Disclaimer:  This is just what I do currently.  I’m not saying everyone should do this.  Also, these are simply progressions of different exercises.  Some people are less advanced than me and some people are more advanced.  Treat yourself accordingly.

I still had a little pain/soreness in my hamstrings today.  Because of that, I made sure to focus on how each exercise made my hamstrings feel.  If anything would have made it hurt worse, I would have stopped.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

1.  Warm-Up

2.  Kettlebell Swings – Well, almost.  They were actually dumbbell swings because my gym doesn’t have any kettlebells.  Same idea, though.

1.  Warm-up sets with 50% and 75% of starting weight

2.  100lb dumbbell for six repetitions

3.  105lb x 6

4.  110lb x 6

5.  115lb x 6

6.  115lb x 6 (I probably could have done 120lb, but I chose to let it be)

To make it easier: This is a power exercise where you’re swinging a weight really fast.  Don’t do power exercises until you’re well-accustomed to weight lifting.  The only way I know of to make this exercise easier once you do it is to use a lower weight.

To make it harder: Pick up the 120lb dumbbell.  Also, I’m considering single-arm… We’ll see.

3.  Single-Legged Rack-Position Rear-Foot-Elevated Squats with Dumbbells –  A mouthful, eh?  It’s something I picked up from Strength and Conditioning professional Mike Boyle.  Essentially, it’s a single-legged squat with the foot you’re not using on a bench behind you.  That way, it provides a little more balance without letting it get too involved in the lift.  I held the dumbbells on my shoulders like in a front squat.

1.  Warm-up set with 75% of starting weight

2.  Two 30lb dumbbells for five reps

3.  35lb DBs x 5

4.  40lb DBs x 5

5.  45lb DBs x 5

6.  50lb DBs x 3

To make it easier:  If you’re new to weight-lifting, be sure you can squat, split squat, and lunge before you mess around with this.

To make it harder:  More weight.

4.  Single-Arm Plyometric Pushup with hands on a elevated box – Just taking the idea of pushups to their logical progression.

1.  Warm-up set with hands on a higher box

2.  10″ box for three reps with each hand

3.  8″ box x 3 reps

4.  8″ box x 3 reps

5.  6″ box x 3 reps

To make it easier:

1.  Use both arms.

2.  Put your hand on a higher surface (like a bench, table, or wall).

3.  Don’t do it in an explosive fashion.  Use slow movement.

To make it harder:

1.  Put some weight on your back.

2.  Put your hand on something lower.

5.  Pullups

1.  Warm-up set with no weight attached

2.  Bodyweight + 70lbs with a weight belt for 5 reps

3.  BW + 75lbs x 4

4.  BW + 75lbs x 3

5.  BW + 75lbs x 3.

To make it easier:

1.  Use less weight.

2.  Put your dangling legs on a chair or have a partner support your legs so that you can push down with your legs as well.  That, or find an assisted pull-up machine.

To make it harder:  More weight.

6.  Cool-down – Get the heart rate down.  Now drive home and eat some carbs.  🙂

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