and knees, they can also be done with a higher frequency, which is beneficial for building both size and strength.

However, like any exercise, you can eventually get good at sliding leg curls. That’s when you need to use progression, and sliding leg curls can be progressed to the point of being downright tortuous.

So here are some devilishly effective progressions of the standard sliding leg curl. All of these can be performed using a slideboard, sliders, or anything else you can McGyver. Just use them on any slick surface.

Remember, the key is to find the right progression for your current level and then strive to move forward from there.

1. “Squeeze” Sliding Leg Curl

These are just regular sliding leg curls done while squeezing something like a small foam roller or medicine ball between your knees. Here’s what it should look like, as demonstrated by Eirinn Dougherty.

I’ve seen coaches and trainers use this method with glute bridges and I just applied it to sliding leg curls, which is really a bridge derivative even though it’s more of a hamstring exercise than a glute exercise.

Interestingly, I started trying it as a way to get more bang for the buck by strengthening the adductors, but I quickly noticed that exercise form started to improve when athletes were forced to squeeze something.

People tend to screw up sliding leg curls by flexing at the hips (i.e., letting the butt sag), which takes the glutes out of it and greatly diminishes the usefulness of the exercise. However, when they’re forced to squeeze something, they do a better job of keeping the hips up and the glutes engaged. So besides working the adductors, it’s also become a good teaching tool.

You can also use heavier implements as you progress to increase the challenge to the adductors.

2. Resisted Single-Leg Sliding Leg Curl

Single-leg sliding leg curls are a great progression once you’ve mastered the regular version, but how can you employ progressive overload beyond just doing a ton of reps?

Well, two ways, and both can be great depending on what you’re looking to achieve.

The simplest method is just to put of small plate on top of the slide pad, or if you’re using a slideboard, put a small weight on a towel.

A little weight goes a long way, so even five pounds will make a big difference and ten pounds will transform the exercise into an absolute monster.

Another option is to drape chains, a weighted vest, or even a weight plate over your hips.

I like this method because it increases the challenge for the glutes on what’s otherwise more of a hamstring exercise.

3. Body Curl

Body curls are a great progression/variation from sliding leg curls. Instead of keeping your torso fixed and sliding with your feet, keep the feet stationary and move your body back and forth.

They work best with a slideboard, but you can make due by putting a couple of sliders underneath a plate and resting your shoulders on top of the plate.

Plate with slidersThe form cues for body curls are the same as for sliding leg curls, meaning you want to keep the hips up by thinking about keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

 

I have a light weight on my hips in the video, but start with just bodyweight.

4. Barbell Hamstring Body Curl

Once you’re comfortable with body curls, you can begin to load the hips to increase the challenge for the glutes. Start by using chains or a weighted vest, but eventually you can progress to using a barbell like you would for barbell glute bridges.

 

5. Single-Leg Body Curl

I’ve done tons of hard hamstring exercises, but single-leg body curls may very well be the toughest of the lot, even when just using bodyweight.

 

It took me a long time to progress to them, and even when I could do regular sliding leg curls with 135 pounds on my hips, I still couldn’t even do one rep of these bad boys.

To build up to doing the true single-leg version, try the single-leg eccentric version, which is also a great exercise in its own right.

Bridge up normally, then push out on one leg and pull back in with two legs.

 

Be prepared to walk funny afterwards.

How to Incorporate Them

Add these exercises in towards the end of lower body workouts after your heavier work, or add them in on off days or upper body days for supplemental hamstring work.

You can do them up to four times a week without issue because they’re very easy on the joints. It’s definitely an exercise that lends itself well to higher frequency training, making it a great choice if you’re looking to bring up lagging hamstrings.

When you first start doing them you’ll likely struggle, but make it a goal to get good at them and work through the progressions outlined. You’ll find that your hamstrings will get bigger and a whole lot stronger in the process.

Probably the biggest thing holding you back from adding sliding leg curls is your own insecurity about doing something that isn’t “manly.” Get over yourself! Try these sissy exercises – I’ll bet you’ll be humbled and sold all at once.

What is the kneeling squat?

So what is the kneeling squat?

 

Set up:

I thought the best way to set up for the kneeling squat was to put the barbell in my Power Rack at around shoulder level from an upright kneeling position. I set the safety bars at the appropriate height and put a thick towel on the floor to support my knees. I crawled forward and loaded the bar on to my back. At heavier weights, I had a spotter (my wife) help put the bar on my back as the starting position is a bit awkward.

Execution:

You sit on your knees, put the barbell on to your back, and squat so that your hamstrings make contact with your calves. You then explode back up and return to an upright kneeling position.

What is the kneeling squat used for?

It’s an assistance exercise thought to improve your squat and deadlift, by teaching aggressive hip extension and to help with glute activation. Many people nowadays have poor glute activation, due to the dominance of sedentary lifestyles (sitting at desks all day!). If you sit a lot, you probably have poor glute drive.

Beneficial to Olympic lifting?

If you’re an Olympic lifter, then I’m sure the kneeling squat may be very beneficial in improving your hip drive. Since the snatch and clean and jerk require explosive hip power, the kneeling squat mimics the full extension of those lifts.

 

Since I’ve only just started doing them, I don’t know what impact they’ll have on my lifts but I’m going to continue doing them for a few weeks and see what happens. If you’ve tried the kneeling squat exercise, I’d love to know how you find it?

SLDL VS. RDL

 

Romanian Deadlift vs. Stiff Legged Deadlift

 

Having previously examined proper technique for the Clean Style Deadlift, I want to look at two related (and often confused) movement that are somewhat related to the deadlift. Those two movements are the Romanian Deadlift (RDL) and the Stiff-legged deadlift (SLDL).  Many in the field tend to use these two terms interchangeably but they actually describe two very different exercises.

 

What’s in a Name?

 

Before looking at them in any detail, however, I should make one rather pedantic note.  The RDL is often referred to more generally as a flat-backed, semi-stiff legged deadlift, a description that will make more sense after I demonstrate how it should be done.  So you might be wondering where the name RDL came from.

 

As the story goes, the Romanian Olympic Lifter Nicu Vlad (who is credited with doing ~300kg, yes that’s 660 lbs., in the exercise) was seen doing them in the Olympic training hall at some point prior to either winning a medal, setting a world record, or possibly both.

 

Since he was Romanian, the movement got dubbed the Romanian deadlift. Whether that name is ‘right’ or not is ultimately not of much importance in my opinion, RDL is the name most people know the movement by and that’s what I’ll call it.

 

Muscles Targeted

 

Both the RDL and SLDL target the same primary muscles which are the glutes, hamstrings and low back (additional work is done by the upper back and gripping muscles). In this context, one of the primary difference between the RDL and SLDL is that the RDL only works the spinal erector muscles statically, as there is no movement in the spine itself.

 

In contrast, due to the rounding and un-rounding (flexion and extension) that occurs in the SDL, the spinal erectors are trained more dynamically in the SLDL.  However, the consequence of this is also a great deal more stress on the low back and spine (including the spinal ligaments and disks); I’ll address this below.

 

Technique

 

Both the RDL and SLDL start in basically identical positions: both movements start from the top with the bar held with straight arms and the torso upright.  A double overhand, mixed, or hook grip can be used, straps can and should be used if grip becomes limiting.  I’d note that body movements can be done with dumbbells as well although I’ll only demonstrate the barbell version here.

 

From that point on, the similarities basically end.  In the SLDL, the bar moves out in front of the body (the legs generally stay locked and the hips don’t move) and the bar is generally brought quite low, usually to the instep of the shoes; this usually necessitates standing on a high platform so that the plates don’t hit the ground (in the picture below, the lifter isn’t on a block since there were no weights on the bar).  The back will be very rounded at the bottom of the movement due to the protracted range of motion.  Lifting the bar is simply a reversal of the lowering, the low back unrounds as the lifter’s torso comes back to the upright position.

 

I’d note that another variant of the SLDL (not shown in this article) does not take the bar as low, and the back stays flat.  In my experience, most take an SLDL to the instep which requires rounding the low back which is why I’ve focused on that variation in this article.

 

In contrast, with the RDL the back remains flat or slightly arched, the knees are typically bent slightly (about 10-20 degrees) and the hips move backwards with the shins staying more or less vertical, the weight should be back on the heels.  As you can see below, the bar doesn’t go nearly as low in the RDL as in the SDL as a consequence of the low back not rounding.

 

A side by side comparison of the bottom position of a typical SLDL (left) and RDL (right) appears below.  Note that, if there were plates on the bar, the SLDL would require standing on some type of high platform (a flat bench is typically used) so that the plates don’t hit the floor.  Again, there is a variation of the SLDL where the back remains flat, but the bar is still swung out front without the hips moving.

 

SLDL :

 

SLDL Bottom   

 

RDL :

 

Romanian Deadlift Bottom Position   

 

RDL Bottom

 

In the RDL bar is only lowered as low as the lifter can go without rounding the low-back, for most people this usually puts the bar just below the kneecap.  However, I have seen the very occasional person with freak hamstring flexibility or exceedingly long arms go lower than this and keep their back flat but for most just below the kneecap is about the limits.

 

In my experience, even with 45 pound plates or bumpers on the bar, the plates will rarely touch the floor in a properly done RDL unless the lifter is unusually flexible or has very long arms.  In that case, the lift will have to be done standing on some sort of raised surface (e.g. an aerobics step) so that a full range of motion can be achieved.

 

Extremely inflexible lifters will stop higher and the RDL can actually be used as an excellent hamstring stretch (with just the bar or a small amount of weight).  The bar should simply be lowered to the limits of the lifter’s hamstring flexibility (with the back kept flat/slightly ached) and that position held.  The weight of the bar will gradually pull the lifter into a deeper position, stretching the hamstrings in a very functional pattern. Over time, the range of motion of the RDL should increase until the proper bottom position (again, bar slightly below the kneecap) is reached.

 

The upper back should be set and locked during the entire movement with the lats flexed (this will improve low back stability) and the shoulder blades pulled back, the bar should basically slide down the legs and over the knee. As the bar is lifted, it slides back up over the knee and then back up the thighs.  That bar is essentially dragged up and down the thighs and should never ‘swing out’ from the body.

 

The below two pictures show a proper depth RDL (left) with the lifter having gone a little bit too low (right). Note how there is flexion in the lower back area in the right picture with no change in hip position.  That is to say, the extra depth is accomplished by rounding the back, there is no additional movement at the hip.

 

Romanian Deadlift Bottom Position

 

RDL Correct Bottom Position

 

RDL Too Low at Bottom

 

RDL Too Low at Bottom

 

One easy way to avoid rounding the low back is to keep the head up (and neutral to your torso, don’t hyper-extend your neck) with the movement done in front of a mirror. If you can still see yourself in the mirror, your head is up and your back won’t be rounded.

 

In contrast, if you can’t see yourself anymore, you’ve dropped your head and have rounded either your upper back, lower back or both. If you feel the tension come off of your hamstrings and into your low back, you’ve probably rounded your back as well.  It’s also possible that you’ve bent your knees which will also take tension off of the hamstrings.

 

For the most part, I’m not a big fan of the SLDL except as a light stretching or warm-up exercise. The problem is this: as the low back rounds beyond a certain point, the low back muscles (spinal extensors) become inactive due to an inhibitory reflex; this throws all of the stress onto the ligaments of the spine. As well, spinal flexion under load can be damaging to spinal disks in the long-run, increasing the risk of disk herniation.

 

While I know many have done heavy SLDL’s over the years, I can’t recommend this based on what we know about spinal health.  In a future article, I’ll detail what I think is a better way to train the spinal muscles dynamically, which is various types of back extensions.

 

Basically, I think that the RDL is the superior movement here. Olympic lifters use it as an assistance exercise (to mimic the second pull) and it can be done with either a clean or snatch grip, athletes and powerlifters use it to strengthen the posterior chain to improve squats and their deadlift lockout, and bodybuilders can use it to hammer their hamstrings and glutes. Basically, I think it’s safer (from the standpoint of spinal health) and a more effective movement in the long-term.

 

Programming Thoughts

 

As far as programming, both the RDL and SLDL are generally better used for moderate reps, unless a lifter is verytechnically skilled. Reps lower than three tend to be problematic, invariably lifters get a little bit freaked by the heavy weights and do funky things technique wise, I don’t think I’ve ever had a lifter test a maximum single in the RDL, nor would I.

 

Sets of 5-8 are generally the best way to go for most lifters and the RDL/SLDL is usually used as a secondary leg exercise following squats or deadlifts.  Higher reps can be done but lifters have to be aware of signs of upper back fatigue and form breakdown.  With the RDL this causes rounding and a loss of proper technique.

 

I’d note that RDL’s do involve a lot of low back even though the spinal erectors aren’t being used dynamically.  If a lifter has exhausted their low back with heavy deadlifts or power style squats, RDL’s may be a real problem technically as the low back will give out.  Keeping the weights lighter or picking a me that doesn’t involve so much low back may be a better option here.

 

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that RDL’s are notorious for causing some pretty crippling hamstring soreness.  The hamstrings are often prone to soreness in the first place and the high stretch component of the RDL tends to exacerbate this.  Just something to keep in mind when you introduce the movement (or re-introduce it after a long-lay off); start light or you may not be able to walk for 5 days.

 

 

 

Ever Consider Decreasing The Weight?

This is always a tough one for me.  Going down in weight just feels like I’m going backwards.

Everyone is always trying to add weight to the bar . We are obsessed with this, needing to lift more weight than last week otherwise we feel we are not progressing.

I was having a quick discussion with the owner of BaddassLifting.Wordpress.Com about this. She mentioned that she lowered the weight on her straight leg dead lifts and it made her workout better. SLDL ‘s work your hamstrings and glutes really well and really require that you use proper lifting form.  She said that the movement really worked her glutes MORE. So drop the weight and  you feel it MORE!

If you read her post she mentioned that she wanted to lower the weight in order to correct her form.

So besides that lowering the weight can actually give you a better more concentrated workout it is also good for recalibrating your form.

As we go heavier and heavier each week the movement can get knocked out of plumb a little. Making corrections is a necessity.

Here she is doing her thing.

3 Hamstring Exercises

3 EXERCISES FOR POWERFUL HAMSTRINGS

 

Build stronger hamstrings faster with these three effective exercises.

The hamstrings represent three distinct muscles which are located on the backside of your thigh between your gluteus maximus and your knee. These muscles are classified as fast twitchmuscles and respond very well to exercises that have powerful movements and low reps.

HAMSTRINGS ANATOMYhamstring anatomy

The lateral and medial hamstrings comprise of the Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus muscles. These three muscles combine to perform the following primary movements: external rotation, internal rotation, flexion of the knee and extension of the hip.

LEG CURLS

Arguably, the most common hamstrings exercise is the leg curl. However, there are three variations of the leg curl that can be performed: standing, seated and laying. Of these three, the seated leg curl is the one most commonly used. But, all three variations involve the same movement just in a different starting position.

The seated leg curl involves using a machine where you sit down with your back against a back pad. Extend your legs and place your feet on the padded foot lever which is directly in front of you. Adjust your seat so that the portion of your legs above your ankles are on the padded foot lever. Next, lower the thigh pad so that it’s firmly against your thighs and hold on to the two handles on top of the thigh pad. Pull the padded foot lever, with your lower legs, back towards your buttocks as if you are trying to kick yourself. Pause momentarily when you have come all the way back and then return to the starting position. Repeat movement for the desired amount of sets and repetitions.
Always maintain a nice smooth motion. Do not perform the exercise too fast as it can increase momentum and decrease the effectiveness. Additionally, performing this exercise too quickly could lead to injuries. Make sure you don’t just rest your heels on the padded foot lever as this could lead to a potential lower leg injury when trying to pull the lever back.

Leg Curl

GOOD MORNINGS

The good morning exercise is a compound movement involving your hips and your knees. It’s also considered an intermediate exercise due to the strain it places on your lower back and hamstrings. This exercise is traditionally used with a barbell but can also be done with dumbbells.

To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place a weighted bar across the rear portion of your shoulders. Grab the bar with an underhand grip roughly outside of your shoulder width. Keep your back slightly arched and your knees slightly bent as you perform this movement. Start bending at the hips as your torso becomes parallel with the ground. Keep your back slight arched and your neck aligned with your back. Once you are parallel with the floor, slowly return to the starting position. Repeat movement for the desired amount of sets and repetitions.

Good Mornings Exercise

Make sure you keep the barbell under control at all times. Do not allow it to roll up onto your neck as this could lead to a neck injury. Keeping your knees slightly bent will prevent any damage to the joints. Do not bend your head downwards as this could cause additional strain on your neck. Perform this exercise under one smooth motion. Do not perform this exercise too quickly as it could lead to possible injuries of your back and hamstrings. Also, make sure your hamstrings are warmed up before doing this exercise. Tight hamstrings are more prone to injuries.

STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFTS

Of the three exercises listed in this article, the straight leg deadlift is the toughest. It’s generally recommended for advanced weightlifters due to the difficulty of properly performing the exercise movement. This is also a compound movement that targets the hamstrings but requires other muscles like the glutes and lower back to perform properly.

The straight leg deadlift is typically performed with a barbell. However, it can also be done with dumbbells. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip just outside of your shoulder width. Stand straight up so that your arms are fully extended with the barbell hanging in your hands.

Keep your legs straight with just a slight bend in the knees. Start bending over by allowing your hips to move backwards and your torso to become parallel with the ground. Lower the weight until it’s just above your feet. Keep your back straight and your neck aligned with your back. You will begin to feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Now, slowly rise back up into the upright starting position. Repeat movement for the desired amount of sets and repetitions.

Straight Leg Deadlifts

If you are using heavy weight, wrist straps might be necessary to keep hold of the barbell. Make sure you keep the barbell under control at all times. Do not bend your head downwards as this could cause additional strain on your neck. Perform this exercise under one smooth motion. Do not perform this exercise too quickly as it could lead to possible injuries of your back and hamstrings. Additionally, coming upright too fast could lead to lightheadedness.  Make sure your hamstrings are warmed up before doing this exercise. Tight hamstrings are more prone to injuries.

More Hamstring Work

When working out at home you may not have many options to work your hamstrings other than stiff leg dead lifts. But if you look around and get creative you can find some very good exercises that you can incorporate into your training. In my last 2 post I re blogged from T Nation and Active PT a great article about the Nordic hamstring curl.

In this post is a video of  an other exercise you can do using one of those physioballs .

Nordic Hamstring Curls

 T Nation.Com article reblogged here for your viewing pleasure.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

by Greg Potter – 4/10/2013

The Nordic Hamstring AttackThere may be nothing new in the weight-training world, but there are things that fail to receive the attention they richly deserve.Take posterior chain exercises, for example. For the most part, knee flexion exercises have played second fiddle to their hip extension cousins, despite strong evidence of their efficacy in improving strength and reducing injuries.That’s sad. I for one hope people start using more knee flexion movements, and if you were to choose one based on effectiveness, ease of use, and overall versatility, you’d find none better than the Nordic.

Described by some as the “bastard stepchild of the glute-ham raise,” the Nordic is a veritable assault on your knee flexors that requires that you lower your body using only your hamstrings. The fact that it requires no equipment leaves those that shy away from it without any excuses for doing so – well, other than it’s damn hard to execute properly.

But before you hop on the Nordic bandwagon, here’s some tips on how to best incorporate and progress them, and later tweak them for the biggest bang for your hamstring trainingbuck.

Introducing Nordics into a Program

During yielding (eccentric) muscle actions, higher forces are exerted on fewer motor units in comparison to overcoming (concentric) muscle actions, increasing the stress per fiber and muscle damage. Therefore, Nordics must be carefully progressed.

Inappropriate volumes of highly damaging exercise can lead to lasting decreases in muscle volume (e.g. Foley et al., 1999). Likewise, slow yielding contractions done over 10 weeks may be inferior to faster ones (e.g. Paddon-Jones et al., 2001), as the excessive torque-time integral produced may have produced damage beyond the regeneration capacity of the muscle. The conclusion is that excessively slow muscle actions should be avoided.

Nordics can be best progressed by increasing their loading gradually and controlling the lowering phase while not performing it too slowly, and training the exercise 2-3 times per week.

I also recommend unloading the volume of Nordics by cutting the number of sets per session by a third to a half every 5-6 weeks, which might coincide with recovery microcycles.

Finally, Nordics may not be the best option for rank beginners or individuals with inadequate relative strength levels, including very heavy trainees. Moreover, very tall individuals may find these especially hard. For those not yet ready for Nordics, see the ‘Further Exercise Alternatives’ section for other options.

Tricks to Improve Your Nordic Prowess

    • Warm up. This is a high load exercise and not one to jump into cold.
    • During Nordics, keep the ankles dorsiflexed (see photo below). Doing so will increase the contribution of the gastrocnemius to knee flexion torque by placing the contractile filaments in a more favorable length-tension relationship. It will also help you avoid cramps in your calves, as muscles tend to cramp while active in a position approaching active insufficiency.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

    • During difficult portions of the exercise, clench your jaw and tense your fists. You needn’t worry about specifics, but doing so will activate the H-reflex and increase cortical overflow, thereby increasing your force production capabilities (Ebben, 2006).
    • Static stretch your quadriceps (emphasizing the rectus femoris) between sets if your hips are strongly anteriorly tilted. I like the stretch shown below, as fixing the front foot on the wall helps prevent the lumbar spine from slipping into hyperextension, which would detract from the stretch.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

  • Ensure the surface under your knees is soft. Carpenters know how much prepatellar bursitis resulting from friction on the knees sucks. Do yourself a favor and make your life a little more comfortable.
  • Be patient. Nordics are tough, and being methodical in your progressions will help foster improvement.

Variations of the Nordic

There are several levels of difficulty regarding the Nordic. As you gain proficiency, you can make the exercise more challenging than it already is.

The Nordic

Anchor your ankles comfortably under an immovable object, or have somebody sit on your heels. Kneel tall with your arms by your sides and imagine a piece of string pulling you upwards from the crown of your head. Fix your eyes straight ahead.

The Nordic Hamstring AttackLower yourself as far as you can under control, and then reverse the motion to return to the start. It should look like a glute-ham raise, but without the pad to help you out.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

The Modified Nordic

Flex your hips and your knees such that your thighs are roughly vertical and your torso horizontal. Extend your hips to return to the start.

The Nordic Hamstring AttackOnce mastered, the next step is to perform these with your hands touching your ears.

The Nordic Hamstring AttackNext up, perform the exercise as previously, but with the arms held straight overhead.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

Mechanical Drop Sets

The Nordic stud could then move into mechanical drop sets. Perform Nordics with the arms straight overhead until just shy of failure. Without resting, move the hands to the ears position and continue doing reps again until just before failure. Finally, bring the arms by the sides and eke out a couple more reps. True masochists can then finish with modified Nordics.

Two Tricks to Make the Nordic Easier

  • You can make the Nordic easier by performing the variations using accommodating resistance in the form of a band strapped around your chest that’s attached to an immovable object above and behind you. That kind of set up will help you return to the start position.
  • Alternatively, raise the knees relative to the feet, as shown below. If you have an incline sit up bench available, you can set it to a low incline with the footpad on the lower side and perform these progressions on this.

The Nordic Hamstring Attack

The Program

The Original Nordic Program

Week Training Frequency
(Sessions/Week)
Sets Reps
1 1 2 5
2 2 2 6
3 3 3 6-8
4 3 3 8-10
5-10 3 3 12,10,8

This version has undoubtedly proven very effective, but many would probably choose to not train their hamstrings 3 times a week. Furthermore, there are no unloading microcycles included (this isn’t inherently problematic, but I’d probably include one every 6 to 12 weeks). Finally, 12 repetitions of the Nordic is a big task (especially if you don’t sacrifice quality for quantity).

As such, I offer a modified version.

The Modified Nordic Program

Choose a Nordic variation appropriate to your current strength levels.

Week Training Frequency
(Sessions/Week)
Sets Reps Rest
1 1 2 5 2 min.
2 2 3 5 2 min.
3 2 3 6 2 min.
4 2 3 7 2 min.
5 2 3 8 2 min.
6 2 2 8 2 min.

At the end of this 6 week mesocycle, move on to the next Nordic progression. i.e., hands by ear, arms overhead, etc.).

Wrap-up

The Nordic is an under-appreciated exercise that anybody with a pair of legs and feet can do. Implemented correctly, it could be your ticket to bigger, stronger, and bulletproof hamstrings.

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