Once called the ‘leg biceps’, hamstrings are muscles which can get you loads of extra volume with proper training. How would an additional 20 pounds sound to you? This would be possible with intense lifting and intelligent exercise, but most gym lifters tend to leave their hamstrings underdeveloped. The reason why this happens is that they only use part of the muscle. Check below the 5 top hamstring hypertrophy examples to see what exactly is possible.
Tom Platz is well known for his so-called “best legs in bodybuilding”. Of course, this title could not be acquired unless he had some perfect hamstrings, too. As we all know, Tom is all about volume and there is a solid “Tom Platz routine” that lifters everywhere adopt in order to look more like him. It is the method that works. Squats were his exercise of choice and he took those to the highest level. Although many other bodybuilders got to have impressive leg volume, even more so than Platz, the details he could show off are still unmatched. Let’s not forget he could squat 500 lbs for no less than 23 reps.
As fit for a big name like this, it’s only natural to see Kai Greene have impressive hamstring development. He does benefit of a genetic predisposition to this, but he certainly put a lot of effort into his leg training. His preferred exercise was squatting – heavy and with a high rep number. To achieve both roundness and detail, he said he focused first on the weak parts and then went on to the stronger ones. Therefore, the order was: glutes, calves and hams.
Although he is better known for the size of his glutes and for the overall mass in the legs, Ronnie Coleman did a great job with his hams, too. He pushed these to an incredible size as well. He used to start every workout with very heavy squats. This method became common to many top bodybuilders. Coleman used hip extensions and also knee flexes in all forms to push the 3 muscles of his hamstrings. The favored exercises were barbell and dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts, lying hamstring curls, good mornings, feet high leg presses and natural glute/ham raises.
Mr Olympia Phil Heath had a leg routine through which he hones every little part. His attention to detailed paid off. His leg routine consisted of leg extensions, barbell squats, hack squats, walking lunges and leg presses for quads. Then, for the hams, he used standing and seated single leg curls, lying leg curls, plus dumbbell stiff leg deadlifts. He gave his legs priority in his training. He worked his hamstrings and calves within the same day.
Cutler cracked up the muscular volume in his legs and that completed his incredible shape which helped him never be anything less than 1st or 2nd in any competition he entered, for 10 years on end. This means real consistency. Watch his leg presses and see how much attention he gives to every rep. Every second of each move was all about intensity and he had such a focus to do thing this way every time. Leg workouts usually have many weak spots and these are only obvious after you’ve trained for a while and the leg development isn’t as expected. Jay Cutler’s training focused on fighting all these weak spots by having a complete, detailed focus.
To exercise correctly, one may study the technique used by any of the champions presented above. It is important to always using the full range of motion in order to push the hams to grow. Also, details like pushing with the heels instead of the toes matter greatly here.
I recommend you to read “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding The Bible of Bodybuilding” by Arnold Schwarzenegger for more weight training secrets.
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