Q: I have both the Ultimate Mass Workout and the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-books. Congratulations on such well-researched, pertinent information and programs. My gains with X Reps and POF have been well above my expectations. My question concerns hamstrings. The Ultimate Mass e-book says that feet-forward Smith-machine front squats is the ultimate exercise for hamstrings, but the Smith machine at my gym isn’t bolted to the floor, so it moves easily. I don’t want to risk an injury, so I’ve been using feet-forward hack squats on a hack machine, but I don’t feel my hamstrings working when I do those. Should I try walking lunges instead? I’m 6’4” tall if that makes a difference.
A: Both feet-forward Smith-machine squats and feet-forward hack squats can be hard to feel in the hamstrings; we’re so conditioned to think about quads when we squat, it’s difficult to grasp that the opposing muscle group should be doing a lot of the work. Then there’s the fact that the front-squat version on a Smith machine can be uncomfortable for some people (Jonathan hates it with a passion, but he did pose for the photo below)…[Read more…]