To achieve a well rounded physique you have to hit all the muscles in your body, front and back. Now, everyday you see the front of your body and these muscles are easy to work, chest, shoulders, quads etc but we must not neglect the rear muscles. When training any muscle in the body it is important you focus on the agonist and antagonist muscles which help keep you balanced. For example, when working your chest you would balance this out by working your back. Biceps pair with triceps and quadriceps go with hamstrings.
The hamstrings have three major muscles compared to your quadriceps which have four. Building your hamstrings is key in the foundations of your physique just like any other muscle in the body. Too much emphasis on the quadriceps without due care and attention to your hamstrings will likely result in muscle imbalances. Perhaps you suffer with tight hips, tilted hips which tuck your bottom out which then causes stiffness in your lower back? I digress slightly but you can see the importance of making sure you have enough balance within the body.
Squats are undeniably the best exercise for building your legs, however in order to target just the hamstrings themselves you are better off performing this exercise after some sets of squats. Stiff leg deadlifts are excellent for building your hamstrings and working your glutes. This really is a king compound exercise that targets growth, development and stimulates the muscle fibers so that they can grow back denser and stronger. The aim of this exercise is to really make sure you feel the muscles working, so your tempo ultimately wants to be slow and the weight heavy enough to control it.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Mostly working the hamstrings but the more you bend your knees into the movement, the more likely you are going to engage your glutes too. So all three hamstring muscles and the gluteus maximus engage to help keep you stable with this compound exercise. The trick is to keep your hips high and tilt through them whilst lowering your arms to the floor, keeping your core tight and secure. Also be sure to not bounce the bar on the floor when you get there instead, stop and really concentrate on contracting the muscles to lift the bar up again.
Reps and Sets
Depending on the weight you choose to use will result in how many reps you perform. So make sure you aren't rushing through every rep and that you really control it from the time you start and when you finish. 3-4 sets should hit the muscles hard enough for you to really feel it the next day! Check out the picture below on exactly what muscles you are working and how your stance should be throughout each exercise. Be sure to leave a comment below on how you got on and how you felt a few days after your workout.