Often ignored, the hamstrings can have a radical effect on overall muscle growth as well as help create a stunning visual from behind. Most hamstring workouts consist of a few versions of leg curls here and there and most individuals never really push their hamstrings to the upper limit. So here’s 7 hamstring workout and training principles that you must apply if you want hamstrings that hang off the bone or at least, a nice behind.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 1
Understand that the hamstrings both flex the knees and extend the hips.
Unlike other bodyparts, the hamstrings can produce force both in knee flexion and hip extension. And we know through recent research that the hamstrings are connected to the low back and glutes so what happens to the hamstrings can effect your low back and glutes greatly. This is why track coaches, for the longest time, have had their athletes training the hamstrings in hip extension.
When combined with knee flexion exercises like leg curls, hip extension exercises like deadlifts and their variations can vastly shape the hamstrings. Make sure you use both in your training.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 2
Train Each Function Of The Hamstring With Different Reps
Being that the hamstring acts on two different joints, they also are made up of different muscle fibers. When used as hip extensors (deadlifts), the hamstrings are more fast twitch dominate which means that they must be trained with lower rep ranges. Yet when you train with leg curls, you need to know that you are training them as slow twitch muscles and must use higher reps.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 3
Stretching The Quads Will Open Up The Hamstrings
Due to the rule of antagonistic inhibition, if the quadriceps are tight then the hamstring will show a reduction in force. Perform a quad stretch before a set of hamstring work and you’ll notice an increase in force of the hamstrings on that set.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 4
The Hamstrings Can’t Produce As Much Force As The Glutes
When you hear about all of these pros athletes and their hamstring issues what you should really be hearing that they have weak glutes. The glutes, which is the muscle that can produce the most force in the body, work in hip extension (sprinting) like the hamstrings. The problem is that most people have weak glutes and overcompensate with the hamstrings. Focus on glute work to warm-up before you perform hamstring work.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 5
If Your Hamstrings Are Tight, Stretch Your Adductors
The adductor magnus (the biggest adductor muscle) acts as both a hip flexor and hip extensor, which means it may compensate and do some of the hamstring work. If you feel that your hamstrings are tight, perform foam rolling and stretching movements for your adductors and you’ll have looser hamstrings.
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 6
Make Sure To Force Your Hips Back When Perform Deadlift Variations
Most people bounce up and down during deadlifts and never focus on the deep stretch at the bottom of the movement. This type of loaded stretching will help to increase the rate of muscle growth as well as potentially increasing protein synthesis and preventing hamstring soreness.’
Hamstring Workout And Training Principle # 7
Train Your Hamstring Often
As noted in point # 1, the hamstring have two functions. Make sure you include both movements in your hamstring session but don’t be shy to train your hamstring again, using either both or one of the movements, at least once more during the week, if you are trying to improve your hamstrings.
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