The hamstrings are the primary muscles used in running. The two primary running movements—hip extensions and knee flexions—draw heavily on the hamstrings. These muscles are also used for deceleration; the stronger your hamstrings, the quicker you can perform motions like stopping, changing directions, and resuming running. Many athletes believe that they can get faster by developing their quad muscles, but hamstrings and glutes are the true muscles behind the speed.
Athletes who find it difficult to exercise and develop their hamstrings might be failing to do the correct exercises. Leg curls are among the most effective exercises for strengthening the hamstrings. However, you need to do the exercise right if you want to get the optimum results. When using the leg-curl machine, try cutting your normal weight in half so you can do more reps. It’s also helpful to slow down your motion on the leg press. If you typically exercise with four quick sets of six reps, do two sets of eight reps using only half of your usual weight. You don’t have to do the exercise super slowly, but you do need to slow down enough to enable your muscles to contract. You can establish your speed and range of motion while doing your warm-up sets.
You will notice a significant difference with this new way of working your hamstrings. Typically, people initiate a leg curl with explosive force and let momentum carry the rest. This is a natural outgrowth of trying to press too much weight—form can often go out the window. Your behind may rise in the air as you try to press heavy weights. As you proceed with your reps, you may no longer be able to maintain your ankle plantarflexion. If you are doing your leg curls correctly, even with lighter weight, you should be able to keep good form and feel your hamstrings working.
Doing leg curls slowly will sap your energy faster. You can build your stamina by increasing your body’s testosterone. TestX Core is a health supplement that augments testosterone production, giving you more vigor and endurance as you work out.