When it comes to leg day, thighs get a lot of love. But what about hamstrings? These powerful posterior muscles are insanely important, and are often relegated to the backburner. Out of sight out of mind, right?
Wrong! Not training your hammies can haveserious consequences to your body's structural integrity, affecting your ability to live with optimal — and even proper — movement. And when you train your quads but not your hammies? Well, that just looks weird too.
Your hamstring muscle group contains three muscles running down the back of your leg, between your hip and knee. This trifecta of muscles is used to extend the hip, flex the knee, and rotate the lower leg inward, flex the knee outward and rotate the lower leg. Hamstrings also help to absorb shock from high intensity moves, like running or plyometric training, and allow you to decelerate your speed if you're walking or running downhill.
It’s all about balance, friends. Our quads are almost always naturally stronger than our hamstrings: they’re a bigger muscle group with more power. However, when you train your quads and neglect your hamstrings, you are making this disparity even bigger, and creating serious problems for your body. Hamstring weakness —especially hamstring weakness relative to quad strength — can cause back, knee and hip pain and injury. It can also affect your ability to perform at peak, so you’ll never be able to get the most out of your workouts and your gains will suffer.
Your hamstrings are part of your legs: and your legs are massive fat burning muscles. You jack up these powerhouses and you maximize your lean muscle mass and as a result, your ability to burn fat.
So, ready to start doing some hamstring heavy lifting?Great! We’re ready to help! Here are four incredible moves that target your hamstrings. Add them to your next workout or do them all as a circuit. Aim for 3-5 sets, working for 50 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between.
Come on: it’s time to make your hammies (and your body) happy!
Hamstring Deadlift Side Lunge
Good Mornings to Squat
Thrusts & Open
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Try this no-equipment back exercise in your next workout and start building a stronger back and core. Jenny Lam shows you how it’s done!
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