Turn those hams into boars.
When it comes to building up the legs many people focus on the quads more than any other muscle group. Though the leg is comprised of a number of muscle groups including the calves, quads, and hamstrings, it seems that most of the attention is given to the muscle group that you’d see most readily in the mirror. It’s not so farfetched as many beginners often focus on the parts they can see rather than the entire body as a whole. But if you want to have a symmetrical and aesthetic physique you’ll have to focus on every muscle group in the leg.
The hamstring is the antagonistic muscle to the quad, but doesn’t seem to get as much attention. Much like with the back, the hamstrings are located on the back side of the body and therefore aren’t attacked nearly as much. But the hamstrings, along with the quad, are responsible for stabilizing the knee and can ultimately do wonders for knee pain.
So what are some exercises you should have in your leg day routine that can not only give you some great hamstrings, but strengthen your glutes as well? We’ve compiled a list of some great exercises that you should definitely add to your workout.
The positioning of your grip on the barbell can make a huge difference with this deadlift variation. Where the attention is more focused on your lower back in your usual deadlift, the grip as well as the wider stance with the sumo deadlift will transfer more tension in your hip area and will mean that you must focus on lifting more with your legs, in this case with the glutes and hamstrings.
Lying Leg Curls
One of the staples of hamstring development, this exercise may not be as taxing on the body as the other exercises on this list, but if utilized correctly with muscle contraction in mind then this one can be beneficial for a lighter day at the gym. By using adequate weight you’ll be sure to feel the burn in the glutes and hamstrings.
Glute Ham Raise
This exercise requires that your feet or secured by either having someone hold your feet down or by hooking your heels under a weighted barbell or fixed apparatus. By doing the movement slowly and focusing on contraction of the glutes and hams, you’re sure to get a great pump from this exercise.
This deadlift is great for building up the hamstring and the glutes as well. They are ultimately a great choice for improving the posterior chain and are a great strength exercise to have in your routine. Seeing as how it’s a movement that focuses on strength more than anything else, keep the reps in the 5-8 rep range while being sure to go heavy.