Hamstrings and glutes stimulation exercises

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Stimulating the hamstrings is a little like doing so for the biceps: it's impossible to stretch that muscle by performing a single joint movement. As a result, leg curl variations will always be inferior to exercises such as the Romanian deadlift, stiff-leg deadlift, Goodmorning and long step lunges. In fact, for athletic training the leg curl is a superfluous exercise. It can have its place in a muscle-building program though, but not as a prime exercise.

Key point(s): The wide step involves the hamstring a little more. Always keep the torso solid and upright. Bring the knee of the back leg as close to the floor as possible without touching it.

Exercise 96. Medium step lunges

Key point(s): The medium step involves the glutes a little more. Always keep the torso solid and upright. Bring the knee of the back leg as close to the floor as possible without touching it.

Key point(s): Keep the knees bent at around a 135 degrees angle. Lower the bar by pushing your hips back. Keep the lower back flat. Focus on getting a good stretch in the hamstrings

Exercise 98. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Exercise 98. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Key point(s): Keep the knees bent at around a 135 degrees angle. Lower the bar by pushing your hips back. Keep the lower back flat. Focus on getting a good stretch in the hamstrings. The advantage of the dumbbell variation is that you don't have to have an internally rotated shoulder position as you do with the barbell. The arms can stay in a more natural position.

Key point(s): Keep the legs straight. Lower the bar by pushing your hips back. Keep the lower back flat. Focus on getting a good stretch in the hamstrings.

Exercise 100. Leg press high feet

Key point(s): Only the heels should be on the pad; curl up your toes to shift the weight toward the heels.

Exercise 101. Reverse hyper on back extension station

Exercise 101. Reverse hyper on back extension station

Key point(s): Obviously this exercise is best performed on a "real" reverse hyper station, but very few gyms actually have one. It is possible to use the back extension bench to perform this drill. If you need to add weight you can attach a dumbbell between your feet with a lifting belt or use ankle weights. Keep the legs straight and stretch those hamstrings at the bottom position.

Exercise 102. Side hip extension

Exercise 102. Side hip extension

Key point(s): Bring the leg forward and to the side in the starting position, to get a better stretch. Then push it back and inwards while keeping the leg straight. Focus on tensing the glutes during the movement.

Exercise 103. Backward kick

Exercise 103. Backward kick

Key point(s): Bring the knee forward to stretch the glute in the starting position. Extend the hip back. Focus on activating the glutes, not the lower back.

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Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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