Return to the Iron Dungeon
by Zach Bashore
Just like any part of the legs, the hamstrings muscle is an often neglected muscle group. Again, prior knowledge dramatically influences a person`s decision to train them. This article is going to look into the basics of the hamstring muscles and exercises that can be performed to make them look better. You are also going to learn why the hamstrings are the most prone to injury and common injuries that occur with having underdeveloped hamstrings.
The hamstrings are the muscles that run from behind and below your knees, to the backs of your thighs, to the bones that you use to sit down on. They consist of five major muscles. The psoas major and minor, and the iliacus all help with flexion and lateral roatation. The semitendinosus and semimembranosus both allow for extension, and the rectus femoris allows for flexion. It is very important that you learn the different sections that make up the hamstring muscles if you want to reach your maximum potential.
The hamstrings become active with the completion of knee flexion when the knees are extended or through the completion of hip extension when the knees are more flexed. Despite the importance of exercising your hamstrings, there are very few exercises that primarily emphasize the quadriceps muscle. The selection of exercises performed will depend on what type of equipment that is available to you. If you have no equipment, you can do bodyweight exercise such as bridges and flutter kicks. Since most of the exercises you perform target other muscle groups as well, you should train hamstrings on the same day as your quads and lower back to reduce the chance of overtraining. The best exercises for this type of split are the dumbbell lunges, romanian deadlift, and the stiff-legged dumbbell deadlift.
Underdevelopment of the hamstrings is the main cause of hamstring inflexibility and that is not the only problem associated with underdeveloped hammies. Tight hamstrings can cause poor posture and not allow you to bend over completely. Knee pain, torn cartilage in your knees, and wearing of cartilage behind your knee cap are also caused from tight hamstrings. For these reasons, it is very important that you stretch before and after your workout. Stretching is boring and very time consuming but the results are well worth it in the long run. Massage therapy is another good investment you should consider if you are currently suffering from tight hamstrings.
Every bodybuilder needs to train his or her hamstrings, but it`s very important that non-bodybuilders take care of their legs and at least go on a walk every now and then. To many people sit back thinking that the longer they complain about being overweight that the fat will just come off by itself. Right now is the best time to do something about it. How can you change tommorow if you can`t change today is a quote that I live by. You need to start making yourself better right now and the rewards will come with it tommorow. Until next time, later.