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Thread: Increasing hamstring strength for walking.

  1. #11
    If I might respectfully disagree with SCITotalFitness...although the initial knee bend may be driven by the calf during toe off, the hamstring contracts to hold that bend through the swing phase and then assists with deceleration of the leg before heel strike. It then co-contracts with the quadriceps during stance phase. As you can see the hamstring plays a significant part in forming the proper gait.

    I would suggest a test for loaded/standing hamstring function: stand at a bar and have someone stabilize your pelvis by grasping it in both hands on each side, making sure to hold the front and the back with the fingers and thumb, respectively. Now try to raise your heel to your butt making sure to keep your upper leg (femur) perpendicular to the floor. If you can do this, even half way, the problem would be hip stability during gait. If you cannot, you definitely have hamstring weakness when in an upright posture and loaded.

    To strengthen in this position will require some assistance. I would suggest standing at a bar with someone stabilizing your femur (from drifting forward) and raising your lower leg so it is parallel to the floor, you then try to hold your leg up so the foot does not fall to the floor. I have a feeling you will find this to be very challenging.


    Eric Harness, CSCS
    Founder/President
    Neuro Ex, Inc
    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery

  2. #12
    Try using emg biofeedback to monitor the muscles contractions

  3. #13
    My hamstrings are one of my weaker areas as well. I've found a seated leg curl machine helpful, but even more so is working out in the water. I have access to a under water treadmill, that helps me work on my gait (try not to hitch my hip); I also work with a step in the water, up, down, up, down...I've been able to go from the deeper part of the pool to the shallower end, and from a shorter step to a taller one, but I have to keep at it; we seem to regress rather quickly!

    there are a lot of pool exercises that will help you strengthen without overworking your muscle, then you can transfer that training gradually to land based exercises.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    That regress goes insanely fast if not keep at it. Any amount I lose from not keeping at it takes me X times more to get back to where I just was. That, for me is a mental curveball in the process. Pisses me off.

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