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Thread: Hamstring Exercises

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    Hamstring Exercises

    Two years ago I partially tore my left pcl so my left knee has been kind of delicate since then. This makes hamstring curls a difficult exercise because I feel a lot of pressure in the back of my knee. I know for hamstrings I can also do rdl's, good morning, straight leg deadlifts, etc. all of which I feel less knee pressure, but are these exercises working different muscles because I'm not closing the joint? any recommendations on similar exercises to hamstring curls that might be easier on my knee?

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    Member RB34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tb2010 View Post
    Two years ago I partially tore my left pcl so my left knee has been kind of delicate since then. This makes hamstring curls a difficult exercise because I feel a lot of pressure in the back of my knee. I know for hamstrings I can also do rdl's, good morning, straight leg deadlifts, etc. all of which I feel less knee pressure, but are these exercises working different muscles because I'm not closing the joint? any recommendations on similar exercises to hamstring curls that might be easier on my knee?
    GH, russ leans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RB34 View Post
    GH, russ leans.
    would you reccomend these exercises to be in a strength training program for sprinting or do you think i should just drop the joint closing exercises all together?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tb2010 View Post
    Two years ago I partially tore my left pcl so my left knee has been kind of delicate since then. This makes hamstring curls a difficult exercise because I feel a lot of pressure in the back of my knee. I know for hamstrings I can also do rdl's, good morning, straight leg deadlifts, etc. all of which I feel less knee pressure, but are these exercises working different muscles because I'm not closing the joint? any recommendations on similar exercises to hamstring curls that might be easier on my knee?
    I completely tore my left PCL a couple months ago.

    Hamstrings are not relevant toward compensating for the structural loss in this case, the quadriceps are.

    The PCL, in short, assists the ACL in countering translation of the lower leg.

    Keep the quad strong and, especially as a sprinter, you shouldn't have any problem at all.

    Roger Craig, the great RB for the 49ers, played the majority of his career with a torn PCL (note the size of his quadriceps).

    As for hamstring exercises, stay with those that extend the hip (back raises/hypers, reverse hypers, good mornings, RDLs, pull throught, and so on).

    I'm not a fan of leg curls at all. If you wish to perform a knee flexion movement then perform the GHR, on a GHR NOT the floor version unless you have a makeshift pad that is large enough, and make sure the fulcrum is set farther away from the foot plate, closer to your hips, in order to ensure that the stress is directed more toward the muscle bellies of the hamstring and glutes versus the posterior structures of the knee joint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Smith View Post
    I completely tore my left PCL a couple months ago.

    Hamstrings are not relevant toward compensating for the structural loss in this case, the quadriceps are.

    The PCL, in short, assists the ACL in countering translation of the lower leg.

    Keep the quad strong and, especially as a sprinter, you shouldn't have any problem at all.

    Roger Craig, the great RB for the 49ers, played the majority of his career with a torn PCL (note the size of his quadriceps).

    As for hamstring exercises, stay with those that extend the hip (back raises/hypers, reverse hypers, good mornings, RDLs, pull throught, and so on).

    I'm not a fan of leg curls at all. If you wish to perform a knee flexion movement then perform the GHR, on a GHR NOT the floor version unless you have a makeshift pad that is large enough, and make sure the fulcrum is set farther away from the foot plate, closer to your hips, in order to ensure that the stress is directed more toward the muscle bellies of the hamstring and glutes versus the posterior structures of the knee joint.
    makes sense, thank you for your advice!

  6. #6
    James,

    Why aren't you a fan of leg curls? Is it because of the concentric 'emphasis' it places on the hamstrings as opposed to the eccentric work they do in sprinting?

    Admittingly I am not a fan however in a recent diccussion with a professional S/C, he stated that all work in a gym is a form of GPP for a field based athlete so if an exercise can improve the functional qualities of a muscle e.g. increase in myofibral cross-section it would highten sport form through SPP exercises.

    What are your thoughts on this?

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    Administrator Angela Coon's Avatar
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    for sprinting leg curls are a bad idea
    unless you are just getting started and need some background
    so sad to say I did a lot of them in the very beginning mostly sets of 10 for a long time and then towards the end of my running career ( if you want to call it that) I did smaller numbers heavier
    My coach ( ha ha ) hated ham curls for the reasons James mentions above but depends on who, what have you done and how you hold onto muscle.
    I am not so muscular in nature
    Additives not really an option for someone living under a microscope
    chicks need way more help than their testo friends (men) unless you are fortunate enough to be built like say Angie I
    in the end I squated 400lbs just before I ended my " career"
    Had I not pushed my coach I he would never had let me do that kind of weight
    Sadly again I usually got my way
    I guess i was stronger in some ways than he was
    ( not exactly)
    maybe too much code for some this message but I will expand soon.........
    Ange

  8. #8
    Personally I hate knee flexion exercises. When I performed them several years ago I had the worst bout of consecutive hamstring injuries in my life. My hams were always constantly tight no matter what I did. Since stopping them a long time ago I've had zero problems.
    If you check out Frans Bosch' website, he mentions to avoid knee flexion exercises and only perform hip extension exercises due to the delicate co-ordination of the hamstrings becoming disrupted when performing knee flexion exercises.
    I think the complex of hyperextension exercises shown in the GPP download are all you need for hamstring strength.
    Angela, about the 3 hyper exercises in the download, were they performed year round?
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by jake winwood View Post
    James,

    Why aren't you a fan of leg curls? Is it because of the concentric 'emphasis' it places on the hamstrings as opposed to the eccentric work they do in sprinting?

    Admittingly I am not a fan however in a recent diccussion with a professional S/C, he stated that all work in a gym is a form of GPP for a field based athlete so if an exercise can improve the functional qualities of a muscle e.g. increase in myofibral cross-section it would highten sport form through SPP exercises.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Angela and Major covered it well.

    Regarding the 'professional' coach you spoke with, if you've been reading this site long enough you'll know what I think of most 'professionals' in this field.

  10. #10


    Would you consider this to be in the same category as traditional leg curls, as the hamstrings are forced (when done properly) to maintain hip extension?

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