T Nation

Hamstrings-Not Taken Seriously by Some

So many times have I read through workout programs people post on this site, and so many times i notice the same thing- Little to No Hamstring work.

The Hamstrings are the Biceps of the leg, and in coordination with the Glutes, provide a great deal of power when squatting, not to mention the fantastic visual appeal of well worked hamstrings.

I post this for all those who are simply hitting the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hamstrings. I personally know a man who has blown out his quads due to overstimulated quad work and growth and little hamstring work, and i fear it is very well a possibility for some.

Take the hamstrings more seriously, for your benefit. I personally do just as much hamstring isolation as i do for the quads.

Some options, aside from squats, include deep lunges, Romanian Deadlifts, Glute-ham raises, etc.

Happy lifting.

I get a lot of Hammy work from deads and rack pulls. Minor activation from squats.

I have been adding in lying leg curls, due to the lower amount of pulling I’ve been doing recently.

But thinking about it, I’m pretty sure you are right. Dammit…

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I get a lot of Hammy work from deads and rack pulls. Minor activation from squats.

But thinking about it, I’m pretty sure you are right. Dammit…

[/quote]

BAM, proved my point lol

I agree, most people ignore the hammies at their own peril. I give hammies their own day apart from quads.

What serious lifter doesn’t do some form of squat, leg press or deadlift? If you do any of those, you’e not ignoring your hamstrings.

I recently started box squats to try and teach myself to really sit back. This led me to find out I have the weakest hams/glutes known to man lol. I have always done RDLs and leg curls, and progressed everytime. I guess I just have a real problem activating them in the squat :frowning: it sucks. I hate squats, but I love them . . . .

I really need to start adding more frequency for hammies. I’m gonna start doing hams 3 times a week i think. I don’t want a flat back of the leg.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
What serious lifter doesn’t do some form of squat, leg press or deadlift? If you do any of those, you’e not ignoring your hamstrings.

[/quote]

Thats the point, you are “ignoring” them if thats the case. As i said, you’re simply hitting the tip of the iceberg. What you listed are all big, compound movements. Doing a Squat and saying thats the entirety of your ham work is like doing bench and saying you dont need to do Front head delt because of it.

I believe that more dedicated work is necessary than that.

Haha, i agree akuma. I realized about three years ago that i was not training hammies hard enough when a bodybuilder chick was doing leg curls with about the same weight as i was, and i weighed at least 100lbs heavier. That’s not the case anymore though. Now i train legs twice a week, one day is quad heavy, and the second is hamstring heavy.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I agree, most people ignore the hammies at their own peril. I give hammies their own day apart from quads.[/quote]

Me too - I also throw in low back, glute, and calf work that day.

Yeah Akuma I feel ya on this one. I have REALLY bad genetics in the hamstring department (my legs from the side are lololo. tiniest muscle belly ever, terrible insertion). Busting my ass to fix it.

Spread the word! Big hammies are hot.

once I started putting real consideration into my hamstring training, my squat numbers went way up. I feel the number one exercise for ME, was adding in glute-ham raises.

[quote]belligerent wrote:
What serious lifter doesn’t do some form of squat, leg press or deadlift? If you do any of those, you’e not ignoring your hamstrings.

[/quote]

None of these train knee flexion and all of these train knee extension.

If this is all anyone is doing for their hamstrings they are forgetting half the equation. The hamstrings cross two joints and should be trained accordingly for proper development and balance.

You wouldn’t isolate your triceps and not your biceps.

[quote]stockzy wrote:

[quote]belligerent wrote:
What serious lifter doesn’t do some form of squat, leg press or deadlift? If you do any of those, you’e not ignoring your hamstrings.

[/quote]

None of these train knee flexion and all of these train HIP extension.

If this is all anyone is doing for their hamstrings they are forgetting half the equation. The hamstrings cross two joints and should be trained accordingly for proper development and balance.

You wouldn’t isolate your triceps and not your biceps.[/quote]

Fixed that for you.

This is why some form of hamstring curls are a good idea. Seated and standing/lying to cover everything.

I have some pretty thick stretch marks on my hamstrings.

Squats with high volume/lots of burning, painful leg curls and 45 degree hyperextensions.

All good points. I’ve realized that as I’ve cut out alot of isolation work for hamstrings (basically just squatting and deadlifting to get a session in) that I have lost some strength there and even flexibility from not taking things through a full ROM.

I spent 6 months prior to my May 09 show hitting Hams first in my leg workouts. I figured that most competitors have decent quads, so I’d hit the notably popular weak points first in my own training.

As much as it wasn’t as fun as starting leg day with heavy squats would have been, in every contest I’ve done since, the judges have commented on my hanging hams (Thibs even gave me a compliment when I trained with him last Fall).

The problem with addressing a weak point that not as fun to train as say, biceps, is that you don’t see changes day to day, and you have to be willing to just suck it up and put in a good solid half year before the changes become easily apparent to everyone.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
and you have to be willing to just suck it up and put in a good solid half year before the changes become easily apparent to everyone.

S[/quote]

I feel like this is a huge issue, even going beyond just hammies.

No one has patience anymore.

At this point, on some lifts, given my diet/stress/sleep, I’m super happy with 3 extra reps a month on my top set.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
and you have to be willing to just suck it up and put in a good solid half year before the changes become easily apparent to everyone.

S[/quote]

I feel like this is a huge issue, even going beyond just hammies.

No one has patience anymore.

At this point, on some lifts, given my diet/stress/sleep, I’m super happy with 3 extra reps a month on my top set. [/quote]

NO one has patience. They expect muscles to grow by the week, or supplements to change them overnight. True bodybuilding takes years of ‘nose to the grindstone.’ That’s why people can get deterred so easily, because it takes time. But Thats why i respect the pros so damn much, they have been doing this for double digit years, putting their entirety into what they do Day in and day out. How many other people can say they honestly do that?

Hamstrings are certainly not a glamor muscle to train but of vital importance to a bodybuilder. My favorite movements

Sumo leg presses
Glute Ham Raise variations
Seated Leg Curls
Stiff Leg Deads would be on there if I could do them pain free