This Is The One Move You Need For Stronger, Leaner Legs
Let’s talk about hamstrings. Those things at the back of your legs that exist… But you’re not actually quite sure what they’re used for. As it turns out, they’re majorly important.
Because they are attached to your glutes and make their way to your lower legs, they’re key to knee and hip function. Think: helping you extend your knee and supporting your butt. “It’s something you need to work on in order to stay mobile, even when you’re older,” says personal trainer Inge Viljoen. “Basically, in order to be able to pick things up and easily carry out everyday tasks without having pain.”
Your hammies need to be both strong and flexible in order for them to work efficiently and the inchworm is a great way to work on both of these things. “If your feet are placed at on the floor and you’re able to put your hands close to your feet, you’ll feel your hamstrings stretch,” says Inge. That’s the first part of the move. It’s also an ace way to activate your arms, since the second part has you walking on your hands, using your shoulders for stability. But you need to engage your core too. “Your core should be activated throughout this exercise to prevent your torso from swaying from side to side,” says Inge. You could slot this in at the beginning of your workout as part of the warm-up or make it part of a superset. “I love using this exercise with my clients as a strength-training move,” says Inge.
Mix It Up
“There are endless variations to do with the inchworm exercise,” says Inge. Try these on for size:
FOR EXTRA CORE BURN: Add a push-up or manoeuvre into a side plank.
FOR MORE CARDIO: Add a jump at the end, making it a burpee. Or add mountain climbers after you walk your hands out.