3 Ways to Stop Muscle Cramps

Are muscle cramps cramping your exercise routine? Get-Fit Guy has 3 exercises to strengthen trouble spots and get you moving again.

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

In last week’s Get-Fit Guy newsletter, you learned about why it’s not really lack of electrolytes or poor hydration that can cause muscle cramps as much as it is other factors – such as poor movement patterns, age, or low back pain.

In today's newsletter, I’ve got 3 perfect moves for you to stop muscle cramping in 3 notorious cramping areas - your low back, your hamstrings, and your quadriceps.

  • Low Back – Often, low back cramping is due to weak back extensors. For strengthening the back extensors, get on the ground on your stomach and extend both your arms and your legs. Then lift your arms and legs simultaneously off the ground and hold for as long as possible. For added benefit, reach forward then back with your arms as you do this, as if you were pressing an imaginary weight in front of you. Try five 30-60-second holds.

  • Hamstrings – When your hamstrings cramp, it can often mean you have weak pelvic muscles or weak hip extensors and the hamstrings have to take on all the extra work. To strengthen your pelvic muscles and hip extensors, try the folded dollar bill exercise, in which you clasp both hands across your chest, bow forward with a straight back until your hamstrings tighten, then squeeze your butt muscles to stand back to an upright position. Try 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps.

  • Quads – The inside muscle of your quadriceps that runs down by your knee is often the culprit for quad cramping. To strengthen this muscle, which is called your “VMO,” try an isometric lunge, in which you drop down into a lunge position and hold for as long as possible while keeping your knee behind your toe and your leg bent at about 900. Hold for 10-20 seconds, then switch sides, and do this 4-5 times.

Here’s a helpful video that shows you exactly how to do each of these three moves. Enjoy!

Do you have more questions about how to stop muscle cramps? Leave your thoughts over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.