Exercise Demonstrations - Hamstrings

Hamstrings muscle group

Please find below a list of numerous exercises whereby the primary muscle group worked are the hamstrings (AKA leg biceps).

The gym exercise demonstrations and descriptions provided (follow relevant links) should help you to better understand the exercise (in order to perform it correctly) and for who (i.e. what sport) or when it may be beneficial to perform in training.

The hamstring muscles allow you to bend your knee (leg curl) and to extend your leg behind your body (hip extension). An injury can occur if any of the tendons or muscles are stretched beyond their limit.

By regularly working the hamstrings through their full range-of-motion, we can progressively increase their strength and flexibility, allowing them to perform better under stress and make them less susceptible to injury.

Leg Curls are performed standing, seated, or lying. No matter which machine or apparatus you use, something that is overlooked is the orientation of your feet – pointing forward, outward, or inward. Do you regularly alter the angle of your hand when working biceps, or the angle of your feet when performing Standing Calf Raises? We do this in order to hit the various muscle heads differently and reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries. The same principle applies during leg curls.

There are many methods of hip extension exercises, my preferred exercise choices are Reverse Hyperextensions and Stiff-Leg Deadlifts. Tip: It's Stiff-Leg Deadlifts, not Straight-Leg Deadlifts. For good-form, your knees should have an ever-so-slight kink and remain stiff in this position, not straight! The mid-position should be much like a hamstring stretch.

Remember, many popular sports (football, soccer, rugby, running, cycling etc.) are very demanding on the quadriceps (the opposing muscle group to the hamstrings). Although sports-specific training will naturally encourage you to train the quadriceps muscle group harder, to avoid possible injury your supplementary training (weights) should help to iron out these imbalances - train your hamstrings!

For ideas on sensible gym workout routines, please see 'Workouts', or considering the purchase of the bestselling Gym Professor publication Gym Workouts: Maps to Success.

Hamstring Exercises