22 April 2016 / Technique Tips

Technique Tip: The hamstring curl

This is a challenging position to hold, especially when you are new to barre classes. Read on if you are struggling to maintain this position at Barre Base! 

In our barre class we often speak about creating a 'T-shape'.
What we are aiming to do here, is to hold the leg at the same height as the arms when they are reaching onto the barre. Remember, this is our goal position, yet some people won't have the mobility to do this straight away. If this is you, just focus on keeping your spine straight, and hold your leg a little lower for now. From our t-shape, we can create a fantastic glute and hamstring workout.

This is how we set up for our Hamstring curl at the barre.

To set up, create a right angle with your body at the barre. With both feet on the floor, fold forward and hold onto the barre. Take your eyes to where the floor and the wall meet; that way, you have a long line through your spine, and the line isn't disrupted at the neck. Ensure that your feet are directly under your hips so that the weight is bearing through your muscles, rather than through your joints. Keeping a soft bend in the knee will help you keep control of the movement, and will also stop the knees from 'locking out'. 

Extend one leg at a time behind you, aiming for the 'T'. 
When curling the leg, focus on your thigh staying still in space. We want to imagine the top of our leg resting on a flat surface, and when the heel reaches for the glute, the thigh doesn't move. This is how we create the resistance through the hamstrings and glutes. Draw your belly button towards to spine, to ensure your core is braced. Aim to have hips and shoulders square to the floor, rather than one hip sitting higher than the other as we move!

This move is easily practiced at home. It requires a combination of strength and stretch to attain the desired posture, and workout!

Remember if you have any questions about technique, we are more than happy to spend time before or after class answering your questions!