Massive quads are extremely aesthetic, but they quickly lose their appeal if they are not coupled with strong hamstrings. These muscles that run from the glutes to the knees are responsible for curling your legs. They are recruited in most quadriceps exercises, but their potential is only exposed when they are specifically targeted.
The fact that you cannot see your hamstrings makes it easier to ignore them during leg day. If your quad work doesn’t allow you to exercise them, you can set a day aside in your weekly program to work them out. When they are routinely exercised, the thickness of the legs increases and that X-shape becomes more noticeable.
The hamstrings are actually a group of muscles that work together, not unlike the quadriceps. To add size to them, perform such exercises as:
This variation of the popular deadlifts isolates the hamstrings in a very fine way. The proper way to perform it is with your feet close together, knees locked, and the back fully arched. The weight is lifted off the ground until the torso is upright, and then lowered back down without touching the floor. If done correctly, you should feel the burn in your hamstrings. Keeping your back arched as you lower the weight is critical in avoiding back injury.
Lying Leg Curls
This is an isolation movement as well, and one that you can’t use as heavy a weight. However, it is very effective, as only your legs are in motion. The exercise works best when you curl your legs all the way back until the weight is nearly resting on your hamstrings. Using an angled leg curl machine is more ideal as it enables greater recruitment of the hamstrings. Avoid any swinging movements as this can culminate in injury.
The plate drag is possibly the most challenging hamstring exercise here, but possibly also the most effective at isolating the muscle. It is a rare exercise as it is limited by the kind of gym floor you have. Carpeted floors are limiting because the traction is greater. You can do it either lying down on your back or whilst supporting your weight with your arms. The movement is done by contracting your hamstring to move the plate towards you using one leg at a time.
With these hamstring exercises, you will be able to put on some serious size on the muscle.
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