Type and performance hamstring coaching

Well-trained hamstrings can improve athletic performance, increase strength in heavier lifts, and round off your rear view.

Romanian deadlift

Form: Romanian Deadlift (with stiff legs)

A normal barbell deadlift begins with the weight on the floor with your knees bent, which mechanically puts the hamstrings at a disadvantage, reduces their role, and shifts much of the work to your glutes and back. But a Romanian deadlift begins to stand and the knee joints stay straight and stationary, which adds more stress to the hamstrings, especially at their weakest point where they are stretched across two joints (knees and hips). In order to gain mass and develop strength, it is important to build up these muscular end areas. The Romanian deadlift is perfect for this.

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  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes forward. Your knees should be soft to protect the connective tissue while the focus remains on the hamstrings.
  • Holding the barbell with an overhand or alternating grip, pressing your shoulder blades down and back, imagine yourself crushing the barbell in your grip. This trains your back and arms to activate and stabilize the weight.
  • Center the bar over the middle of your foot. If it's too far forward, it can put strain on your lower back. If it brushes your shins, sit back and pull on your sacroiliac joint (SI), putting pressure on your lower back / hip area.
  • Just hang by your hips by pressing your glutes back and lowering the weight straight down while keeping your knees straight but soft. If you bend your knees too much, you'll use more glutes.
  • As you fold forward, keep your head and spine aligned as they are when you stand tall and straight. As you look up or down, the curve of your spine changes and tension is shifted from your hamstrings to your back and glutes.
  • Stop at your lowest point (around the middle of your shin) and feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Then, mindfully reach up to your hind legs and rise to stand for flawless alignment above: ears over shoulders over hips over knees over ankles.
  • Do not tuck your pelvis or push your hips forward at the top. Simply squeeze your glutes together to maintain the mind-muscle connection.
  • When your hamstrings are tight, your knees and hips tend to collapse and curl inward, or you turn around to get some more depth. Avoid injuries and improve results by reducing weight and working in a shorter range of motion to ensure proper form.

Easy shape hamstring workout

exercise Sets Representative resistance Rest

Bulgarian split squat

3

8-12

moderately difficult

1-2 minutes

Romanian deadlift

3-4

8-12

moderately difficult

1-2 minutes

Glute Ham Developer

3

10-15

moderately easy

1-2 minutes

Lying hamstring curl machine

2-3

8-12

moderately easy

1-2 minutes

Eccentric one-legged TRX hamstring curl

Eccentric one-legged TRX hamstring curl

Function: Eccentric Single Leg TRX Hamstring Lock

Because the hamstrings cross over two joints (hip and knee), they are more prone to injury and are especially prone to eccentric contractions such as lowering a heavy weight to the floor or slowing the swing of the leg after a kick. The leg curl machine is a great tool for activating part of the hamstrings, but a TRX curl attacks the entire muscle group and activates the entire rear chain, training your muscles to work together and prevent injury. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that home workouts consisting of one-legged eccentric exercises like this are effective at increasing hamstring strength in just four weeks.

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  • Loop the TRX foot straps twice and adjust the height so that the bottom loop is about a foot above the floor.
  • Sit on the floor, secure one heel in the loop, and straighten your leg so that it is straight. Your foot should be just below the anchor point with the TRX perpendicular to the ground. Extend your other leg straight above your hip.
  • Push your hips up until they line up with your shoulders and heel, making sure your hips are straight. When they tilt up or down, your hamstrings can loosen while other core and gluteus muscles take control.
  • Bend your knee and pull your heel towards your buttocks as far as you can while pressing your hips against a bridge. Take a short break, then do at least five counts to straighten your leg back to start. This eccentric action is critical to building control and developing the strength to prevent injury.
  • You can either keep your hips up and go straight to the next rep, or you can lower your glutes to kiss the floor briefly between reps.
  • If this one-legged version is too hard, put your non-working heel on the floor and use that leg to help you move. Gradually decrease help, especially during the eccentric phase, and work towards flying solo.

Example function hamstring training

exercise Sets Representative resistance Rest

One-legged deadlift

3

8-12 (each leg)

easy-moderate

1-3 minutes

Single Leg TRX Hamstring Curl (Eccentric Focus)

3-4

6-8 (each leg)

body weight

1-3 minutes

Nordic Hamstring Curl (eccentric focus)

1-2

6-8

body weight

1-3 minutes

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