How To: Stand with barbell on shoulders. Use a weight that you are comfortable with. Lift right leg up and place on bench behind you. Keep a slight bend in your left leg as you bend forward at your torso. Repeat with other leg.
Main Muscles: Hamstrings & Glutes
What you will need: 2 dumbbells
How To: Stand with dumbbells in each hand. Lift your left leg, bending at the knee. Squat down with your right leg and lower the dumbbells down toward the ground. Keep your back straight and your core tight throughout movement. Repeat with other leg.
Why Women Have A Hard Time Toning Hamstrings
First lets chat about the functions of the hamstrings:
1) Knee Flexion: the motion of curling your leg back to touch your heel to your butt
2) Hip Extension: the motion of your thigh when you kick something behind you. In hip extension, the glutes should be doing most of the work with the hamstrings being their helper. If you have weak glutes, your hamstrings may take over.
The best exercises to shape your hamstrings are called multi-joint leg exercises or functional exercises. Functional exercises are similar to movements which we do on a daily basis, such as squats and lunges. These movements do not isolate specific muscles but use an entire muscle group, working all the muscles in your legs and helps to recruit more muscle mass, which helps to build more muscles.
This is a good thing because with more muscle mass comes an increase in metabolism, helping to burn fat, leaving only the beautiful muscle definition to be visible.
Functional exercises = burning more calories.
That’s why you will see a lot of functional exercise inside my Fat Loss shredding workout, Full-Body-Licious.
But There Is A Time For Isolation Exercises: Hamstrings to Quadriceps Ratio
For me and most females that I train, the hamstring to quadricep ration is imbalanced.
A balanced body will always be a more efficient body, another concept I teach inside Full-Body-Licious. At the very least, your hamstrings should be able to lift 75% of what your quadriceps can, with the exact number being debatable.
You can test the balance between the two muscle groups on the leg extension & leg curl machines. If you notice you can extend your leg with far more weight than you can when you flex or curl your leg, you may need to add more hamstring isolation exercises like the Barbell Good Mornings listed here. Alternatively, you can focus more on your hamstrings during all your leg exercises using squats, lunges and Romanian deadlifts.
Questions? Ask Below