What are the best hamstrings exercises? - The Muscle PhD

What are the best hamstrings exercises?

Ask DocCategory: TrainingWhat are the best hamstrings exercises?
musclephd Staff asked 5 years ago

I follow themusclephd on Instagram and I’ve seen some crazy videos of hamstrings workouts. How can I build hamstrings like that?

1 Answers
Dr. Jacob Wilson Staff answered 5 years ago

Questions like these are somewhat loaded questions – there’s really no such thing as good or bad exercises, there’s just good and bad uses of an exercise. A lying leg curl is a great hamstrings exercise but if your goal is to build strength, doing sets of 30-40 reps probably won’t do much good for you. It’s how you use the exercise that makes all the difference.
That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind that the hamstrings are a biarticulate muscle, meaning they cross two joints and therefore need to be trained two different ways. The hamstrings perform both hip extension and knee flexion so if your goal is to build big, juicy hamstrings, you should include both types of exercise in your program. Things like RDLs, deadlift variations, and good mornings are great for attacking hip extension while exercises like leg curls and glute ham raises are great for knee flexion. Sprints are also a great way to train both.
Further Reading:
Haff, G. G., & Triplett, N. T. (Eds.). (2015). Essentials of strength training and conditioning 4th edition. Human kinetics.
Ross, A., & Leveritt, M. (2001). Long-term metabolic and skeletal muscle adaptations to short-sprint training. Sports Medicine, 31(15), 1063-1082.

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