T Nation

Hamstrings and Calves

I’m relatively new to lifting. My workouts comprise the main compound lifts - squats, dead lifts, presses, rows, pull-ups. I don’t do any isolation work for hamstrings or calves. Do I need to add exercises that target those muscles directly or am I hitting them hard enough with the big compound movements? I do both regular and stiff-legged dead lifts, FWIW. I feel my hamstrings working pretty hard during the stiff-legged variation. Any pointers are appreciated.


Hamstring curls and calf raises would both be great to add to your training.

SLDL are basically a ham string exercise. If you think you still need more, glute ham raises or reverse hypers if you have one of those machines. kettlebell swings will work too.

Recently, I’ve been reading up a lot on hamstring work due to a quad injury. My takeways are go explosive and lightish (kettlebell swings, reverse hypers, RDL, SLDL or glute hams) or heavy and lowish rep (6-8, it’s assistance after all): heavy ass kb swings, heavy reverse hypers, more advanced glute ham raise.

I’m working 3x a week. I normally do low rep assisted glute ham raises on day 1, RDL on day 2 (no pulls/chins, too hard on the forearms), reverse hypers and kb swings on day 3… or some variation thereof. Keep in mind, I’m not squatting right now.

I used to be really fat, so my calves are bigger than my biceps w/ out any work.

Walk, whether its out and about, or on a stairmaster/inclined treadmill, and if you wanna get real dirty with it wear a weight vest