Thursday, January 17, 2008

Homemade Hamstrings
Next time you're at the gym, take a look around. How many machines do you see to work your quads? Tons, right? Then look for hamstring machines. Not nearly as many.

Because there are only a few machines for hamstrings, many people assume that there are only a few specific ways to isolate them, and that you can't work the hamstrings outside the gym. This simply isn't true. Exercises like pelvic thrusts, which you can do almost anywhere, target the hamstrings as well as the glutes. Get started with this beginner move:

1. Lie on your back in front of a bench or platform, with your knees bent and your heels on the bench. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle, with your knees directly above your hips, and your arms should rest on the floor at your sides.

2. Exhale and press your heels down into the bench, lifting your hips off the floor as high as you can. Squeeze your glutes as tight as you can for a beat, then lower back down to the floor and repeat. Be sure to keep your upper arms, shoulders, and neck on the floor throughout the exercise.

Although you can do pelvic thrusts with your feet on the floor, the exercise is more challenging when your feet rest on a bench. And don't tell me that you don't have a gym-quality bench at home. That's no excuse! Many common household objects make great benches. Just find an object that's the right height and make sure it isn't slippery. Select something low at first. The bottom step of your staircase will work, or try a short stack of hardcover books. When you're ready to increase the intensity, look for something taller, like a chair or couch.

This Week's Challenge: Clear Your Mind
Today your meditation mantra is "I'm worth it" — an expression to clear your mind of any self-doubt that you're not incredibly valued by friends, family, and yourself.
Go to: for more information.

No comments: