What muscles gives us that nice explosive power when we sprint? What muscles help to stabilize the knee and even assist in the rotational aspect? One of the most neglected compartments of the posterior thigh are the hamstrings.
Three Separate Muscles
Hamstrings are comprised of three separate muscles: the biceps femoris, the semitendonsous, and the semimembranosous (which is the largest of the three). These are very strong muscles for knee flexion and also stabilization of the hips. Some of the best isolation movements for the knee doesn’t even involve some of the typical knee flexion we would see in a leg curl machine.
Utilize the Bands
I really like to utilize the bands with lot of the hamstring motions, and one major reason is that I feel the hamstrings are like most muscles in the body resembling a band. While performing the motion of a dead lift or a good morning, we still want to control the aspect of the stretch. That way, we know we are completely engaging all parts of the hamstrings. If the stretch is fairly deep with proper form, we can involve our abductor magnum muscle as well.
Kettlebell or Dumbbells
I also like performing the same motion with a kettlebell or dumbbells. It is still the same form and motion, but we are just controlling more free-hanging weight minus the acclimated tension we would see with the bands in the first exercise. The isolation of the usage of all parts of the hamstrings will also remain.
One issue that I do find when performing this motion is the loss of the closeness of weight in relation to the body. We always need to hip our butt back first in the initial descent of the movement while maintaining a lordotic (natural lumbar curve) position in the lumbar spine. This movement will place more focus on our posterior compartment rather than our lower back which in turn injury prevention.