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Homemade Hamstring Device

(An updated version can be seen here)

Earlier this year, I created a video that featured an inexpensive pair of furniture glide pads (original entry).  The gliders came in a 4-pack that cost approximately $10.  It’s been 7 months since I first used the gliders.  They receive regular use from myself and others, yet still work as good as new.

Up until recently, I’ve only used two of the four gliders.  I didn’t need the extra pair that came in the 4-pack.  Since I already had them however, I decided to build a simple hamstring device with the extra two.  In addition to the two gliders, I used scrap wood, a 12 inch piece of pipe and a pipe flange to complete the project.  This tool can be used to add weight to the hamstring exercise seen in the original video (see here at the 1:40 mark).

The Specifics

I cut two short strips of 2×4 to form the bottom portion of the device.  I then attached these pieces to a central 4×4.  An extra strip of 2×4 was then secured to the 4×4.  The extra piece was added to raise the pipe flange slightly higher.  I did this to ensure adequate room for my feet.  I then attached a 12 inch piece of pipe to the flange that sits atop the device.  Next, I nailed two thin strips of wood on each side to serve as foot stops.  They prevent the feet from sliding off the unit when heavy weight is loaded.  My heels fit between the two small strips.

Lastly, I glued  two gliders to the bottom of the unit.

The total cost for this device is less than $10.  It took a few minutes to build and is very easy to use.  The added weight greatly intensifies the bodyweight-only variation.  And while the bodyweight version can be performed with a single leg, I find the added weight to be more challenging (once you hit a certain load).  I’ve tested this unit with 120 pounds without any problems.

Below is a brief video demonstration of the tool.

YouTube Preview Image


For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below.

Homemade Exercise Equipment Archives

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15 Comments so far

  1. Lee Robinson November 11th, 2010 12:21 am

    That looks great and it looks like you could easily attatch a band to it?

  2. ben November 11th, 2010 12:33 am

    once again, mad good inspiration. thanks, the vids are always sick. soundtracks to boot. gets me worked up for the squats. no mercy dinosaur.

  3. JFG November 11th, 2010 1:42 am

    It always suprises me how creative you can be concerning your training method.

    Inspiring !

  4. Jimmy Lamour November 11th, 2010 4:05 am

    That is very innovative movement Ross. It is a great way to load the hamstrings and keep them strong. Keep the creativity as it offers no excuse as to why someone cannot get strong with a minimalist approach.

  5. Tomislav November 11th, 2010 8:39 am

    Nice one!! I’ve been looking for a simple hammy exercise. And this is it.

  6. Ibrahim November 11th, 2010 10:23 am

    Great tool! I guess if some of the big equipment sellers would see this, he would get mad or he would try hire you :)

    You make the weighted movement, i don´t know how much weight it is, so fluently and easy.

    I just love this Intensity!!!

  7. Wiggy November 11th, 2010 3:41 pm

    Yo man – long time no talk. We need to catch up.

    Anyway, awesome idea and cool video. Question – do you have any trouble with the apparatus wanting to unstable or tip from being top heavy since you have to use the ten pounders?

  8. Administrator November 11th, 2010 5:00 pm

    @Wiggy – No, you can see it moving smoothly with 100 pounds loaded. The heels naturally drive down as you pull the weight toward you. This alone will stabilize the device.

    @Lee – I have not tested it with bands. The potential certainly exists however.

  9. barbelljoe November 11th, 2010 6:52 pm

    My physical therapist prescribed a lot of this type of exercise after my ACL reconstruction a few years back. I used a stability ball under my feet and it felt quite effective. I still do it occasionally. Your device is an ingenious way to add weight to the exercise. Also, I like the way you keep your arms folded and off the floor, as this adds to the difficultly.

  10. Murds November 12th, 2010 5:36 am

    Hey Ross, nice post and vid, that looks really simple to make! What store do you pick up your furniture gliders at?

  11. Master Scott November 12th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Ross- just found your site through Zen Habits and I’m glad I did. I really like the equipment you show how to build at a fraction of the cost, same results!! Thanks!

  12. JB21 November 12th, 2010 3:18 pm

    Very nice. I WILL be making one of these!

  13. Jesse November 19th, 2010 6:40 pm

    Cool, Ross. I’m going through some knee rehab at the moment and this movement is pretty much exactly like one of the ones they have me do…only with the kind of weight that actually makes it more interesting. :P I know the rehab’s helping, but I’m not decrepit yet. :P

  14. Blog March 10th, 2011 12:29 am

    [...] Below is a video tutorial that serves as an update to a prior entry. [...]

  15. Tyciol April 26th, 2012 6:18 pm

    The weighted thing would have a very difficult concentric but I’m wondering, at some point would it be a quadriceps movement as the knee extends?

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