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Weak/Inactive Glutes & Hammies


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OK my hamstrings are lacking and I really want to get them to start coming out when I start my next bulk. How would I go about constructing a program so that it focuses more on hamstring development without making my quads hyooger? Not that they're huge now but there's definitely a difference in development between my quads and hams.

I'm thinking my problem lies with my glutes and hams inability to fire properly during squats/deads. By "firing" I mean - I can't actually feel them being worked during them. Are you supposed to? :shifty:

So how do you test for inactive/weak glutes? And how would you correct this?

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I once had a PT client who was incredibly weak thru the hams and glutes and had a perpetual problem with tweaking calfs and achilles. The Physio concluded he was thoroughly weak in those areas and too inflexible. The remedy was for super slow and strict hamstring/calf work., like 6-1-6 tempo. It hurt him, but it worked.

Recently I started a new program, courtesy of a well known PT/Nabba competitor. He has me seperating hammies and quads on seperate days, or at least that's how my legs feel. Goes something like this on hammie day:

G/S Lying leg curls (3-1-3 tempo) 1 legged squats (2-1-2) d/bell semi stiff deads (2-1-3) Abductor machine (3-0-3)

S/S 4" box deadlifts with wide grip (2-1-3) conventional deads (1-0-2)

I found that glutes really felt activated when my legs went past a 90 degree angle. Hammies seemed to get hammered on the negative portion, and the deadlift superset (box and conventional) just about fried me. My hams were seriously pumped at the end.

Glutes also seemed to get worked really well on quad day with some super deep smith squats and step up lungey things.

Food for thought....

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Another vote for lunges.

On a side note I could never feel the muscles being used with lying leg curls.... I o nly ended up getting a cramp!

Oh if you get your technique right on box squats, when you sit on the box and fire off it, you use NOTHING but Glutes and Hams... so its great IMO.

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P & W

To activate or get your glutes to fire during Squats & Deads, do a few sets of Kneeling Squats, this targets the Glutes only.

To fire your Hamstrings do a couple sets of GHRs , (Gastro,Glute, Hamstring Raise).

When you squat your hamstrings should be tightening up as you hit parallel, the same applys for the Dead push hips back and down till hamstrings are tight then pull.

To strengthen Glutes then Kneeling Squats are real good and for the Hammies you cannot beat GHRs. If one glute is not firing then do 1 legged Goodmornings. If do not have access to a GHR just use the Power Rack, if no Power Rack, use a Lat Pull Down.

PLs need their Hamstrings to be twice as strong as their Quads.

Stay Strong

OB 8)

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Man you guys are awesome love0021.gif

Lying leg curls (3-1-3 tempo) 1 legged squats (2-1-2) d/bell semi stiff deads (2-1-3) Abductor machine (3-0-3)
Is the 1-legged squat the one where you have one leg on a bench behind you, and you're lunging forward? And whats an abductor machine? Thanks for the link, very helpful!
To activate or get your glutes to fire during Squats & Deads, do a few sets of Kneeling Squats, this targets the Glutes only.
How do you do a kneeling squat? What I'm imagining is kneeling down then squatting from your knees down? The 1-legged goodmorning sounds interesting! I might give box squats a try too. I'm another one that gets cramps during lying leg curls -- came across this info that was pretty helpful...
The calves are what are known as a biarticular muscle, meaning they cross two joints - both the knee joint and the ankle joint. This means they serve multiple functions. One, they obviously plantar flex the ankle. However, they also assist in knee flexion (ie. leg curls). Most people will do lying leg curls with their ankles dorsi flexed - toes pulled towards the shins (opposite of a calf raise). In this position, the calves, since they are not working to plantar flex the ankle, can assist in the flexing of the knee. So what happens here is that you can use more weight, since BOTH your hamstrings and calves are functioning to bend the knee.

However, if you flex the calf, they can no longer assist in knee flexion, since they’re already busy working at the other joint. So, in this position, your hamstrings are forced to do all the work as the calf assistance is inhibited. End result? Harder working hamstrings.

Now, since most people (meaning 99 out of 100) do them the first way - since (1) it seems more natural and (2) you can lift more weight (obviously since both hams and calves are working), when you try them the other way, your calves are going to cramp up. Why? Because the neural pathways for this exercise have been established and your body is used to recruiting the calves to help. BUT, youve ‘disabled’ them. So your body will try to get them to help - hence the cramping - but wont be able to. This decreases over time as you reestablish new recruitment pathways.

You could ease into this by doing the concentric with your ankles dorsi flexed (hams + calves) and doing the eccentric with your ankles plantar flexed (hams). Then over time you could move to doing both the concentric and eccentric with your ankles plantar flexed.

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My hammies needed alot of work as well I do 10,8,6,4,2 do this for two sets you get a good burn. Your weights go up as your reps get lower

Yeah, I tend to keep within low reps with the hammies - it seems my legs respond better to low, heavy sets/reps... though something like this might shock them into growing :pray:

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One legged squats...or King Squats apparently:

Either stick non-used leg straight out in front of tuck in behind, squat down on other leg till parallel and beyond. When you start to come back up it seems to activate hammies and glutes well, you can manipulate the positive motion to do so. Works really well in conjunction with the other exercises. I have to have something for balance right now, and don't use any weight, but that'll change soon.

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To activate or get your glutes to fire during Squats & Deads, do a few sets of Kneeling Squats, this targets the Glutes only.
How do you do a kneeling squat? What I'm imagining is kneeling down then squatting from your knees down? The 1-legged goodmorning sounds interesting! I might give box squats a try too. I'm another one that gets cramps during lying leg curls -- came across this info that was pretty helpful...

P & W

Similar to what you said, start by kneeling in a PowerRack, or Squat Rack. Knees may need a pad if timber floors. Set the bar so that you unrack like a squat and just sit back till your glutes hit your heels. This movement use the glutes only, everything else is taken out of play. You can get up to some serious weight doing this as the glutes are one of the largest muscle groups.

OB 8)

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Similar to what you said, start by kneeling in a PowerRack, or Squat Rack. Knees may need a pad if timber floors. Set the bar so that you unrack like a squat and just sit back till your glutes hit your heels. This movement use the glutes only, everything else is taken out of play. You can get up to some serious weight doing this as the glutes are one of the largest muscle groups.

Excellento. I've never seen this done before.. anything to help bring up the squat numbers! Thanks :)

Either stick non-used leg straight out in front of tuck in behind, squat down on other leg till parallel and beyond. When you start to come back up it seems to activate hammies and glutes well, you can manipulate the positive motion to do so. Works really well in conjunction with the other exercises. I have to have something for balance right now, and don't use any weight, but that'll change soon

I tried this the other day and I can honestly say I'm elcrapo at this even while holding something for balance :shock: :shock: Very hard and had DOMs in my glutes the next day :twisted:

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