Bodyweight or minimal equipment exercises are great. Until you want to target your hamstrings.

Luckily, Valslide SHELCs are phenomenal to fry your hammies. The best thing: You only need regular household items to do them.

First, here is what the exercise looks like:

A post shared by Silvio (@neatstrength) on

Second, what the heck do all these words mean?

SHELCs: Supine Hip Extended Leg Curls.

Supine means you’re lying on your back. With your hip extended (upper body and thighs stay one rigid line), you bend at the knee (leg curl).

You go from lying flat on your back to a glute bridge position. Your feet are about shoulder width apart (even a bit closer).

Valslide: This is a brand of exercise equipment. These are nothing more than fancy furniture gliders. They’re made out of some special synthetic fabric that glides very well (like felt).

You could buy them for about 35 bucks, but I find this overpriced.

Do you have a hardwood floor or something as smooth as hardwood? Good, get a pair of wool socks or a towel or something else that glides well on smooth surfaces.

Do you have a carpeted floor? Okay, get something smooth. A frisbee disc would do (the cheapest you can find) or the lid from a plastic container.

You could also go full on DIY and make them yourself. Glue some plastic (like plexiglass) to a piece of felt or furniture gliders. Cut it so that it’s a bit bigger than your flat hands. Boom.

Eccentric: A movement usually consists of two phases. During the concentric phase, the muscles involved contract or “shorten”. This is where you lift the weight. During the eccentric phase, the muscles lengthen and you lower the weight.

We only want to perform the eccentric part of the leg curl. So you first pull your feet up while keeping your back on the floor. This requires almost no effort. Then you extend your hips and try to slowly glide your feet back to the starting position.

Who did I steal it from?

I stumbled upon an article called How to Look Like You Lift by Kourtney Thomas. She and Jen Sinkler show five exercises with minimal equipment. I found this one to be the most useful to add to my toolkit.

What does it do and why should you do it?

This is an accessory movement. Normally, I’m a big proponent of compound movements like push-ups, rows and squats. These should make up the bulk of your training.

Sometimes, though, it’s wise to slide in (get it 😜) an isolation exercise to fill a gap.

If you do only bodyweight training, there is not much direct action for the hammies. A nice set of hammies looks good on you (men and women alike) and is crucial for a healthy posture and healthy knees.

We only need the eccentric phase to trigger muscle growth. All you need is time under tension. When you’ve tried a few reps, you know that there is enough tension here.

Programming

3 sets of 10 very slow and deliberate reps, done 1 or 2 times a week is all I’m asking for. I like to place SHELCs as a finisher for my strength focused workouts.

Move freely.
-Silvio


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