Hamstring Exercises: Key to Your Real Strength!

In a gym, rarely will you see someone doing hamstring exercises with the same passion as their chest or quads exercises. Most of this arises from the fact that most people are ignorant about the importance of the hamstring.

Hamstrings are the most ignored of the big muscle groups. This is in spite of the fact that they are quite important for strength gains, muscle gains and sporting performance. To be frank, hamstrings form one of the most important components in the posterior chain. Your posterior muscles, as we all know, are the ones that make you really strong.

So working on upper and lower back in addition to hitting those hamstring exercises will do the trick for you!

So, what are these hamstring exercises that will get the most of your hams?

Well, there quite a few you can choose from. However, the ones done with barbells are more important especially if you are a beginner. Once you learn these movements, you can try dumbbell exercises for variety and isolation. Changing the sequence of exercises, weight, reps or rest period will ensure that you keep progressing.

Here are some of the hamstring exercises that you should choose from:

  • Hamstring curls: done on a ham curl machine either lying down or seated, these are the best isolator hamstring exercises. Hooking your feet under the pads, you flex through the knees and bring your feet all the way up to the butt.
  • One leg hamstring curls: this is also done on a ham curl machine. However, here you use only one of your legs at one time and finish off the reps before moving on to the set with the other leg.
  • Straight leg dead lifts: is a good hamstring exercise for overall development. In a Romanian stance (feet shoulder width apart), slight bend in the knees and bar as close to your shin as possible, all you need to do is pull the bar up until you are standing straight. This is one of the best hamstring exercises ever!
  • Squats: not many people realise the importance of strong hamstrings in squatting. Hell, not many people even know that you use hamstring in squatting. However, as you start loading up the bar, you will notice that you have to go very slow on the way down and then spring up in the positive rep. This is where strong hamstring are helpful (that is in the negative repetition).
  • Additionally, all exercises involving other body parts, especially biceps barbell curls and pull ups can put a lot of stress on hamstrings. However, you need to make a conscious effort to tense your hamstring during these movements.

To conclude, you should pick your fitness routines according to your goal. Missing out on hamstring exercises totally will mean you will not only miss out on half the fun but also won’t get anywhere as strong as you can!