Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hamstrings



As I explained last week, I am training hamstrings twice a week and quads twice a week. Volume is my friend and this seems to be the only way I can add size to these legs. Don't get me wrong, they look tremendously better than they used to, but still not where I want them. In fact, I have noticed that my legs have gotten much bigger! Yahoo!


But...not big enough. So I keep on keepin' on!

It's funny how so many women say they like my legs. I think what they actually like is the fact that I don't have saddle bags or cellulite, so that's all they notice, they neglect to notice that they are too thin for my shoulders, they are not in proportion. 

Above is the kneeling leg curl. This is one of the machines I am using on my own hamstring day, when I am not training with Roy. When I train hams with him on Mondays, right now we are doing Glute Ham Raise (lots and lots) and then single leg deadlifts. That's it, it has ensured I am sore all week long.

So on the hamstring day on my own I am using all the machines. I am using the lying leg curl, the seated leg curl and the kneeling leg curl (above). This should target the areas of the hamstring that Roy and I are not targeting on Mondays.

I see a lot of people using all of these machines incorrectly. They use momentum to swing the weights up. You should never use momentum as it defeats the purpose of the exercise. Everything should be controlled and smooth. 

On the lying leg curl I am using a 2/1 method- both legs to lift the weight (concentric movement) and one leg to lower the weight (eccentric movement). Making sure I keep the foot and calf relaxed so the effort comes from the hamstring. It is important to keep the weight low enough so the hips don't shoot up, thus using the glutes to pull up the weight.

The seated leg curl, I am going heavy. So heavy I really can only do 8 reps, I can tell I am too noisy, all the folks lined up on the stairmills turn to look in my direction, it's the grunting I know. 

The kneeling leg curl (above): I have struggled with this, my left hamstring is significantly weaker than the right, so the same weight on the right leg is easy while on the left is quite difficult. I do an extra set on the left to help build it up. Again, it is important to concentrate on the hamstring area, it is quite easy to get sloppy and use the glute and calf to pull up the weight. I go heavy with low reps as in all the hamstring exercises.

Last, I end with my friend the Glute Ham Raise (below), the most wonderful machine on earth. In this picture, it is not set up for me. I lower the front rollers all the way as low as they go (here they are as high as they go), and the back is pushed forward more for my height.

I do as many sets of 10 as I can, but after the curls I did before, it is hard, really hard. I can usually get 4 sets in on a good day.

The hams are responding and so are the quads, but I am a very, very demanding person.
Posted by Picasa