By Joel Cummins
US Myprotein Writer
The biceps are a muscle that every person striving for a great physique wants to sculpt. However, there’s a forgotten biceps muscle that gets overlooked, the biceps femoris. The biceps femoris are commonly referred to as the hamstrings. The word “bicep” in itself refers to a muscle that has two points of origin, or “2 heads”, that normally plays a critical role in joint flexion.
The biceps femoris, aka the hamstrings, has a long head and a short head. The long head separates the short head of the biceps femoris from the quadriceps. The short head of the biceps femoris, attaches from the most posterior part of your knee joint to the under insertion of your glutes. As you can see, the biceps femoris are a critical muscle to train if you plan on putting any size on your legs.
Try adding this workout to your training regimen to develop stronger and bigger biceps femoris!
Workouts For Hamstrings
Exercise #1: Straight-Legged Deficit Deadlifts
✓ Begin standing while holding a bar at arm’s length in front of you.
✓ Stand on a raised platform to increase the range of motion. A couple 45 plates or platforms are good for this.
Tip: If available, use lifting straps or liquid chalk to allow your grip strength to not fail before your leg strength.
✓ Begin by flexing your knees slightly, and then flex at the hip, moving your butt back as far as possible, lowering your torso as far as flexibility allows. Your back should remain in absolute extension at all times, and the bar should remain in contact with the legs. If done properly, there should be heavy tension felt in the hamstrings.
✓ Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
Sets and Reps: 4 x 8-12
Exercise #2: Lying Leg Curls
✓ Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie face down on the leg curl machine with the pad of the lever on the back of your legs (just a few inches under the calves). Tip:Using a leg curl machine that is angled as opposed to flat since an angled position is more favorable for hamstrings recruitment.
✓ Keeping your torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are fully stretched and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight and tighten your calves to help support your legs through the movement
✓ As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
✓ As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Sets and Reps: 4 x 12-15
Exercise #3: Good Mornings
✓ Begin with a bar on a rack at shoulder height. Rack the bar across the rear of your shoulders as you would a power squat, not on top of your shoulders. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades pinched together, and your knees slightly bent. Step back from the rack.
✓ Begin by bending at the hips, moving them back as you bend over to near parallel. Keep your back arched and your cervical spine in proper alignment.
✓ Reverse the motion by extending through the hips with your glutes and hamstrings. Continue until you have returned to the starting position.
✓ Repeat the exercise for the desired amount of repetitions
Caution: It is important to not use too much weight because this movement, if done improperly, can overload your back.
Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12
Exercise #4: Standing Leg Curl
✓ Find a standing leg curl machine and adjust the height to properly fit your body type
✓ Lie with your torso bent at the waist facing forward around 30-45 degrees (since an angled position is more favorable for hamstrings recruitment) with the pad of the lever on the back of your right leg (just a few inches under the calves) and the front of the right leg on top of the machine pad.
✓ Keeping the torso at a slight angle forward, ensure your leg is fully stretched and grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight. This will be your starting position.
✓ As you exhale, curl your right leg up as far as possible without lifting the upper leg from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for 2 seconds.
✓ As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.
✓ Perform the same exercise now for the left leg using the same amount of repetitions.
Sets and Reps: 5 x 10-15
Exercise #5: Weighted Hip Thrusts Dropsetted Into Bodyweight Hip Thrusts
✓ In a controlled motion, sit down on the bench behind you, and lean back while sliding down your back so that your shoulder blades are resting at the top.
✓ Have a partner help you position a barbell across your hips. Tip: It is sometimes helpful to wrap a foam pad or towel around the barbell so that the barbell does not irritate your hips during the extension part of the movement.
✓ Begin the thrusting movement by driving through your heels and extending your hips upward through the bar.
✓ Your weight should be supported by your shoulder blades and your feet.
✓ Extend as far as possible and hold for 2-3 seconds, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
✓ Repeat for the desire amount of repetitions
✓ After finishing a set with the barbell, take the barbell off and complete as many reps as possible doing hip thrusts with just your bodyweight
Sets and Reps: 3 x 10-15 weighted, 3 x AMRAP bodyweight
Take Home Message
Developing your biceps femoris also known as your hamstring muscles is crucial if you want to develop big, strong legs which are also crucial for developing an overall muscular body.
Be sure to include these 5 workouts in your weekly routine and you’ll be rocking strong hamstrings soon enough.