W3.CSS

Beginner


Hamstring Curl

Main Muscle group: hamstrings
Secondary muscle(s): none
Equipment required: machine
Experience level: beginner
Instructions:
i. The lying leg curl is a great exercise to isolate the hamstrings. Set up for the leg curl by selecting the weight you want to use on the stack and adjusting the padding to suit your leg length.
ii. Lay face down on the machine. The padding should be positioned just above the back of your ankles. If it’s higher than that, adjust the length.
iii. Tense up the hamstrings by taking the weight slightly off the stack. This is the starting position for the exercise.
iv. Squeeze the hamstrings and curl the weight up as far as possible.
v. Squeeze the hamstring hard, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

Alternating Hamstring Squat to RDL

Main Muscle group: glutes and hamstrings
Secondary muscle(s): abs, quads, lower back
Equipment required: kettlebell or dumbbell
Experience level: beginner
Instructions
a. Stand in a wide stance with toes turned out at a 45-degree angle.
b. Grip a heavy dumbbell or a kettlebell in both hands.
c. Keep the upper body pin straight and bend the knees into a squat slowly.
d. Lower yourself as far as you are comfortable but make sure the knees are parallel with the toes.
e. Push into your heels as you bring yourself up to the starting position.
f. Push your hips back and hinge forward until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor.
g. Once you have locked out the hips, reverse the movement by pushing the hips back and hinging forward.
h. Repeat for desired reps and sets.

Tips- for extra glute and hamstring work, alternate between a sumo squat and wide leg deadlift.

Intermediate


Deadlift

Main Muscle group: hamstrings
Secondary muscle(s): glutes, quads, lower back, mid-back, upper back, traps, abs, calves
Equipment required: barbell
Experience level: intermediate
Instructions:
i. Position the bar over the top of your shoelaces and assume a hip width stance.
ii. Push your hips back and hinge forward until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor.
iii. Reach down and grasp the bar using a shoulder width, double overhand grip.
iv. Inhale and pull up slightly on the bar while allowing your hips to drop in a seesaw fashion. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “pulling the slack out of the bar”.
v. As you drop the hips and pull up on the bar, set the lats (imagine you’re trying to squeeze oranges in your armpits) and ensure your armpits are positioned directly over the bar.
vi. Drive through the whole foot and focus on pushing the floor away.
vii. Ensure the bar tracks in a straight line as you extend the knees and hips.
viii. Once you have locked out the hips, reverse the movement by pushing the hips back and hinging forward.
ix. Return the bar to the floor, reset, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Back Squat

Main Muscle group: quads
Secondary muscle(s): calves, glutes, hamstrings, lower back
Equipment required: barbell
Experience level: intermediate
Instructions:
i. Set up for the exercise by setting the barbell to just below shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use.
ii. Stand under the bar with your feet at about shoulder width apart.
iii. Position the bar so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not on the back of your neck. The bar should feel comfortable. If it doesn’t, try adding some padding to the bar.
iv. Now take your hands over the back and grip the bar with a wide grip for stability.
v. You should now bend at the knees and straighten your back in preparation to take the weight off the rack.
vi. Keeping your back straight and eyes up, push up through the legs and take the weight off the rack.
vii. Take a small step back and stabilize yourself.
viii. Keeping your eyes facing forward slowly lower your body down. Don’t lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
ix. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.
x. Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.

Wide Stance Back Squat

Main Muscle group: quads
Secondary muscle(s): calves, glutes, hamstrings, lower back
Equipment required: barbell
Experience level: intermediate
Instructions:
i. Set up for the wide squat by setting the barbell to just below shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use.
ii. Stand under the bar with your feet at about shoulder width apart.
iii. Position the bar so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not on the back of your neck. The bar should feel comfortable. If it doesn’t, try adding some padding to the bar.
iv. Now take your hands over the back and grip the bar with a wide grip for stability.
v. You should now bend at the knees and straighten your back in preparation to take the weight off the rack.
vi. Move your feet apart, wide than shoulder width, with your toes pointing out slightly.
vii. Keeping your back straight and eyes up, push up through the legs and take the weight off the rack.
viii. Take a small step back and stabilize yourself.
ix. Keeping your eyes facing forwards, slowly lower your body down. Don’t lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
x. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.
xi. Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.

Romanian Deadlift

Main Muscle group: hamstrings
Secondary muscle(s): glutes, quads, lower back, mid-back, abs, calves
Equipment required: barbell
Experience level: intermediate
Instructions:
i. Position the bar over the top of your shoelaces and assume a hip width stance.
ii. Push your hips back and hinge forward until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor.
iii. Reach down and grasp the bar using a shoulder width, double overhand grip.
iv. Ensure your spine is neutral, shin is vertical, and your hips are roughly the same height as your shoulders.
v. Drive through the whole foot and focus on pushing the floor away.
vi. Ensure the bar tracks in a straight line as you extend the knees and hips.
vii. Once you have locked out the hips, reverse the movement by pushing the hips back and hinging forward.
viii. Return the bar to the floor, reset, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Advanced


Nordic Hamstring Curl

Main Muscle group: hamstrings
Secondary muscle(s): abs, caves, glutes
Equipment required: machine
Experience level: advanced
Instructions
i. Setup in a nordic hamstring machine with your hips extended and torso upright.
ii. Keeping your hips extended, begin to lower yourself as slowly as possible until you can no longer control the descent.
iii. At this point, allow yourself to fall to the floor in a controlled fashion and “catch” yourself with your arms.
iv. Give yourself just enough of a push off the floor to get back into a position where you can pull yourself back to the start using your hamstrings.
v. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips-If have access to an actual nordic hamstring curl machine that would be ideal. If not, try to utilize a lat pulldown machine as that is the easiest option to adapt for setup. If neither option is available, consider the partner assisted version. If you don’t have access to anyone who can hold your ankles in place, consider a setup with a power rack whereby your ankles are positioned underneath the squat pad on a weighted barbell and you have a pad underneath your knees.


Smith Machine Pistol Squat

Main Muscle group: glutes and quads
Secondary muscle(s): abs, hamstrings,
Equipment required: machine
Experience level: advanced
Instructions
i. To begin, first set the bar to a position that best matches your height. Step under it and position the bar across the back of your shoulders.
ii. Take the bar with your hands facing forward, unlock it and lift it off the rack by extending your legs.3
iii. Move one foot forward about 12 inches in front of the bar. Extend the other leg out in front of you, holding it off the ground. Look forward at all times and maintain a neutral or slightly arched spine. This will be your starting position.
iv. Maintaining good posture, lower yourself by flexing the knee and hip, going down as far as flexibility allows.
v. Pause briefly at the bottom and then return to the starting position by driving through the heel of your foot, extending the knee and hip.