Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is arguably the fastest player in the NFL—and that speed isn’t just from his natural abilities.
The Super Bowl champ shared video of an intense hamstring exercise he’s been doing during quarantine to stay in shape in his latest Instagram post. Called the Nordic hamstring curl—you’ll recognize the motion if you’ve used a GHR machine for glute-ham raises—the move has Hill on his knees, with his feet and ankles anchored by a spotter. He controls his upper body down to the floor, pauses, then contracts his hamstrings to raise back up to the top. And he’s asking his followers to tag their favorite pro athlete to give the brutal move a try.
“All my fast guys I am challenging you to 10 Nordic Hamstring curls !! Tag your favorite athlete and see if he accepts ✌🏿✌🏿 Goodluck 😈😈😈,” he captioned his post.
Clearly, even Hill struggles through the final reps. After he knocks out 10 he hops up, slapping his hamstrings.
If you’re looking for a no-equipment hamstring workout, the Nordic hamstring curl is a great option.
“The Nordic hamstring curl is one of the best bang-for-your-buck hamstring exercises out there, so it makes sense that Hill’s doing them,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
And to do it effectively, it’s all about positioning your body appropriately.
“You have to completely dominate the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement or you’ll fall flat on your face, and the concentric (raising) portion requires a ton of pure hamstring strength period,” says Samuel. “It’s also that rare bodyweight hamstring movement where you focus on flexing at the knee instead of extending at the hips, as you do during deadlift-style motions.”
Hill’s form is on point to get the most out of the move. So if you’re looking to try them yourself, take some notes.
“The great thing Hill does here is he’s got a slight hinge forward at the waist, and that’s key to doing these right. You shouldn’t be a fully straight line from thigh through shoulders, because if you are, you easily extend through the lower back,” says Samuel. “So lean forward just slightly; this’ll help you burn out both glutes and hamstrings on these too.”
If this is your first time trying them, you can also modify the movement. Trust us—you’ll be lucky if you get one strict rep the first time out.
“Again, these are super tough!” Samuel adds. “So when you’re starting out, focus on owning the eccentric portion of the movement, and simply slowly lower yourself to the ground; use your hands to help you press up.”
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