How to Do Banded Hamstring Curls Properly

The hamstring is a commonly used group of muscles, especially in day-to-day activities. 

These muscles are formed by the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris located at the back of your thigh.

This strategic position is what enables them to orchestrate the unilateral movements of the knee back and forth.

As a result, you get to participate in daily activities i.e., jumping but mostly running. The name already gives it all away, but the banded hamstring curls are an exercise that is tailored for the hamstring. 

This is done by continuously engaging the area with a series of movements that targets its proverbial ‘area of purview’.

As such, this means plenty of knee flexion with the movements directed from the heels towards the glutes.

Banded hamstring curls can be done with resistance-based equipment but it’s a very popular exercise to do at home because you receive exactly the same results with just a resistance band.

If you’re doing it at home, all you need is to exert your body weight in the right manner to achieve the best results with the help of the resistance band.

WHAT TO DO:

  • With a resistance band around your ankles, lie flat on your stomach on a yoga mat with both legs extended behind you, toes untucked. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale. Exhale. Tuck the toes of your right foot and raise your heel towards your glutes.
  • Inhale. Lower your right foot towards the mat into the starting position. Complete half of the specified repetitions on the same side, before repeating the remaining repetitions on the other side.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BANDED HAMSTRING CURLS WORK? 

1. HAMSTRINGS

The primary target of the banded hamstring curls is obviously the hamstrings. The constant knee flexion engages the hamstrings through multiple reps.

In the long run, thorough engagement builds strength within the target muscles 

2. LEG MUSCLES 

Beyond just the hamstrings, there are knock-on effects from the multiple reps of knee flexion. This is particularly on a block of leg muscles namely the calves, quads. 

In fact, it is a great way of building the leg muscles as well as defining them. 

This is considering the fact that you’re using resistance bands which increases the strain and should therefore help grow the muscles.

When varied, these movements can also engage a larger block of muscles achieving a higher amount of muscle strength.

3. KNEE JOINTS

More than hamstrings, this might be the most engaged area whilst doing banded hamstring curls. This constant flexion should be able to strengthen the knee joints.

Having strong knee joints is beneficial in the sense that it enables you to do simple day-to-day activities i.e., lifting without worrying about injury 

4. IMPROVES ATHLETICISM 

The Hamstring is one of the most important muscles when it comes to anything athletic driven. As such how strong and dependable the hamstring is, plays a huge role in how athletic you are.

Therefore, an engaged hamstring should enable you to do basic physical activities such as running and jumping much better than the ordinary person.

S BANDED HAMSTRING CURLS BENEFITS

1. IMPROVES BODILY STRENGTH

The hamstring is such a vital muscle. Therefore, when you build it, you improve your overall balance and strength.

For instance, you are better placed to perform certain daily tasks that require a lower body than your non-exercising peers would be.

It also ensures that you’re less likely to get injuries from doing similar day-to-day activities i.e., household chores.

ALTERNATIVES TO BANDED HAMSTRING CURLS 

1. STANDING HAMSTRING CURL

To do a standing hamstring curl:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your waist or on a chair for balance. Shift your weight onto your left leg.
  • Slowly bend your right knee, bringing your heel toward your butt. Keep your thighs parallel.
  • Slowly lower your foot.
  • Complete 12 to 15 reps.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

2. SEATED HAMSTRING CURL

This is a version of the banded hamstring curls that you do while seated. The fact that your feet are banded makes it that much harder to curl your heels towards the glutes.

To do a seated hamstring curl:

  • Tie the ends of a resistance band to a sturdy object, such as an exercise machine or piece of furniture. 

Sit in front of the band. Place the loop around one of your heels and keep your feet together.

  • Bend your knee to pull your heel back, stopping when you can’t pull any further.
  • Extend your knee to return to starting position.
  • Complete 12 to 15 reps. Then repeat on the other leg.

3. PRONE HAMSTRING CURL 

This variation targets the lower legs specifically

To do a prone hamstring curl:

  • Anchor the ends of a resistance band to a sturdy object. Lie down on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart. Place the band around one heel and flex your ankle.
  • Bend your knee to pull your heel toward your butt, keeping your thighs and hips on the mat.
  • Stop when you can’t pull any further. Return to starting position.
  • Complete 12 to 15 reps.

BANDED HAMSTRING CURLS MISTAKES TO AVOID 

1. LIFTING YOUR KNEES 

When doing the banded hamstring curls, there are certain principles about how your form should be. One of the biggest principles is the positioning of your knees.

This is considering the ability of the knee to flex efficiently affects the extent of impact exerted on the hamstring.

As such, you can only do this by maintaining a certain level of tension which is achieved by having the knees grounded at all times.

This also reduces strain on the knee joints thus avoiding injuries. If you can’t keep your hips knees down, it might be indicative of an inability to handle the exercise

2. RAISING YOUR HIPS

When doing the banded hamstring curls, your hips should always be pushed into the grounds. Similar to the form your knee takes, you need to ensure sufficient tension.

Having your hips on the ground also ensures that your back doesn’t get overworked thus protecting it from injury.

CONCLUSION

The banded hamstring curls are a highly effective exercise for anyone and everyone. 

The fact that it’s so relevant to your ability to complete simple day-to-day physical tasks, also makes it that much more appealing.