I am here to help make our hopes, our dreams – our limitless potential – a reality. I am here to make you savage. It’s time to get to work – to unite, to prosper, to become stronger. The best place to start is your health… particularly yours legs! These key exercises will make your posterior chain pop! So, here are four exercises that will help you get stronger and bigger hamstrings. Your hamstrings are made up of 3 large muscles that run down the back of your thighs. Together, I have no doubt we have taken the first step to Making Hamstrings Great Again that will surely get you woofd at.
1. Barbell Box Squats
Box Squats 🍑 – ⚡️You should set your stance feet outside of shoulder width, with your knees pushed out to the sides and your feet pointing straight ahead or slightly outward. Using a wide stance when squatting will place greater stress on the posterior chain (glutes, hips, hamstrings, and back). ⚡️Get under the bar, push your neck into your traps, and position the bar in the groove of the upper back (not above the traps). Pulling your shoulder blades together may help you maintain the proper position of the bar. (do not flare your elbows out). ⚡️Pulling as much air as possible into your abdomen by pushing your belly into your lifting belt. In order for the power from your lower body to be maximally transferred to the bar, your abdominal muscles must be tight throughout the entire lift. This will also stabilize and support the lower back. ⚡️The eccentric phase begins by breaking the hips first, not the knees. You do this by pushing the glutes and hips rearward (then follow with the head) as you push your feet and knees out, thus forcing you to sit back (not down, or your quads will dominate). This is the only way to activate your hips and glutes to their full potential, to ensure maximum involvement of the posterior chain. By sitting back, rather than down, you place the glutes and hamstrings in a highly desirable stretched position. ⚡️You should immediately release (relax) the hip flexors while keeping the rest of your body tight, especially keeping the remaining squatting muscles of the posterior chain very tight during their brief static contraction on the box. Your back should remain arched, the hamstrings and glutes stretched, and the abdominals as tight as possible. The shins should be straight up and down (perpendicular), or even past perpendicular. placing all the work directly on the hamstrings, glutes, hips, and spinal erectors (lower back). These static/relaxed-overcome-by-dynamic-work methods are the cornerstone of why box squats are such a powerful lift for the development of absolute and explosive strength.
2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Making Hamstrings Great Again pt.1 – Stiff Leg Deadlifts ( Toes Elevated) – Controlled negative, with a 2-3 second to put the muscle under tension, explosive positive. – Toes elevated on a plate or board put your hammies in a stretch position before the movement starts. Adding a small aerobic platform or box will give you a deeper range of motion/ stretch on the negative. – Stiff Leg Deadlifts ➖Bar should remain close to your body! Sliding down your quads and shins! Do not the bar drift away from your body ➖ Legs should have a slight bend, if 180 degress is a straight line, your legs should be at 170-175 degrees. ➖Shoulders rolled back, chest up, braced abs, back flat. ➖ Your HIPS are the only thing moving. They will be the pivot in this movement. With your legs locked between 170-175 degrees. Push your butt back and up ↗️toward the ceiling. 2-3 second pause ➖Explode by actively squeezing your glutes to drive hips into the bar. ➖ Repeat over until set is complete. – This will put ton of tension on the range of motion for your posterior chain. Judge according on your ROM.
3. Lying leg Curls
Making Hamstrings Great Again pt.2 – Lying Leg Curls ➖Adjust the machine lever to fit your height. The padded lever on the back of your legs should just be a few inches under the calves. ➖I preferably like to use a leg curl machine that is angled as opposed to flat since an angled position is more favorable for hamstrings recruitment. ➖I also keep my chest off the bench, ensure to but my legs are in fully prone stretched position. Grab the front pad or handles of the machine. Position your toes out (or you can also use any of the other two foot positioning. ➖Curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for 2 second contraction. ➖Bring the legs back to the initial position using a 4 – 5 second negative. This will really light your hammies up! ➖Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. – This will put ton of tension on the range of motion for your posterior chain. Judge according on your ROM.
4. Reverse Back Hypers Glute/Ham Extension Raise