Football or soccer require an athlete to use all his strength and power when sprinting, jumping, maintaining the offense when running through the opponents, or tackling others at the line of scrimmage. The critical muscles that are used the most during this game are the glutes and hamstrings. Therefore, not only does training these muscles make you a better footballer, but it also reduces the risk of injury.
In this article, we will discuss the functions of glutes and hamstrings, exercises to strengthen these muscles, and how measuring these workouts could help you get the maximum benefit.
How do Strong Glutes And Hamstrings Help You Run Faster?
We will start with glutes. According to research, your sprint performance depends pretty much on your glutes’ strength. This area of the body consists of three major muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Other smaller muscles that contribute to your glutes’ strength are tensor fasciae latae, rectus femoris, iliopsoas, and Sartorius.
Another research involved the examination of these muscles in elite sprinters, sub-elite sprinters, and non-sprinters. The research results showed that elite sprinters had significantly larger gluteus maximus muscles than other participants. This research also analyzed the calves’ muscles. The experts found that these muscles had no significant impact on sprinting performance.
The researchers said that these results were remarkable because sprinting performance is generally thought to depend on various factors such as psychology, nutrition, and technique. They were surprised because they discovered a single muscle making a significant difference in the entire equation.
Additionally, strong glutes act as an anchor for your pelvis and contribute to your overall alignment. This has a profound influence on the way you move. In other words, glutes are like the base of the body. Its misalignment will have some unwanted impact on your movement.
Hamstrings are another significant factor in your sprinting performance. These muscles are a natural extension of your hips. A hamstring muscle consists of three muscles: semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and bicep femoris. Bicep femoris helps with knee flexion, hip and knee rotation, and posterior tilting of the pelvis. Semitendinosus and semimembranosus also perform these functions in addition to allowing the knee and hip to rotate medically.
The primary function of strong hamstrings is injury prevention. This muscle also increases the deceleration ability by helping maintain torso orientation and promoting control of the center of the body mass. These areas come into play more during a sport during which you have to slow and change the direction.
Another significant of hamstrings is that they help you run fast due to their role in knee flexion and hip extension. These muscles work alongside glutes to give your body a forward push.
Exercises for Glutes and Hamstrings; and Reasons to Measure Those Exercises
You can train your glutes and hamstrings with various exercises. All these exercises aim at strengthening the target muscles to help you keep up with the sprinting requirements of your preferred sport.
However, you want to be sure that you do not end up undertrained or over-trained, as it may affect your performance in the field. For this reason, measuring these exercises is very important.
Now, let’s first discuss some effective workouts to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings. Then, we will discuss how to measure these workouts and why it is important.
Glutes Workout: Single-Leg Stand
This exercise involves using a butt bungee on the waist and standing on one leg. You will need to hold your knee on the waist level and keep it that way for about 15 seconds. This exercise works the glute on the leg that is in contact with the ground.
Glutes workout: Single Leg Squat
Single leg squat, as evident by the name, involves squatting using one leg. This workout works your glutes when you sit down and stand back up. Pushing on the foot that is on the ground causes your glute to squeeze, helping you improve your sprint performance.
Glutes Workout: Kickbacks
A kickback is a bodyweight exercise that helps strengthen your glutes along with all other lower-body muscles. Place your hands and knees on the ground while making sure that your back is straight. Then, lift your right knee and foot into the air. Push your foot towards the ceiling, forming a 90-degree angle between both legs. Maintain this position for a few seconds and return to the initial position. Perform the same procedure with the other leg.
Hamstrings Workout: Nordic Hamstring Curl
This workout improves your hamstring strength exponentially. It involves restraining the legs just above the ankles and getting into the kneeling position. Then, you have to move your body down while keeping the entire body above the knees as straighter as possible. Use your entire body strength to avoid bending at your waist. Use your hands when you are near the ground.
Hamstrings Workout: Exercise Ball Hamstring Curls
Lie on the ground supine with your arms extended to maintain balance. Your heels and calves should rest on an exercise ball. Then, work your abs and glutes to get into an inverted plank position. Make sure that your toes are pointed towards your shin. Bring your knees towards your hips until the hamstrings contract.
Hamstrings Workout: Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
This form of deadlifts is more focused on your hamstrings and glutes. You can use a barbell, kettlebells, or dumbbells to perform this workout. Grab the weight on the ground while making sure that your back is straight and your hips extended. The bend in your knees should be no more than 10 to 20 degrees. Lift the weight until your feel pressure on your hamstrings. Stay in that position for a while and then move up.
Importance of Measuring Your Glutes and Hamstrings Workouts
All the exercises mentioned above have to be performed with a precise calculation, especially when you are up for a sporting event where there is no margin of error. From training to ground performance, you have to make sure that neither you are undertrained nor exhausted.
When it comes to measuring exercises, protocols vary depending on the type of workout you perform. For instance, if you are lifting barbells or other weights, you may need to get help from linear transducers that measure everything from the number of reps to the speed you move weights. For other exercises, you may need video feedback. The coaching you get plays a significant role in this regard.
Speaking of measuring glutes and hamstring exercises, you may want to benefit from Vitruve, the ultimate fitness tracking solution for a majority of your workouts. This small-sized encoder connects with your phone through its proprietary app to help you with real-time measurements as you exercise.