Whether you are trying to lose weight, to stay fit or need to workout as part of a diabetes management program, isometric exercises such as the isometric hamstring strength exercise are extremely effective. An isometric exercise is a type of strength training that is done in a static position rather than through a range of motion.
“A variation of the low back actually involves the hamstrings,” says Jackson Sayers, Bsc (Kinesiology). “Ironically, the hamstrings are connected to the large gluteal muscles of the bum and the bum connects to the low back - I think we’ve all heard that song.
“What we really want to be thinking about is how do we get our hamstrings engaged? And this is a very good isometric strength exercise for it. Simply put the Swiss ball between your legs and fire up your stomach muscles.
“You squeeze your bum, and then you take your hamstring, and you take the hamstring to lift the ball up slightly. What you’re going to find is that the hamstring might cramp. So if the hamstring cramps, just go down right away. And if you slowly start to work on it, just bringing the ball up, and slowly taking it up, you’ll find the over time - three weeks, six weeks, three months, you’ll be able to sit there in a nice position where your stomach’s contracted, your ass is all fired up, and you’ve got the ball in a nice position where it’s just up and it’s staying there nice and gentle. It’s a very good hamstring exercise.”
Another great isometric exercise: watch our Isometric Hamstring Strength Exercise video.
Remember that a big part of staying healthy is eating well. Watch our Food for Fuel video for info on eating healthy while working out.
Complementary Exercise Videos
This series of exercise videos can be used as a second step following a basic disease management program such as:
Cardiac Rehab Phases