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Today’s Workout column: Standing hamstring curl is lower body workout

Marlo Alleva
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Daily Comet

We are finally starting to think about going back to school! And whether that happens sooner or later, we still have plenty of time to squeeze in a few last-minute summer getaways!

And most summer fun includes a bathing suit of some sort, so we cannot take a summer break on our lower body workouts.

Our move today is a standing hamstring curl. You will need a fixed object to hold onto for balance and positioning. This can be a railing, countertop, broomstick or even a stop sign. This exercise will be working your backside, more specifically, your glutes and hamstrings. You will also feel this exercise in your core.

Begin this exercise by standing arm’s length distance from what you’re holding for balance. Get a good grip and shift your weight to one foot. Holding your chest tall and rotating your hips forward to engage your midsection, extend your free leg straight back behind your body. Keeping your free leg straight, lift it upward behind you, elevating it as high off the ground as you can.

The higher you lift your leg, the deeper contraction you will feel in your glutes.

Now, with a flexed foot, you will begin to bend in your knee, curling the lower part of your leg inward toward your body. Squeeze this leg curl as far as you can, creating your tightest contraction in the hamstring. Once you reach the deepest point of this move, return it back out to the start. All the while, keep the glutes engaged and this leg elevated.

Continue this standing hamstring curl for at least 10 repetitions. Releasing the leg back to a standing position, shift your weight and extend the opposite leg up and behind you, just as you did in the first set.

Repeat the same number of repetitions on the opposite leg. Continue alternating for at least three sets.

Ankle weights will intensify this exercise. If the leg becomes too fatigued extended up high, lower your leg in a downward angle.

This exercise will surely tighten your rear end, and give you that extra confidence to finish the last few weeks of summer with a bang!

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.