Hamstring curls are superior to deadlifts in activating the hamstrings. Don't believe me? Read on!
A recent study by Bret Contreras and Brad Schoenfeld from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research seems to show that my initial statement above is true. The study used accomplished trainees who had been training longer than 4 years. It showed that the hamstring curl caused greater activation of the hamstring muscle than any other exercise.
It is for this reason that I tell you not to neglect hamstring curls when training your legs. I feel that you should work your hamstrings very hard at the middle or beginning of your leg training. Below is a typical leg session. As you can see, the hamstrings get their work.
|Leg Extension||4 x 15|
|Leg Press||4 x 25|
|Lying Leg Curl||3 x 15|
|Seated Leg Curl||3 x 8|
|Squat||4 x 10|
This plan is quite simple, but quite effective. It begins by pumping blood into the quad muscles and wearing them out. It then continues on by hitting the hamstrings very hard. To me, this does a wonderful job of isolating the hamstrings. The first 2 exercises tire out the quads so that they don't play any role in the hamstring exercises.
If you have any tips on building up your hamstrings please leave them in the comments below.