How Pilates Helps Build Strong and Long Hamstring Muscles
With reformer pilates gaining in popularity, more people are asking how they can target their hamstring muscles.
What exactly is reformer Pilates?
Reformer Pilates uses a reformer machine to perform specific exercises that engage many muscle groups throughout the body simultaneously. The reformer provides resistance, working your muscles harder as you move through each exercise. Over time, reformer Pilates is proven to produce significant results for participants.
Toned hamstrings play an important role in improving your overall fitness. You may have noticed that certain reformer exercises are focused on using your hamstring muscles more than others… Here are some reasons why!
Why is it important to do hamstring-focused reformer exercises?
As reformer Pilates instructors, we are regularly asked about reformer exercises that focus more on the hamstring muscles. This is not surprising considering how important they are to overall fitness! We all know that reformer Pilates classes include many different reformer exercise variations, each with specific goals and benefits for your body. However, the majority of reformer exercises do target both your quadriceps (the front of your thighs) and hamstrings (the back of your thighs).
Your hamstrings play an integral role in helping you step up onto the reformer box or carriage, perform roll-ups and pullovers, stand up from lying on your back and, jump off reformer for a quick water break! In reformer classes, your hamstrings support your body’s weight and help to control movement through the reformer exercises.
Hamstrings are important to reformer Pilates because they can get easily overlooked in other workouts. To build strong hamstrings you need reformer exercise variations that focus on this specific muscle group.
Why reformer pilates is great for building strong hamstrings:
In reformers classes, students have the opportunity to target their hamstring muscles using various reformer exercises while targeting other parts of their body at the same time! The wide range of movements possible on a reformer allow us instructors to challenge our students with reformer exercise variations that will target specific muscle groups in both their upper and lower body.
Although reformers classes tend to focus more on the quadriceps, hamstring-focused reformer exercises can be included throughout reformer classes! When you include targeted reformer exercise variations for your hamstrings, you help to improve your overall health and fitness.
How Pilates Helps Build Strong and Long Hamstring Muscles
Reformer Pilates reformer classes help to build strong hamstrings with reformer exercises that target both your quadriceps and hamstrings. Due to the fact that reformers provide so much resistance and work several muscles at once, reformer exercises can be very effective in targeting specific muscle groups.
If you want to improve your overall health and fitness by building stronger hamstrings, reformer Pilates is a great option for you . There are many ways that reformer Pilates helps to tone and strengthen your hamstring muscles…and we’re going to show you just how!
The following is a list of reasons why reformer Pilates can help build strong and long hamstrings:
1. Reformer Pilates uses proper alignment to help prevent injuries.
2. Reformer Pilates reformer exercises challenge your core muscles which helps to strengthen and build dense, lean muscle tissue throughout your body as a whole.
3. The reformer carriage provides resistance that stimulates muscle contraction without placing too much pressure on the joints in your lower limbs, helping to protect you from injury.
4. Reformers allow for full range of motion which is necessary when strengthening hamstrings because they can be quite tight and it is important to release this tension through exercise reformer variations!
5. Pilates reformer exercises train your coordination, muscular control and balance which all play an important role in preventing injuries related to exercising with reformers.
6. Reformers are easy to adjust to fit your body’s unique structure and can be customized with extra reformer accessories to make reformer exercise variations more challenging!
7. Reformers provide added resistance which allows you to increase the difficulty of reformer exercises over time!
8. The reformer lets you focus on individual muscle groups while also providing a full cardio workout at the same time!
9. The reformer carriage provides additional support for you lower back, which is imperative when Pilates reformer exercises are included in hamstring strengthening programs because includes movements that place strain on this area of your spine!
10. Because reformers allow for so many different types of reformer exercise variations, reformers challenge the muscles in your legs and create more lean muscle tissue over time.
11. Reformer Pilates reformer exercises improve your overall posture which is great for strengthening hamstrings because it reduces unnecessary pressure on these muscles when you sit or stand throughout your day.
12. You can add reformer Pilates reformer exercises to strengthen hamstring muscles into virtually any workout routine!
Hamstring Exercises: What to Remember While doing hamstring-focused reformer exercises:
1. Make sure that the reformer carriage is always close enough so that you knee does not go over your toes while performing reformer exercise variations! This will help prevent injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears.
2. Aim to use the reformer springs so that you have a nice challenge in your reformer exercises, but never feel pain or discomfort! This means that reformer exercise variations are too difficult and it is time to decrease the tension of reformer springs.
3. Keep breathing throughout reformer Pilates reformer exercises! Your workouts should include deep breaths to keep muscles activated throughout every movement. Make sure not to hold your breath when exercising on a reformer because this can place unnecessary pressure on your lungs and lower back!
4 .If reformers aren’t available, perform hamstring strengthening exercises barefoot for an added challenge because muscles will need to work harder without shoes around them! If going barefoot is not an option, you can also perform reformer exercise variations with shoes on to decrease the reformer’s challenge.
5. Go for slower reformer Pilates reformer exercises when adding them into hamstring strengthening workouts in order to increase muscle activity over time! This will help strengthen hamstrings faster and also improve your coordination because reformers are not stationary objects which makes it more challenging mentally to engage your muscles during reformer exercise variations.
6. Aim to prevent a reformer exercise variation from moving during reformer Pilates reformer exercises so that you can challenge muscles throughout different ranges of motion which will help improve your stability and coordination while strengthening hamstrings.
7. Keep knees bent when doing reformer reformer exercise variations for hamstring strengthening in order to keep pressure off of this area! Keeping knees bent also helps ensure that reformers are not used as a replacement for stretching, but instead reformers should be paired with static stretches post-workout in order to get the most out of each reformer Pilates reformer exercise variation performed on a reformer.
8 .When performing hamstring stretches on a reformer see if you can lift your back off of the carriage by squeezing your gluteal (butt) muscles and drawing in your abdominal muscles. This reformer hamstring stretch variation helps decrease pressure on hamstrings by creating a balance of reformers benefits and reformer drawbacks!
9. Make sure to maintain the integrity of your spine while doing reformer Pilates reformer exercises for strengthening hamstrings because this is one large factor that sets Pilates reformer exercise variations apart from other types of reformers exercises or routines! Although reformer Pilates reformer exercise variations are good options for strengthening hamstrings, there only should be a few movements that affect your lower back!
10. Keep core muscles engaged throughout any type of reformer Pilates reformer exercise variation because this creates an added challenge to these already challenging reformer exercises which will help strengthen hamstrings faster! Simply adding reformers benefits to reformer drawbacks makes reformer Pilates reformer exercise variations an excellent strategy for hamstring strengthening!
There are many hamstring strengthening reformer exercise variations that you can perform, but these 10 reformers tips should provide some insight on ways to get the most out of them. If performing reformers isn’t available to you then try performing the same type of stretches or leg exercises barefoot in order to get results faster because without shoes around your feet your muscles work harder during all types of foot and ankle strengthening exercises.
Ready to join the tribe at Vibe Pilates?
We encourage everyone, of any age or ability, to join us for a Foundation class and see what Vibe Pilates is all about for yourself. You get to have a play with the machine and have fun learning new moves across a 45 minute workout.
Our Foundation session is a focus on the core foundations of the body. It’s a set up class designed for our beginners to get you started with confidence. The session is set at a slower pace to ensure you develop the understanding of the movement and feel why a reformer workout is so beneficial for your body.