To crown 2013 with some new super-hot material we have decided to do a “play by play” on every muscle group we as a collective team of gym bunnies love to train. If you are looking to improve a specific muscle group you may well come across some advice which helps you break through a current barrier you are up against. Even if you are a beginner this is perfect because you know you are doing it all right from the very beginning. Here goes, some top tips for muscle mass!
Today’s muscle group is hamstrings aka back of your thigh!
Tip 1 – Fast Twitch Overload
Look at all of the world class sprinters in the Olympics and you will notice one thing, they have fantastic hamstring development which helps propel them to the speeds they wow us with on track!! Hamstrings are usually a ‘’fast twitch’’ dominant environment which means they respond particularly well to low rep training where strength becomes the focus. With that said, don’t be afraid to work in the 4-6 rep ranges and sometimes as low as 3!
Tip 2 – Variation
Maybe the most common mistake people make with hamstring training is that they do seated or lying leg curls for a few sets almost as an afterthought and consider the job done! Instead you need to add a lot more variation and time to your hamstring training to build them effectively. Look at using stiff leg deadlifts, glute ham raises (possibly the best!!), lunges and high foot stance leg press.
Tip 3 – Get Negative
Moving back in line with tip 1, focusing on the negative phase of the repetition can pay dividends in your quest to build strong and well developed hamstrings! They are a very ‘’powerful’’ muscle group which means they lend themselves well to handling stress via resistance and what better way to do this than through spending more time on the negative part of your reps!
Tip 4 – Rep Tempo
Don’t be one of those people who sit on a leg curl machine and swing, putting loads of stress on your lower back and very little on the hamstrings! Hamstrings respond very well to ‘’feeling’’ the weight where you squeeze them hard (at the risk of inducing immense muscle cramps admittedly!!) throughout the whole range of motion, particularly during the isometric phase.
Most people in our experience can improve their hamstring training because it is often so one dimensional! Get it done!