I’ve been working on building up my hamstring muscles, trying to get some fullness in the middle of the biceps, but without bulking up my upper thighs.
(A1) Contra-lateral Romanian Dead-Lifts
These really target the hamstring muscle, and also the stabilizing muscles in the hip and leg. I super set these with cable pull-throughs, focusing on using the posterior chain muscles, and I finish off the program with static hamstring curls followed by explosive, fast curls, as many as I can do in 20 seconds.
1. Set an appropriate weight for you set range. I’m doing 3 sets of 10 reps, with 40 lbs. Stand straight, with the weight in the opposite hand as the standing leg. Balance is tricky, so focus your eyes on one spot. Your other leg should be active but can be slightly bent. Use it to help balance. The same with your free arm. Keep your standing foot flat on the floor.
2. Bend forward at the hips, balancing your leg behind you, and reach forward with the weight towards the floor in front of you, keeping your chest up and your spine straight. You should have a slight bend to your knee, and again keep your foot flat on the floor and your hips parallel. Don’t let them twist. You should really feel this in the hamstring and glutes of the standing leg.
(A2) Cable Pull-Throughs
1. Choose an appropriate weight. I’m doing 3 sets of 10, using 55 lbs. Set up a few feet away from the cable, so that you get a full extension. I’m doing a fairly wide stance, toes slightly turned out, and bent at the hips about 90 degrees to my thighs. Keep your back straight, chest up, and focus straight ahead. Arms should be locked as well, remember this is for your hams and glutes, not your arms!
2. Get a good grasp on the handle, stomach tight, and focus on your posterior leg muscles. Pull the handle through by pushing through your feet and standing up. Make sure the reps are explosive, using a 2:1 count, (2 counts on the eccentric move, and 1 count for the concentric move).