The band resisted, shoulder elevated TRX hamstring curl is a fantastic way to strengthen and develop your hamstrings. It also strengthens the glutes and the muscles of the anterior core. This is a great accessory exercise that you can perform, and it will help you add strength, size, and definition to your hamstrings. It will also make your body more resistant to hamstring injuries.
- Place a heavy kettlebell/dumbbell on a box/weight plates that is about mid-shin to knee height, and loop a band around the weight. Make sure that the weight is stable and won't move.
- Put the mid/back portion of your feet in the straps of the TRX, loop the band around the back of your ankles, now prop your body up on the bench.
- Your shoulders/upper back/upper arms should be resting on the bench.
- If you have a workout buddy, get them to put the band around the back of your ankles as this is the toughest part of the set-up.
- Before you extend your hips and get into the starting position, and before you perform each hamstring extension, take a deep breath into your belly, brace your core, lightly tuck your rib cage towards your hips (close the space in your midsection). This will give you the requisite levels of stability and ''stiffness'' so you can perform this exercise safely and effectively.
- Now squeeze your glutes, and hip thrust your body into the starting position.
- Perform hamstring curls by extending your knees (aim for close to full extension, but avoid hyperextension), and then flex your knees and return to the starting position. The stronger you get, the more you will be able to extend your knees.
- As you are performing the hamstring curl, you can exhale, but be sure that you keep your core braced, ribs tucked, and glutes engaged.
- Really focus on engaging your hamstrings and glutes for both the eccentric and component. Do not use your calves. Keep your calves and feet relaxed. If you still feel your calves, the exercise is likely too advanced and your calves are probably compensating for your hamstrings.
- For the entire set, it is imperative that you maintain proper spinal alignment, keep your chin tucked, and keep your hips elevated by engaging your glutes, bracing your core, and keeping your ribs tucked, not by hyperextending your lumbar spine.
- Make sure that you never disengage your muscles at any point, and do not allow your hips to drop. If you notice your lower back, it likely means that you have either disengaged your glutes and hamstrings, and/or have disengaged your anterior core.
- Reset before each rep.
- Perform this exercise with your shoulders elevated on the bench but without band resistance.
- Perform this exercise with band resistance but with your shoulders/upper back on the floor, not elevated.
- Use a band with greater resistance.
- Perform negative reps. Aim to take 3-5 seconds to extend your knees.
- Add weight resistance (rest in your hip crease). Sandbags are a great option.
- Use a single leg.