The hamstring curl with ball roll in targets both the hamstrings and core. These are muscles that almost all of us could use some strengthening in especially if we spend a good portion of our days sitting or being sedentary. Weather you are already active, trying to increase your activity level or are getting back to the activities you enjoy after an injury. This exercise can help you recover and prevent reinjury.
During the hamstring curl with ball roll in the core acts as a stabilizer while your hamstrings are the prime movers. The hamstrings play an important role in running performance, especially when it comes to speed. This exercise can be used to aid in recovery from hamstring strains or other running- related injuries however, if you are injured, please consult your physiotherapist prior to doing this exercise to make sure it is advised for your injury and current state of recovery.
For this exercise you will need an exercise ball with a diameter of 55-65cm (size will vary depending on your height). This exercise is challenging once you have raised your body and positioned it in a straight line you want to focus on maintaining the position of the hips and trunk throughout the movement. Much of the work in this exercise is maintaining level hips and ensuring that your hips do not droop as you roll the ball in and out.
To start lay on your back with your arms at your sides and your feet close together with your heels resting on the top of the exercise ball. Next raise your hips off of the floor to form a straight line from your shoulders to your hips, knees and ankles. Make sure your spine is in a neutral position and your hips are level.
Next flex at the hips and knees slowly rolling the ball towards you while keeping your hips raised and level. Once the ball is close to you hold for two seconds. Firmly pushing your heels into the ball slowly roll the ball back to the starting position while keeping your hips raised and level. Once your legs are fully extended, hold the position for one to two seconds before repeating.
During this exercise you want to engage the gultes to maintain your raised position. You will also need to engage your core to ensure that you maintain balance. Throughout the entire exercise you want to make sure you are firmly pressing your heels into the ball in order to help maintain control. When rolling the ball towards yourself the focus should be on pulling the ball towards yourself rather than raising your knees.
If you find this exercise challenging, you can lower your hips between repetitions. If you choose to do this ensure that you are lowering yourself in a slow and controlled manner and are still ensuring that your hips remain level throughout the entire movement. The hands on the ground can be used to assist in your balance. Once you are able to do this exercise while keeping the hips level and keeping good control over the ball you can cross your arms across the chest to make this exercise harder.
Clinical Exercise Physiologist