Other than any form of leg curls, what are some exercises that heavily target hamstrings?

In order to build some good hamstring mass, as well as improve conditioning, you need to go beyond the exercise, and also embrace the time under tension, as well as form and exercise variability. There is always going to be an angle you will need to target, in order to increase growth, strength and conditioning. I do have to note that some people are naturally more inclined to have amazing hamstring growth, and it does help if you have leaner legs. I don’t have either of these, and therefore have to work even harder. Let me share some of my tips and tricks that have helped me, and I’m sure will help other ladies, and men.

5 hamstring killers we all need smash on leg day.

  1. Squat all the way down, don’t even think about partial squats.
    I know a lot of people are going to moan and groan about this one, but it’s a fact and one that you can prove once you start focusing on getting your backside as close to your calves as possible!
    When you go all the way down, you increase knee junction, muscle coordination and athletic strength. You are targeting many more muscles in your hamstrings, than partials. If you want strength, power and size, then you have to try this one for a few months. Yes, you will probably have to offload a lot of your plates but who cares. The long term benefits certainly out-weight the egotistical ones! Lighter loads will actually stop injury and keep you a lot safer than the heavier ones. It’s also a lot more manageable for the spine, and activates a lot more neurotransmitter stimuli throughout the body. This is what you need to do in order to activate the full muscle of your hamstrings, and really experience superior growth.
  2. Try some unilateral leg training.
    Try working one leg at a time via split squatting, leg pressing of even deadlifting. Really get into those muscles, increasing the strength in areas where you are unbalanced from using the strongest leg unconsciously. Some more benefits are
    – Even though the loads are lighter, the intensity is greater, therefore producing more specific gains
    – For all you males, it increases testosterone response which will elicit higher strength and muscular adaptations long term.
    Try this during your leg sessions, and really feel the difference it makes. It’s always a great idea to strengthen the imbalances to prevent injury.
  3. Don’t forge to include deadlifts in your leg mix.
    This is your best bet for hamstring development, because its the easiest lift to train with your maximal loads. Max loading will recruit the most motor units, as it’s a lot easier to master than the squat. This movement can be done without a spotter, therefore it’s safer. Try to train aiming for failure, as that will elicit some great hypertrophy results.
    One thing to be aware of is that you must practice proper technique and become very mindful of your lower back. If need be, look online for some training techniques, or enlist the help of a trainer to give you some feedback. Make this movement one to master, for there results you will receive, not only on your hamstrings, but your whole body.
  4. Try good mornings.
    With this exercise, you are not only working your hamstrings, but also your glutes, erector spine and lower back. The straighter the knee, the more your hamstrings will stretch, involving them a lot more than the hip extensor.
    These are handy finishes when completing your leg workout, to really further smash the hamstrings.
  5. One and a quarter squats (feel the burn!)
    These are my absolute favourite variations for targeting the hamstrings. It’s certainly not for the faint hearted, and will produce some massive DOMS.
    I would grab a plate to put under my heels, making sure my legs are hip distance apart. Then as you move into the full squat position, pause at the bottom, lift yourself about 20 degrees, then pause, then do down again, and drive yourself upward to repeat the movement. The more you pause, the more muscular strength and gains you will receive. Lower the weight of the bar so you can really rep this one out properly.

Trying out these different variations will surely accelerate your hamstring growth. They may leave you sore, but the results will be well worth it. If you would like to keep in touch during your journey, please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my blog or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to upvote this answer.

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