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Isolating the Medial Hamstrings

Does anyone know what are the best ways to isolate the medial hamstrings? I tore my right ham while sprinting in high school and the muscle dead center on my right ham is still atrophied - I think the other aspects of my ham have over-compensated, more than one massage therapist has commented on the hypertrophy of the muscles on either side. It’s almost as if my medial is hidden.

Any advice on how to focus on it? I do deadlifts and SLDLs and curls, but I think I need to take a while to really isolate it to get it on track. Any advice?

Inwardly rotating the legs will help A LITTLE.

Try exercises like leg curls w. bands, one-legged deadlifts, ghr, hyperextensions, one-legged hyperextensions, etc.

[quote]Boris B wrote:
Inwardly rotating the legs will help A LITTLE.

Try exercises like leg curls w. bands, one-legged deadlifts, ghr, hyperextensions, one-legged hyperextensions, etc.[/quote]

Boris, thanks so much. I’ve tried the inward rotation thing, and as you seem to imply, it doesn’t help all that much.

The problem seems to be that the other aspects of my hams have overcompensated to the degree that I can’t effectively isolate it. It’s just sort of lying relatively inert deep under the other surrounding muscle.

I discovered yesterday that if I really focus my mind on the medial - and manually touch it - I can activate it by doing standing curls w/bands. I must say, it feels weird. No doubt part of the problem is not only strength but also a neuro-musc. issue.

I’ll keep plugging away. Cheers!

I would try the exercises I suggested. I had a similar issue once that I was able to hit w. them.

As a pure isolation exercise, leg-curls w. bands are awesome. Be careful, but if you vary your hip position w. the exercise (For example if your legs are abducted slightly, with the anchor point being at a 45degree angle in or away from your body’s midline), it will hit things differently. Again, be careful, because it’s really easy to overdo it.

Are you sure the muscle is still attached?

Any movement where your knee’s are locked will hit the medial portion, for example: SLD, Romanian Deadlift, Good Mornings, Back Ext., Reverse Hyper, etc… Leg Curls and HGR tend to hit the lateral portion.

@Boris: thanks, you are right about how easy it is to overdo it - it’s like the medial is always on the edge of going into spasm when I directly engage it like this.

@Onedge: god lord, I hope not. I think it’s in there, just a shriveled weak little thing, though. I have to admit though, your question made my heart jump :slight_smile:

[quote]Mike Sammon wrote:
Any movement where your knee’s are locked will hit the medial portion, for example: SLD, Romanian Deadlift, Good Mornings, Back Ext., Reverse Hyper, etc… Leg Curls and HGR tend to hit the lateral portion.[/quote]

Mike, interesting. Perhaps this is true in a healthy leg - however, at least for myself at present, deadlifts do not get my right medial (I haven’t checked my left - will today just out of curiosity.) I think there’s too much compensation in my injured ham by the lateral and surrounding muscles - they’ve sort of ‘taken over.’

Only by concentrating and fooling around with hip angles during curls am I am able to activate the damn thing. At least that’s my experience so far. On a side note, I also wonder sometimes if there are wide mechanical difference in people this way?

Thanks & cheers.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:

I discovered yesterday that if I really focus my mind on the medial - and manually touch it - I can activate it by doing standing curls w/bands. I must say, it feels weird. No doubt part of the problem is not only strength but also a neuro-musc. issue.

I’ll keep plugging away. Cheers! [/quote]

Keep doing that.
Those are activation techniques that are highly recomended.

Also, look into getting some ART done on the injured hammie. Get any adhesions that may have developed worked out. Depending on who you go to, accu-stim may also be an option.

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:

I discovered yesterday that if I really focus my mind on the medial - and manually touch it - I can activate it by doing standing curls w/bands. I must say, it feels weird. No doubt part of the problem is not only strength but also a neuro-musc. issue.

I’ll keep plugging away. Cheers! [/quote]

good luck to you. The same technique can be used for the lats or any muscle. It is pretty powerful.

I prefer GHR’s

Olesya