By Isaac Davidson
Let me ask you a question… Within your training program do you have an answer for why you are doing the exercise prescribed and further to this, the rationale behind the exercise order in your workout? If the answer is no then you are missing out on a lot of potential for achieving optimal results.
Something that we teach our personal trainers at our Sydney CBD and Chatswood gym’s from day one is that program design is an art and needs to be done intelligently with the intention of getting the most optimal result out of the session.
When designing a program I keep in mind that the hamstrings are generally the weakest link within the posterior part of the lower body as a general rule. Even more common when it comes to hamstring training is the client being able to recruit proper activation and contraction of the working muscle.
Going back to being intelligent about the order of the exercises I find one of the best techniques is training them in a fully shortened position like lying leg curls or standing leg curls (knee flexion) before training them in a fully stretched position like RDL’s (Romanian deadlifts) or good mornings (hip extension). This is a technique that can be applied effectively for all body parts not just the hamstrings, think of it as training with intention, a technique popularised by IFFB Pro Ben Pakulski.
Of extra note in this video is to keep notice of how I have elevated my torso slightly on the lying leg curls to get them in a further shortened position. For the RDL’s I have gotten in the most lengthened position without releasing the tightness in my upper back. This stops me from losing the tension off the upper portion of the hamstrings and putting it onto my lower back.
Give these techniques a try next time you are in the gym and see your posterior chain progression improve rapidly!