Hamstrings

March 3, 2023

How much do you know about that mystery muscle group in the back of your thighs? They’re called the hamstrings, and they’re located right below your buttocks. There are three main muscles in the hamstrings: the biceps femoris, the semimembranosus, and the semitendinosus. The hamstrings are responsible for several important movements, including straightening the hip (hip extension), bending the knee (knee flexion), and moving the leg backwards behind you (hip hyperextension). They are also crucial for maintaining proper posture and providing stability during movement. We want you to know and understand the importance of the hamstrings, their anatomy, their functions, and how to strengthen them. We will also explore why these muscles are especially important for older adults.


To better understand this muscle group, we’ll go over a bit of anatomy, but don’t worry if you don’t recognize the big words. The short story is the hamstrings connect your butt bones to the backs of your knees. The biceps femoris is the most lateral (outside) of the three hamstrings muscles. It originates from the ischial tuberosity (sit bone), the lower part of the sacrotuberous ligament, and the linea aspera of the femur. The semitendinosus is located in the middle and also originates at the sit bone. The semimembranosus is the most medial (meaning toward the middle line of the body) of the three muscles and originates from the sit bone and the posterior aspect of the medial femoral condyle. The three muscles converge and attach to the tibia and fibula. Here’s what’s important to understand: They work in opposition to the quadriceps, which are located on the front of the thigh, to provide stability to the knee joint. 


The hamstrings are responsible for maintaining proper posture, particularly during activities such as standing and walking. The hamstrings are especially important for older adults, because they play a crucial role in maintaining balance and preventing falls. Falls can be a significant cause of injury and mortality in older adults, but strengthening the hamstrings can help reduce the risk of such injuries. Additionally, weak hamstrings can contribute to poor posture, which might lead to back pain and other musculoskeletal issues. Strengthening the hamstrings can improve athletic performance and make it easier to perform daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting up from a seated position.


Because of all its important functions, this group of muscles should be strengthened. Remember to consult with a doctor before diving into any training programs. We can help you reach your goals and keep your body in tip-top shape so you can keep up with your favorite hobbies. Here are some exercises that can help strengthen the hamstrings: 


  • Deadlifts: Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for strengthening the hamstrings, as well as the glutes and lower back. They can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells.


  • Romanian Deadlifts: Romanian deadlifts are a variation of the deadlift that place more emphasis on the hamstrings. 


  • Glute Bridges: Glute bridges are an excellent exercise for strengthening the hamstrings, as well as the glutes and lower back. They are usually performed on the floor by bridging the hips upward, but there are many variations. 


  • Hamstring Curls: Hamstring curls are an isolation exercise that specifically target the hamstrings. They can be performed on a machine, and involve curling the legs towards the glutes. There are also other variations of hamstring curls.


Just like with any exercise we recommend, we advise meeting with a trainer to make sure you are making progress in the right direction. We’d hate to see anybody get injured by diving into an exercise variation that was more load than his or her capacity was ready for. Now you know why your hamstrings are so important to many of the movements we do on a daily basis. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have! 

TIPS & TRICKS

The hamstrings are especially important for older adults, because they play a crucial role in maintaining balance and preventing falls.

Peak Performance Care

in Sonora CA

13949 Mono Way

PO Box 4143

Sonora, CA 95370

info@peakperformacecare.com

(209) 532 1288

Fax: (209) 230 9529

Monday/Wednesday: 8am-5:30pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6am-5pm

Friday: 6am-2pm