Training your legs is important. If your legs aren’t healthy, flexible, and strong enough, you are not able to train very effectively. The majority of the people hitting the gym have poor hamstring development, and it puts them at the risk of injury and reduced performance. I’ve seen people focusing on quads and glutes during their lower body training, while hamstrings are always avoided.
Not training your hamstrings will prevent you from utilizing your utmost training potential and cause muscle imbalances.
You have to understand that your body works as a system that is interconnected. In simple, a weak node will result in poor performance of other nodes. Hitting the gym every day, but not focusing on a balanced workout routine will not be good for you in the long run. Don’t be the guy that only trains muscles they like. Aim for strength development and overall body growth.
Understanding the Anatomy and Function of the Hamstring
Even though these muscles aren’t as impressive as your biceps or triceps, they still play a vital role in enhancing your performance. Having weak and tight hamstrings results in excessive strain on your knees and can also tear during hardcore exercise.
There are three muscle groups in your hamstring:
- Biceps Femoris
These three muscles are responsible for knee flexion, stabilization, and hip extension. When trained properly, hamstrings are part of the posterior chain and helps a lot in low body movements. This includes squats, running, walking, climbing, etc. You’ll also feel much stable during muscle and strength training.
Moreover, it has been seen that stronger hams make you faster to change direction or prevent an obstacle. Furthermore, they stabilize the hip joints that help keep the spine firmly aligned and give you a better posture. When your hams, quads, and glutes are altogether strong, they support each other for an efficient workout routine.
Expect a negative effect on your performance if your hamstrings, glutes, or quads are weak.
That being said, let’s jump on training the hamstring by performing seated hamstring curls.
Seated Hamstring Curls
Most of the exercises that depend on your lower body muscle group will tend to train the hamstring.
Hamstring curl is by far the most effective way to train your hams, make them stronger and improve your overall leg development.
Sit on the hamstring machine and place your back firmly against the pad. Next, position the lower leg against the pad and adjust the lap in between the knees and the hip. This will bring your legs into a secure position. Grab the side handles to give more stability and comfort to the legs. The machine must be fully extended in front of your and the toes must be pointing forward. This will be your starting position.
Now flex the knees through your hams and pull the machine inwards. Throughout the exercise keep the torso stationary. Once the machine is pushed fully inwards, hold this position for a second and gradually extend back your legs to the starting position.
Perform three sets of 8-12 reps each.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Failure to work on all areas: Even though we laid emphasis on hams in this article, if you fail to work on all areas whether it be the glutes or quads, it will impact the other muscle.
- Insufficient volume: In case your legs are lagging the volume it needs, train your hamstrings on separate days from your quads. This will strengthen your legs and increase your volume as well.
- Lagging Intensity: Most people will throw off their weight and won’t do any forced reps, drop sets, or even rest-pause. Skipping these techniques will never increase your muscle endurance and you’ll only make so much progress. Aim for that extra rep…push yourself hard enough.
- Going Too fast and Too Short: Another mistake bodybuilders often do. You should never go too fast on the leg curls. Take at least 5 seconds on each rep. Focus on the stretch and contraction, hold the contracted position for a second and increase the weight gradually.
Are you training your hams?