Building hamstring strength

140716 Building hamstring strength
by Danny M. O’Dell, M.A. CSCS*D

Lifting heavy weights in the squat dictates strong quadriceps and hamstring strength. Hamstring strength helps move your body out of the hole in the squat. Here are a few exercises that will build great strength in these essential muscles of leg beginning with a general movement up to the specific motion that will enhance the strength of this crucial muscle.

General exercises

*Romanian Dead lifts (RDL)
*Single leg RDL
*Step ups to a low platform using elastic resistance on the posterior of the body
*Lunge and reaches in all three planes, i.e. sagittal, frontal and transverse.
*Walking lunges into a high knee position

Special exercises

*Cable hip extensions
*Resisted moon walks

Specific exercises

*Straight leg bounds-minimal to zero knee flexion upon landing
*15 degree hill sprints
*Low amplitude hops, jumps, and ankle hops designed to keep the leg muscles stiff upon landing by keeping the knee almost locked. Each of these moves should result in very short ground contact times.
*Hip mobility with hurdle movements
*Resisted hip abduction and adduction exercises with elastic bans above the knees providing resistance.

Performing these exercises will build bigger hamstrings that in turn will allow you to move heavier weights.


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