November 21, 2023 4 min read
The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located at the back of your thigh. Together, they help to extend and rotate your hip and knee joints and assist with various movements, such as running and jumping. As such, they are an important muscle group that is often overlooked in the pursuit of muscle growth and strength gains.Shop The Collection: Kettlebells
When it comes to building leg muscle, the hamstrings should not be ignored. Not only do strong hamstrings improve your overall athletic performance, but they also help to support your lower back and knees, which is important for preventing injuries.Shop The Gear: MAGMA Cast Iron Kettlebells, from $16.99 USD
Hamstrings play an important role in movement, stability, and overall performance. They help to extend your hips and knees, which is essential for activities like running and jumping. They also help to stabilize your knee joint and keep it safe from over-extension and hyperextension injuries.Shop The Collection: Dumbbells
Strong and flexible hamstrings also help to prevent lower back pain and other injuries associated with excessive strain on the lower back. Weak hamstrings can cause the pelvis to tilt forward, which can place additional stress on the lumbar spine.Shop The Gear: CAP Barbell Neoprene Dumbbells, from $1.99 USD
There are many different exercises you can do to target and build your hamstring muscles. Here are some of the most effective exercises for muscle gains:
Stiff-leg deadlifts are a great exercise for targeting the hamstrings. They involve bending at the hips while keeping your legs straight and your back slightly arched. It’s important to keep the motion slow and controlled so that you don’t injure yourself.
To perform a stiff-leg deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Hold a barbell in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and slowly lower the barbell towards the floor. Keep your back slightly arched as you lower the barbell, and make sure to keep your core tight throughout the movement. Once the barbell touches the floor, reverse the movement by pushing through your heels to return to the starting position.
Glute-ham raises are another great exercise for targeting the hamstrings. They involve lying face-down on a glute-ham raise machine, with your ankles hooked under the foot pads. Then, you use your hamstrings and glutes to lift your torso up off the pad and back down again.
To perform a glute-ham raise, start by lying face-down on the glute-ham raise machine. Hook your ankles under the foot pads and place your hands either on the side of the machine or crossed over your chest. Engage your core and glutes and use your hamstrings to lift your torso off the pad. Once at the top, pause for a moment before slowly lowering back down to the starting position.
Romanian deadlifts are another excellent exercise for targeting the hamstrings. They involve hinging at the hips while keeping the legs straight and the back slightly arched. This exercise is similar to the stiff-leg deadlift, however, the range of motion is greater and the weight is typically lighter.
To perform a Romanian deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back slightly arched, hinge at the hips and slowly lower the weights towards the floor. Keep your legs straight and let your arms hang naturally as you lower the weights. Once the weights touch the floor, reverse the movement by pressing through your heels and returning to the starting position.
Cable pull-throughs are a great way to target your hamstrings. This exercise involves standing in between two pulleys, with a cable attached to one end. You then use your hamstrings to pull the cable through your legs and back up again.
To perform a cable pull-through, stand in between two pulleys, with a cable attached to one end. Grab the cable handle with both hands and step forward, away from the pulley. Keeping your legs straight and your core tight, use your hamstrings to pull the cable through your legs and back up again. Make sure to keep your back slightly arched throughout the movement. Once the cable is all the way through, reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
In order to build stronger hamstrings, there are a few tips you should keep in mind:
The hamstrings are an important muscle group that often gets overlooked. Not only do strong hamstrings improve your overall athletic performance, but they also help to support your lower back and knees, which is important for preventing injuries.
There are many different exercises you can do to target and build your hamstring muscles. Some of the most effective exercises for muscle gains include stiff-leg deadlifts, glute-ham raises, Romanian deadlifts, and cable pull-throughs. In order to get the most out of your workouts, make sure to focus on form, incorporate a variety of exercises, and adhere to a consistent schedule.