Q: You categorize seated leg curls as a contracted-position exercise for hamstring. In his Physics of Resistance Exercise book, Doug Brignole says it’s the best exercise for the hams, and it also provides the stretch effect. So is it a stretch- and contracted-position exercise and is it ideal? Unfortunately, when I start adding weight, it hurts my knees. [Read more…]
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…]