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5 steps to robust, shapely hamstrings

Robust, shapely hamstrings will not be solely engaging, they’re additionally practical as these muscular tissues play an important position in hip extension and knee flexion, that are actions that produce energy throughout coaching and actions like working.

Nonetheless, for quite a few causes, they’re usually a uncared for muscle group. Typically it’s not from a scarcity of making an attempt, however fairly a lack of know-how with regard to how the hammies perform, and inadequate data of appropriate workout routines or a scarcity of kit to focus on and cargo them sufficiently.

These elements all merely add to the imbalances created in a quadricep-dominant world, the place most actions in day by day life depend on our quads, and most leg workout routines load the entrance of our legs to levels far in extra of what we will obtain on hammie-focused workout routines or tools.

Whereas leg energy imbalances are a significant challenge, as they will have an effect on different areas of the physique and improve the danger of harm, most physique athletes are extra involved with the quad-hammie and glute-hammie tie-ins.

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Hamstring details

The hamstrings comprise three important muscular tissues:

  1. Semitendinosus
  2. Semimembranosus
  3. Biceps femoris

These muscular tissues run down the again of your thigh, originating in your pelvis and it inserts at your decrease leg (the tibia and fibula).

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Discovering steadiness

It’s usually beneficial that the energy ratio between your quads and hamstrings ought to be roughly 0.66 – your hamstrings ought to have the ability to raise (concentric part) a weight that’s at the very least 66% of that lifted by your quadriceps.

For instance, if you happen to can raise 60kg on the leg extension, then your seated leg curl ought to be 40kg.

To successfully goal your hamstrings, whether or not it’s to develop them aesthetically, improve their energy, forestall harm or appropriate imbalances, there are 5 key components to incorporate in your subsequent coaching session:

1. Give attention to their major perform

Play to the strengths of your hammies by together with extra hip extension actions that focus on these muscular tissues in your programme.

These workout routines embrace:

  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Good mornings
  • Stiff legged deadlifts
  • Standing cable hip extensions

2. Get technical

All of the Olympic weightlifting pull actions, akin to snatch pulls and clear pulls, are nice instruments to develop the hamstrings, however are seldom utilized by physique athletes as a result of their technical nature (and the related danger of harm).

Nonetheless, working to excellent your approach after which including larger weight in a progressive method will make sure you give your hammies exercise, whereas additionally strengthening them.

This implies you’ll have the ability to raise extra throughout your different hamstring-focused workout routines, which develops higher hammies.

3. Curls received’t minimize it

Relying solely on seated, mendacity or standing leg curls to focus on your hammies is a recipe for catastrophe.

Whereas it’s the dominant knee flexion train in most programmes, it’s not the best choice on this regard. It additionally received’t ship the positive factors you’re searching for when utilized in isolation.

The glute-hammie elevate (carried out on a hyperextension bench or off the ground with somebody holding your ft), for instance, is a a lot better possibility as your major knee flexion hammie train.

4. Hit them individually

Unilateral workout routines are higher choices as they aim one leg at a time. When unilateral workout routines are used for each hip extension and knee flexion, they isolate the hammies higher, and likewise develop larger energy, which is symmetrical on each side.

This corrects any energy imbalances and ensures that your dominant facet doesn’t overpower the weaker facet, subsequently lowering the muscle-building impression of the train once you carry out bilateral workout routines.

5. Give attention to the eccentric part

Hamstrings are sometimes called our “stopping’ muscular tissues, as they play an essential position in decelerating the physique when working.

Accordingly, specializing in the eccentric portion of your knee flexion actions works your hammies in the best way they had been designed to perform.

It will assist to strengthen them, which successfully means you’ll finally have the ability to raise extra, construct shapelier hamstring muscular tissues within the course of.

Writer: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or well being and health, Pedro might be out coaching for his subsequent marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s labored as a health skilled and as a advertising and comms skilled. He now combines his passions in his position as managing editor at Health journal.

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