Hamstrings are the ultimate bodybuilding bodypart. After all, most every other athlete trains them — if they train them — for injury prevention. You rarely notice hams of note on a non-bodybuilder, and even most bodybuilders lack the density and dieted-down details to wow a crowd with rear-leg heft or vertical-blind lines. In this article, we help you hammer your hams as we lay bare the top five hamstrings-training blunders. Class is in session.
MISTAKE#1: FAILURE TO WORK ALL AREAS
The muscles at the back of the upper legs were traditionally called the “thigh biceps” in reference to the largest ham muscle, the biceps femoris. We made a linguistic leap forward over the past three decades as the more inclusive “hamstrings” came into common usage. Still, most trainers think of their hams as two muscles (one at the back of each upper leg) or as a set of muscles with identical functions. In fact, there are three muscles on the back of each thigh (see “Anatomy Lesson”), which collectively form the hamstrings, and the biceps femoris has a somewhat different function from the semitendinosus and semimembranosus.
- Lying leg curls with your hips on the bench target the biceps femoris (outer Semitendinosus hams). Make sure to do at least three sets in each ham workout.
- Seated leg curls target your semitendinosus and semimembranosus (inner hams), so perform at least three sets of seated leg curls in each ham workout. Pulling your hips off of the bench during lying leg curls will also focus the stress more on this area.
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