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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


Hey what’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyj of EliteImpactLabs.com
here and in this video I’m just going to be giving you an overview of proper hamstring
training for gaining overall muscle size and strength. Now this is just going to be a basic
verbal overview. I will do videos covering the specific techniques for these exercises
in the near future but in the meantime you know you can easily find plenty of videos
and articles that do show the proper form for the exercise that I’ll be mentioning and
again in this video I’m just going to be explaining how to structure your overall hamstring workouts
for the best results. So hamstrings tend to be an underdeveloped muscle on most bodybuilders,
and they’re often treated as an after-thought and aren’t trained with you know equal focus
and intensity in comparison to other muscle groups. But properly developed hamstrings
are obviously an important part of any well rounded physique and you definitely want to
make sure that your quadriceps and your hamstring development is balanced out otherwise you’re
going to end up creating instability in your knee joint and this can easily lead to knee
injury if you’re not careful. So, your hamstrings are made up of 2 individual heads. You have
the short head and the long head and these 2 heads perform two basic functions. The first
is hip extension and hip extension is a compound movement where the hamstrings work in conjunction
with your spinal erectors, your glutes and your adductors. And examples of hip extension
movements are going to be things like stiff legged deadlifts, good mornings and glute-ham
raises. The second function is going to be knee flexion and this is an isolation movement
where the hamstrings are the single primary muscle that is involved. And examples of knee
flexion are going to be basically any type of leg curl, whether it is lying, seated or
standing. So in order to structure a proper hamstring workout, you are simply going to
select one exercise in order to target each of these two specific movements. Your compound
exercises for your quads, like your squats, and your lunges and your leg presses, they
definitely do hit the hamstrings to a reasonable degree, but direct hamstring work is still
a definite necessity if you want to maximize their development and again as I said before
to prevent injuries because most people who train with weights are significantly quad
dominant to begin with. So you’re going to want to start out your hamstring workout with
a basic hip extension movement, if you perform your knee flexion exercise first, so your
leg curl, you’re going to end up “pre-exhausting” your hamstrings which actually decreases their
activation during your hip extension exercise. This technique can be useful if you have lower
back issues because hip extension exercises put more stress on your lower back and if
you pre-exhaust your hamstrings first then you’re going to be able to perform that movement
with less total resistance and still get a decent workout but if you are otherwise healthy,
always perform your hip extension movement as the first exercise in your hamstring routine.
So, there are a few different choices here, but I would recommend that for most people
a stiff legged deadlifts be the core exercise and this can be performed using either a barbell
or dumbbells. Now either choice is fine, but keep in mind that the dumbbell variation does
allow you to target your hamstrings while taking some of the stress off of your lower
back and that’s because when you use dumbbells for this exercise it kind of allows you to
hold the resistance a little more out to your sides, whereas a barbell has to be held directly
out in front of your body. So stiff legged deadlifts are a fantastic exercise for building
your hamstrings, but do make sure that your form is nailed down first before you apply
any real level of intensity here because if you perform your SLDL’s incorrectly it can
put your lower back in a very vulnerable position and again I will cover the proper form for
that in a future video. If you are unable to perform stiff legged deadlifts because
of an injury, so most likely a lower back issue, just use a glute-ham raise instead.
Glute-ham raises are also a great exercise for the hamstrings but they allow you to hit
your hamstrings harder with a relatively low amount of overall resistance. So for your
hip extension movement I’d recommend going with 2 to 4 sets of about 8 to 10 reps. If
you’re training with maximum intensity then just go with the 2 sets. That will be plenty.
And if you’re on a more moderate intensity plan then 3 or 4 sets works well. After your
hip extension movement you’re then going to want to move on to a knee flexion exercise
and this is basically going to be any type of leg curl, so it’s going to be either a
lying leg curl, a seated leg curl or a standing leg curl, any variation is acceptable here.
I personally prefer the lying leg curl as do most people but you know you can try it
out, you know, any of the 3 is good and just find the one that is most comfortable for
you. Now hamstrings tears are not uncommon so as with any exercise always make sure that
you are performing the exercise with proper form. Stick to a weight for your leg curls
that you can control at all times and that allows for a brief pause in the fully contracted
position and that allows for a good slow deliberate controlled negative of about 3 to 4 seconds
and I would also recommend that you avoid fully extending your knee in the bottom position
of any type of leg curl movement, stop just a few inches short, because that’s going to
decrease the chances of injury to your hamstrings. So for your knee flexion exercise, again 2
to 4 sets also works well here at a rep range of about 5 to 7 reps, so a little bit lower
works well for these exercises. So that’s really all you’re going to need for a complete
well rounded hamstring workout. You’re going to go with 2 to 4 sets of about 8 to 10 reps
of a compound hip extension movement, preferably a stiff legged deadlift followed by 2 to 4
sets of 5 to 7 reps of a knee flexion exercise, either a lying, seated or standing leg curl.
You can train your hamstrings 1 to 2 times per week and it generally works well when
paired up with quadriceps training. And as always, make sure to write down all of the
exercises, sets and reps you perform for each workout and strive for continual improvement
over time because the underlying basis for muscle growth is progressive overload so putting
your focus on getting stronger over time should be the core focus of your overall workout
plan. So I hope you found the information in this video lesson useful today. If you
did enjoy the video, as always, please make sure to hit the Like button, leave a comment
and subscribe to stay up to date on all of our future videos. Also make sure to grab
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includes a free workout plan, meal plan and supplement guide which you can grab over on
EliteImpactLabs.com and make sure to join the Elite Impact Labs Facebook page, the link
for that is also in the description box, for daily articles, videos, tips and muscle building
supplement giveaways. Thanks again for watching this video and I’ll talk to you again soon
with more free tips.

28 thoughts on “The Best Hamstring Workouts For Mass

  1. I used to do a ton of hamstring work for track when I was a sprinter.

    My program was just a bunch of RDLs (both db and bb), along with jump squats with light weight on the bar, and finished with lunges. Hammies are one of my fav muscle.

  2. Hey Sean, is there any difference between training for strength and training for size? I hear people saying they have different routines for gaining size and gaining strength. I have always assumed that strength was size and size was strength, any thoughts? Keep these vids coming!!

  3. There's like a thousand vids on this. Want strength? In general 1-5 reps. Bit more rest in between (mainly function of the nervous system) Want size? 5-15 (mainly function of the muscles themselves).

    Both will give size and strength, but in general these rep ranges fit each goal. It's not like it's hidden info, it's all over the place 🙂

  4. If you seriously want to get ripped, you should look up on Google "Max Muscle Extend". That can help you get the body you deserve.

  5. If you seriously want to get ripped, you better stop wasting time on shameless advertisement spamming, eat a bit less and workout a bit more.

  6. hey sean.. What do you think of the The sixpack shortcuts guy> To me he doesn't explain exercises clearly and in detail.

  7. Some of the worst fitness info on YouTube, which is unfortunate considering they have over a million subs.

  8. I tried doing stiff legged deadlifts for my hamstrings, but I'm not flexible enough; and being that I'm a tall guy and my legs are on the long side – it's extremely difficult.

  9. my personal advice here would be to use slightly heavier weight, it will force you to go lower, also, stretch insanely like 3-4 times a day

  10. Great video Sean, Im loving your stuff – super helpful and great for helping me get on track for increased fitness/physique!
    One small error on what you said though – Hamstrings have 3 heads (Biceps Femoris, Semitendenosus, Semimembranosus) , though the Biceps Femoris has 2 parts to it (a long and short head).  NBD, but just posting for everyones edification

  11. Sorry Sean, I know it's an old video, but I'm often referring back to your previous videos. I've tried including SLDL's in my workouts quite a few times in the past and, whilst I feel the stretch in my hamstrings at the lower end of the movement, they never seem to do that much for my hamstrings. I'm currently just doing leg curls, but I do squats and front squats beforehand for my quads and I also do normal deadlifts on my pull day. Do you think, with the compound movements I'm doing, the leg curls are enough or should I add the SLDL's into my leg day as well?

  12. I am sure you will find great workouts instructions on Unflexal workouts. That insane how it is good for sane 😀

  13. Will Romanian deadlifts work the hamstrings the same as stiff legged dead lifts, glute ham raises and good mornings? Thanks

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