The Nordic Hamstring exercise requires almost no equipment besides some sort of pad to rest your knees on. Sorinex makes a great device they call the Poor Man's Glute/Ham Raise which is perfect for this exercise and only costs a few hundred dollars. As much as possible, try not to break at hips. You can also perform this exercise by only lowering yourself about 1/4 of the way down, stopping, then pulling yourself back to the top. Be careful with this, however, because a lot of people cramp up quickly because of the intense contraction of the hamstrings and calves to make this happen.
Dr. Tim Hewitt, a reknowned expert in ACL prevention and rehabilitation has be given hundreds of thousands of dollars in research money to investigate ACL prevention. The Nordic Hamstring exercise is one of the staples of his program and it can be done by anyone, anywhere without any equipment. Great option for hamstring development.
The glute/ham raise is an extremely effective method of increasing hamstring strength. For many female athletes, hamstring strength is a major issue that is often a factor in ACL injuries. Hamstring strength is also a major factor in speed development especially top-end speed, and increased hamstring strength can help prevent injuries. A glute/ham bench is obviously required for this exercise. Fortunately, this piece of equipment is relatively inexpensive compared to other pieces of equipment.
This video features Martin Rooney the author of Training for Warriors, a cool book full of information on training for mixed martial arts and other combat sports. You can check it out at www.trainingforwarriors.com.
Renegade Row or Push Up Row
While this exercise appears to be more of a row for the upper back, it is actually a core exercise that requires tremendous abdominal strength and stabilization to perform correctly. The goal is to perform the rowing action with as little spinal and hip rotation as possible. The movement of the dumbbells creates rotational torque on the spine which is similar to the forces encountered during many movements such as running. Training to stabilize this motion is an effective way to train the core in what could be considered functional to many sports movements because you are stabilizing the spine in a position similar to when you are upright. This is a particularly useful exercise because it requires little to no equipment. In the video, the exercise is being performed with dumbbells to increase the intensity, but it can also be performed with body weight in group setting where no equipment is available.
Tutorial on the Romanian Deadlift
Travis M. Erickson, MS, CSCS*D, instructor at University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, gives a nice tutorial on the RDL.
Tutorial on the Back Squat
Travis Erickson provides a detailed explanation of the squat.
Tutorial on the Front Squat
Travis Erickson provides a detailed explanation of the front squat.
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