Hamstring or Hams are grouped under lower body. It crosses both the hip and the knee joint and are therefore involved in knee flexion and hip extension.
It is located in the posterior part of thigh and comprised of three muscles:
- Biceps Femoris
Biceps Femoris is on the outer part of hamstring (i.e. on the outer side of the Hams) and again sub divided into Long head and Short head.
Semitendinosus lies in between both the muscles of hamstring.
Semimembranosus is on the medial side of hamstring (i.e. on the inner part of the Hams).
Below few exercises are covered to target Hams Muscles.
Lying Hamstring Curls
Main Area Targeted: Biceps Femoris
Secondary Area Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Other Hamstrings Muscles
- This movement is performed with leg curl machine. Lay down on your stomach on the machine. Lying stretched out straight, place your ankles behind the pads. You may have to adjust the pad so that it fits at your ankles.
- Remaining flat on the bench, curl your legs up to your buttocks as you breathe out.
- Be sure to keep your hips flat on the bench and not to raise them.
- Hold for a few seconds, contract, then slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position as you breathe in.
Main Area Targeted: Hamstrings Muscles
Secondary Area Targeted: Gluteus Maximus, Spinal Erectors/Lower Back
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding two dumbbells by your sides.
- Keeping your legs and back straight, and sticking your buttocks out, bend at the hips and reach down until you feel a stretch in the hamstring muscles.
- Slowly return to starting position, contracting the hamstrings.
- Ensure that dumbbells are close to the legs throughout the motion.
- Inhale while moving downwards and exhale while returning to the start position.
Seated Leg Curl
Main Area Targeted: Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus Muscles
Secondary Area Targeted: Biceps Femoris/Outer Hams
- Sit on the seated hamstring curl machine and place your ankles on top of the ankle pad.
- Adjust the thigh pad so it rests comfortably on your thighs and lock it into place. Keep your back pressed against the back support.
- Slowly bend your knees, bringing your heels under your body and toward your buttocks as you breathe out.
- Bring your feet back as far as you can without arching your back.
- Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
Sitting Hamstring Stretch
Main Area Targeted: Biceps Femoris/Outer Hams
Secondary Area Targeted: Other Hamstring Muscles
- Sit on a hard surface and extend both legs directly in front of you. Keeping your torso straight, extend your arms forward and lean forward.
- Continue this forward extension until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold this position for five seconds and relax.
- Perform one set of 10 repetitions to stretch the bicep femoris muscles and maintain flexibility in your hamstring and flexion in the knees.