Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Hamstrings

Quick info on the hamstrings

* Hamstrings tend to be underdeveloped in most people compared to the qauds.

* Powerful and strong hamstrings play an important role in speed

*Hamstrings have two functions which include flexing the knee and hip extension. In order to fully develop the hamstrings you must train both functions.

*Hamstrings are made up of mostly fast twitch muscle fibers and therefore should be trained with heavy loads and lower reps.

*Hamstrings respond good to eccentric work. Think negatives.

*Most people tend to have very tight hamstrings so keeping the tissue quality up with foam rolling and stretching is essential.

Exercises to include in your program-

1) Glute Ham Raise-Dont be surprised if you make an ugly face when doing this bodyweight exercise. One of the best exercises for preventing hamstring pulls.
Read the blog post http://h4training.blogspot.com/2012/04/glute-ham-raise-deadmans.html

2) Deadlifts-both single and double leg. Roman deadlifts work very well. RDL's are the variety in which you aim to push your hips backward when bending over. RDL's work better than the traditional straight leg deadlift which emphasizes more lower back since you bend from the back

3) Leg curl-I love doing eccentric curls with the leg curl machine

4) Lunges-Focus on taking a long stride to target the hamstrings more. Once your foot hits the ground try and push away from the floor through the heel.

5) Kettlebell swings-Great exercise to use on a speed day or after a heavy lift or on a fat loss program. make sure you snap with the hips and don't make it a squatting movement.

6) Backwards sled pull-Most of you wont have access to a sled so instead set up a rope at the bottom of a cable pulley rack and use plenty of weight. Now simply grab the rope and keeping yourself with an upright posture walk backwards until the weight stack hits the top. Repeat this for multiple reps. Make sure you stand upright and focus on pulling the ground toward you instead of just walking.

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