Hamstrings are like the triceps for the legs. Their development is essential to true leg size, and their strength is central to plenty of strength exercises in the gym beyond just jumping on the hamstring curl machine. Here are the three best exercises to build up hamstrings:
1. Lying Leg Curls
The hamstrings offer a lot of standing workouts, but some work can be done while lying down to target this muscle group. The hamstrings have two functions: enabling the knee to bend and allowing expansion of the hips. If your workout regimen consists of a number of other hamstring workouts, like squats and deadlifts, this hamstring exercise can help you on slow days.
Fit the machine lever to your height by adjusting it, and lie face-down on the machine with the wad of the lever on the back of your legs, just a short distance away under the calves. Keep your torso flat on the bench to ensure your legs are fully stretched and grab the side handles of the machine. Point your toes straight out. This will be your starting position. As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting your upper legs or hips from the wadding.
Once you hit the fully constricted position, hold it for a second. As you inhale, bring the legs back to the starting position. Don’t look left or right, as this places unnecessary stress on your neck and back. Keep your face down and just focus on constricting your hamstrings. Carry out two sets of 15 to 20 reps with two minutes’ rest in between. If you cannot, lower the weight and count to five before starting the exercise again. Keep doing this until you reach the fiftieth rep. Then stretch the hamstrings out again for a few minutes and walk for a while around the gym or on the treadmill before leaving.
2. Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
The stiff-legged deadlift is one of the best exercises to build up hamstrings. A regular deadlift will aim at your hamstrings when exercising. In this workout, however, the major burden is on the upper and lower back. If you carry out the stiff-legged exercise, more pressure is being placed on the hamstrings than in any other exercise. Position yourself on a platform. By doing this, you allow the weight to travel lower than it normally would, offering a greater stretch to the muscles of the hamstring. Deadlift the weight to the peak and then curve at the waist until you feel a comfortable stretch. Use your hips to force the weight back up in the air.
3. Sissy Squats
Sissy squats are great exercises to build up hamstrings that have added to many winning sets of quads. For sissy squats, do 15 reps followed immediately by a tough 30 duplications on the leg extension. Each set of leg extensions should need adequate effort without surrendering form. Do three supersets with a two-minute gap in between.
These, then, are the three best exercises to build up hamstrings.