3 ways to train your hamstrings
The hamstrings are the engine that drives a big squat, a big deadlift, and turns your hips into powerful hip extension machines.
This muscle group is oftentimes neglected at the expense of training its more popular counterpart, the quads.
However, when they do get some attention very rarely does it take into account the entirety of the hamstring complex function leaving them under prepared for the heavy demands that are placed on them.
We released an infographic with one of my favorite hamstring exercises, but I think it's appropriate to go a little bit deeper. I think we can give you guys a little more training options giving the complexity of the hamstrings.
I categorize the hamstrings specific exercises into three buckets based on biarticular action and function of the hamstring muscle.
This means they cross two joints and have two separate functions that we'll talk about
One is training the hamstrings as knee flexors with the hips fixed. For example, I use prone hamstring curl, seated curls, supine bridge hamstring curls, and nordic hamstring curls.
These movements train the hamstrings to both flex the knee and resist knee extension.
I focus on controlling the Eccentric or lengthening portion of the movement will improve the hamstrings ability to function at longer ranges and develop strength of the longest muscle lens where they are the most vulnerable.
The second one is training the hamstrings as hip extensors with the knees fixed exercises like the romanian deadlift, good mornings and ghd hip extensions.
These movements further emphasize the long end of the leg tension relationship curve and involve the hinging pattern specific to the deadlift.
Naturally they include more of the posterior chain as they strengthen the hamstring to extend the hips from a significantly flexed position.
You can also train the hamstrings as both hip extensors and knee flexors.
These exercises are pretty advanced as they challenge both articulations of the hamstring with a lot of force.
The razor curl trains better eccentric control while the ghd hip extension plus glute hamstring raise trains the hamstrings through a full range of motion.
As these exercises at the end of a lower-body session throughout the week experiment with different variations, tempos and implements and programs do more challenging loads in unilateral vs. overtime.
While everyone else spends their leg days infatuated by their quads or glutes, put in the time with those hammys. I promise it will pay off in the short and long-term, believe me.