As mentioned in my last post, I recently found some old training materials that, in my opinion, were lost. It was fun to watch the videos when I accidentally confirmed the message that I had been preaching since the launch of this site many months ago. Speaking directly, quality exercises and teaching methods are not new. Most often, what used to work continues to work today. So much time is wasted searching for new or other methods, and not something that has already proven its effectiveness. Thus, for the sake of his introduction, we will consider the old-school hamstring training as a prime example of this premise.
The two videos below range from 10 to 15 years old. First, you'll see how I do what is often called the Nordic hamstring curl or the natural gluten uplift. I am doing an exercise from a makeshift bench that I did on a scaffold driveway without any pre-designed plan. Here you can see another home option (via Matt Wichlinsky), or you can perform a barbell exercise, as demonstrated here by Bret Contreras.
Next, you will see two options for another homemade hamstring device. Both have furniture sliders attached to the base for smooth gliding on the carpet. Weights are added to the portion of the pipe that is secured by the pipe flange. Small strips of wood support the legs to prevent the feet from slipping. Each design is simple but also very effective. Very few exercises hit my hamstrings as hard as these inexpensive, low-tech tools.
Little has changed
Ironically, in the 10-15 years that have passed since the filming of these videos, little has changed in relation to the above movements. The hamstring flexion and the recumbent hamstring continue to experience my hamstrings, as well as any other exercises. The hamstring pump experienced by these movements is not like the others.
Unfortunately, these exercises remain relatively unknown. After publishing these old videos, my inbox was filled with questions about exercises and equipment. Many people who know about fitness have never seen. One of the reasons, probably, is that athletes continue to make a mistake by neglecting the direct operation of the hamstring. As a result, it is not surprising that hamstring injuries remain one of the most common injuries in all sports. And even worse, such injuries usually require a long period of rehabilitation.
Target the hammies
So what is the solution?
To begin with, don’t think that when doing squats alone, the needs in the lower body are fully covered. Instead, take the time to target the hamstrings directly. Based on experience, I believe that the direct operation of the hamstring has played an important role in my training over the past 20 plus years. Not only did this help my overall strength (like traction), but I was also able to safely perform sprints on a flat surface and in the hills without any injuries.
In addition, I do not suggest that you perform the exercises presented above. There are many options for hamstring training. However, I suggest you take the time to study and teach this subject. With a quick search you can find many options. Even a couple of inexpensive furniture sliders can do their own thing (see here).
To summarize, we can say that as the fitness industry moves more and more away from substance and more and more moves toward a flash, it is especially useful to look back in time to find proven methods that have been used and implemented without an agenda. Athletes from the past were not worried about how many likes they get on social networks by doing the exercise. Instead, they focused solely on doing what works.
In the modern world, the opposite often happens, as more and more fitness professionals dance around, barely dressed, with fewer substances than clothes. Do not be deceived by deception. As I have said for years, strength is not new. And although sometimes we may come up with a new idea or improvement, this does not negate the fact that proven methods are already created and easily accessible to anyone who wants to research and study.
Take the time to invest in yourself, learning and learning from the past.
“Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” – Stephen King