Shopping Basket 0
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

HUMAN KINETICS

Hamstring and Posterior Chain Exercises

This is an excerpt from Stronger Legs & Lower Body by Tim Bishop.


The hamstring muscles—the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris—are located on the posterior thigh. They are responsible for bending and flexing the knee, and they also assist with hip extension. The hamstring group is often overlooked and undertrained. When people think about developing bigger and stronger legs, they usually think about the quads first. The hamstrings are hard to see, which leads to an “out of sight, out of mind” effect. But the quads are naturally stronger than the hamstrings because of their size and weight-bearing responsibility, so it is important to train the hamstrings as much or even more than the quads. A lack of strength in the hamstrings compared with the strength in the quads not only can create a cosmetic and functional imbalance, but it can also result in an unstable knee joint and assorted lower-body injuries.

The term posterior chain refers to the series of muscles that include the low back, the glutes, the hamstrings, and even the calf muscles. Posterior chain exercises involve most, if not all, of these muscles in a chainlike manner. Athletes in sports that involve swinging, throwing, and lifting know that generating power in one area is not enough; the muscles must be strong enough to transfer it along the chain.

Posterior chain exercises also contribute to a strong core. A common assumption is that the term core applies only to the abdominal muscles, but the low back, glutes, and even the top of the hamstrings are all part of the core as well. This back side of the core must also be developed and maintained.

Strong and flexible hamstrings and posterior chain muscles are an important part of an injury-prevention strategy. The low back is one of the most commonly injured areas, often leading to lost work hours and high medical expenses. And in the world of sports, athletes are routinely sidelined by hamstring injuries. Performing hamstring and posterior chain exercises can help you avoid becoming one of these statistics.

As with the quads and glutes, you can train the hamstring group and the posterior chain muscles by using compound movements such as deadlifts or isolation movements such as leg curls. You will see the best strength gains in this region of the body from using a combination of compound and isolation exercises.


Read more from Stronger Legs & Lower Body by Tim Bishop.



Share Facebook Reddit LinkedIn Twitter

Tools


Print Save to favorites


Also of Interest




Products


Stronger Legs & Lower Body
Offers the most effective strength training exercises and programs for increasing strength, size, power, and definition in lower-body muscle groups. Includes 15 training routines and more than 80 exercises.
$19.95
Stronger Legs & Lower Body eBook
Offers the most effective strength training exercises and programs for increasing strength, size, power, and definition in lower-body muscle groups. Includes 15 training routines and more than 80 exercises.
$19.95

Get the latest news, special offers, and updates on authors and products. SIGN UP NOW!

Human Kinetics Rewards

About Our Products

Book Excerpts

Catalogs

News and Articles

About Us

Career Opportunities

Events

Partners

Business to Business

Author Center

HK Today Newsletter

Services

Exam/Desk Copies

Language rights translation

Association Management

Associate Program

Rights and Permissions

Featured Programs

Human Kinetics Coach Education

Fitnessgram

Fitness for Life

Active Living Every Day

Connect with Us

Google Plus YouTube Tumblr Pinterest

Terms & Conditions

/

Privacy Policy

/

Safe Harbor