How To Do Hamstring Sliders Properly

Hamstring sliders are a hamstring strengthening exercise that uses slider discs to work your thighs and glutes.

What you need: Slider discs

How to do it:

  • Lie down on your back on the floor with both legs bent at 90 degrees. Position your heels under your knees.
  • Plant your heels on slider discs (or hand towels/socks if you are at home). Your feet should be hip-width apart. This is your starting position.
  • Squeeze your glutes, tighten your core, and then raise your hips, lowering your heels further from your body until your legs are almost completely extended.
  • Flex your hamstrings, bringing your heels underneath your hips once again. This is a complete rep.
  • Do as many reps as you desire.

WHAT MUSCLES DO HAMSTRING SLIDERS WORK?

Hamstring sliders work on a variety of muscles on your body, starting with the semitendinosus and semimembranosus in the hamstring group, then the biceps femoris in your arms to your core which helps stabilize your spine during the movement.

It also strengthens your glutes when you tighten them before raising your hips off the floor.

HAMSTRING SLIDERS BENEFITS

STRENGTHENS AND BUILDS YOUR HAMSTRINGS

When done correctly, this movement can help build muscle on the back of your thigh and strengthen the muscles in that area to improve their functions in helping you with knee and hip movements such as squatting, walking and running.

TRAINS KNEE FLEXION

Knee flexion is one of the main functions of the hamstrings.

By strengthening your hamstrings, this exercise trains your hamstrings to flex your knees better.

GREAT WARM UP EXERCISE

Hamstring sliders are a fantastic way to warm your thigh muscles up before an intense strength-training workout.

They help activate the muscle fibers in your hamstrings to prep them so that they don’t hurt when you are done working out.

EASY ON THE JOINTS

Unlike most hamstring exercises, this movement is joint-friendly since it does not require any weight to load your hamstring muscles for you to get the results you are looking for.

INCREASE ECCENTRIC STRENGTH

Eccentric strength develops from the increased ability of your muscles to lengthen.

This exercise increases the eccentric strength of your hamstring muscles, which helps prevent strain in your hamstrings.

IMPROVES DEADLIFT AND SQUAT PERFORMANCE

With stronger hamstrings, you’ll find it easier to master and maintain the correct form when you are performing strength training movements like squats and deadlifts.

ALTERNATIVES TO HAMSTRING SLIDERS

TOES ELEVATED DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT

Romanian deadlifts are a great way to add mass and strength to your hamstrings and glutes. This variation, however, takes things a notch higher.

When your toes are elevated, your bodyweight shifts back on your heels to further isolate and strengthen your hamstrings.

What’s more, it increases your eccentric hamstring strength just like the hamstring sliders, which helps prevent unwanted strains in your thighs.

How to do it:

  • Elevate your toes using a bumper plate (around 25 pounds) or a low platform.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Bring your feet together.
  • As you are hinging, reach the dumbbells out until they are tracking on your toes. Avoid keeping them close to your body.
  • Control the eccentric speed to stretch your hamstrings and glutes properly.
  • Pause in this position for a few seconds, before hinging back up.

DUMBBELL GOOD MORNING

The dumbbell good morning helps load your hamstrings with the help of a dumbbell.

It engages your anterior core and uses it to stabilize your body so that you are able to train your hamstrings without straining your spine.

Since you position the dumbbell in front of your body, it does not strain your back and shoulders unlike the barbell good morning.

Steps:

  • Stand straight, with your chest lifted and your shoulders down.
  • Hold a heavy dumbbell in front of your chest.
  • Bending your knees slightly, hinge at your hips until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your back neutral.
  • Pause for a second in this position before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat the steps as many times as you desire.

RAZOR CURL

The razor curl works your hamstrings by putting you in a position where your hips are flexed to allow for an intense contraction of your hamstrings at the hip and knee.

It also increases the eccentric hamstring strength and gluteal strength as well.

Training your hamstrings using the razor curl may earn you a stronger core as a bonus since you use it to stabilize your body as you fall forward.

How to do it:

  • Start by getting on all fours.
  • Anchor your lower body using a barbell or a piece of gym equipment. If you don’t have anything to help anchor your trunk, you can have someone hold your feet instead.
  • Flex your hips slightly and let them stay in this position for the entire exercise.
  • Keeping the eccentric controlled, fall forward and touch the ground lightly.
  • Repeat these steps as many times as you desire.

 

HAMSTRING SLIDERS MISTAKES TO AVOID

MOVING YOUR TORSO

Your upper body should not move at any point in this exercise; this could release the tension from your core muscles hence destabilizing your body and putting your spine at risk of injury.

USING MOMENTUM

If you use quick motions, your hamstrings will not be under tension long enough for you to work them.

Slow and controlled motions will benefit you more than fast, jerking motions.

CONCLUSION

Your hamstrings are your main knee flexors and stabilizers. They control movements that involve descent like hinging, squatting and jumping, kind of like the brakes on car.

Just as you spend your time oiling your brakes to increase their efficiency, you should also take your time to work your hamstrings to make them stronger and more flexible so they can function better.

Now that you’ve had the privilege of learning all you need to know about one of the best hamstring exercises you can do to strengthen, stretch and build your hamstrings, nothing’s stopping from trying them out.

Be sure to maintain the correct form so that you get as much out of hamstring sliders as you can.