Well-defined legs can be your best accessories but might require some targeted exercises. Part of your workout should focus on your hamstrings at the back of your thighs. Your hamstrings consist of the biceps femoris long head and short head, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. In addition to seated leg curls, target these muscles with other exercises that flex your knee and extend your hip. For optimal results, warm up before exercising and master proper form.
Standing Hamstring Curl
The standing hamstring curl primarily targets your hamstrings, as well as your abs as you stabilize your body. The exercise is done using a resistance band or a cable machine. Attach a resistance band at knee height to an immovable object in front of you. Attach the other end of the band to your left ankle. Stand with your toes pointed forward, and slowly place your body weight on your right leg. Bend your left knee and raise your left foot toward your buttocks. Inhale and lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat and then switch legs.
Deadlifts target your hamstrings as well as other muscles in your thighs and buttocks. Begin by standing in front of a barbell with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes forward. Squat down by bending at your waist and knees. With your thighs parallel to the floor, firmly grasp the barbell with your palms facing down toward the floor. Brace your abdominal s as you slowly raise your body to a standing position. Keep your arms and back straight throughout the exercise and the barbell close to your body. Gradually lower yourself to the starting position, without releasing the barbell and repeat.
The hamstring raise requires the use of gym equipment that allows you to restrain and stabilize your lower body. Position your knees on the upper padded support and your ankles between the supports at the opposite end of the machine. Your body should be in a kneeling position with your lower legs parallel to the floor and your thighs and back vertical. Optionally, hold a weight against your chest with both hands. Lower your body forward off the edge of the machine until your body is straight and parallel with the floor. Raise your body back to the starting position by bending your knees. Repeat.
The good morning exercise targets your hamstrings and buttocks and is done with a barbell. Place the barbell on the back of your shoulders and stand upright. Begin by bending your hips and waist and moving your upper body forward until it is parallel to the ground. Your buttocks will move backward to keep balance. Keep your back straight and your knees slightly flexed throughout the exercise. Slowly raise back up to the starting position and repeat.
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