Dr. Adam Meisenhelder of Back In Motion Chiropractic & Sports Rehab in Beaverton, Oregon, demonstrates the single leg kettlebell deadlift.
Upper hamstring strains are a common sports injury, and something we regularly treat in our Beaverton clinic. As we've discussed in prior posts, the application of regular force into the healing muscle and tendon fiber is extremely important to achieve strong, resilient tissue. For upper hamstring strains, it can sometimes be difficult to specifically target the tissue, with traditional hamstring curls targeting more of the middle muscle belly. For this injury, we prefer the single-leg deadlift.
If you are new to this exercise, choose a fairly light weight, 5-10lbs should be good. Here's the step-by-step:
1. Stand in a neutral spine position, weight in the arm opposite the leg to be exercised.
2. Slightly bend the knee of the leg being trained.
3. Pivot from the waist, lowering the kettlebell to the ground without breaking the knee angle.
4. Pulling from the upper hamstring and glute, pull yourself back up to the starting position.
Throughout the entire repetition, you should focus on maintaining a neutral spine (don't round the back).
As you progress through this exercise, add weight every week, in about 5 pound increments. Once proficient with the movement, lifting with a 50lb+ kettlebell is quite doable. However, always choose quality over quantity to avoid injury and to get the most benefit from the exercise. If you have any questions on proper form or weight selection, please check with our wonderful staff.
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