Hamstring strength is an issue for many athletes. Females tend to exhibit quadriceps dominance, lacking the desired Q:H ratio of 3:2. This is thought to be one contributing factor for non-contact ACL tears. Additionally, I see many clients who suffer from chronic hamstring pain and recurrent hamstring strains. To effectively address hamstring pain and prevent future injury, it is necessary to perform eccentric strengthening. This exercise utilizes gliding discs to promote eccentric strength.
Execution: Position the both heels/feet on the gliding discs. Next, move into a full bridge position. Holding the bridge, slowly allow the heels to slide forward keeping constant tension in the hamstrings. I suggest a slow cadence for the descent (3-5 seconds).
As the legs near full extension, allow the torso/lower body to come down and relax on the floor. Flex the knees fully and repeat the sequence for 8-10 repetitions. Perform 2-3 sets. Increase or decrease the time under tension as needed based on difficulty and the ability to control the motion.
Application: This exercise is an excellent way to resolve chronic hamstring pain/proximal hamstring tendinopathy, improve hamstring strength, increase hamstring mobility, and aid in injury prevention for cutting, pivoting and sprinting athletes. Increasing hamstring strength is an important injury prevention measure for athletes that may be at risk for ACL injury. I routinely utilize this exercise in my rehab and rehab routines, and the gliding discs allow for slow controlled motion while allowing the client to manage the time under tension in a safe manner.