BetaTOR

Perfect Your Posterior | Erin Stern

January 3, 2020

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Tighten your tush with these 5 hamstring and glute exercise favorites from 2x Ms. Olympia Erin Stern

 
There has been a lot of attention given to the posterior chain lately. Many people are seeking well-developed glutes. I say why stop there? Let’s develop some shapely hamstrings too! There are many benefits of having a strong posterior chain including improved strength, improved power, fewer injuries, and an athletic look. If you ran a poll asking what the number one hamstring and glute exercise was, I bet that the winning exercise would be a squat. I’d like to suggest 5 other exercises that are just as effective as a squat – and potentially more effective!
 
Squats don’t recruit the greatest amount of glute muscle fibers, and they don’t isolate the glutes. When you squat, your hamstrings aren’t doing a lot of work. This is because the hamstrings cross two joints – the hip and the knee. As you go through the squat, the hamstrings shorten at the knee and lengthen at the hips, so the overall length of the muscle doesn’t change too much. Hamstrings are better targeted with isolation movements that either focus on knee flexion (like hamstring curls) or hip extensions (like RDLs).
 
Without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite exercises:
 

1). Kettlebell swings.

This exercise is perfect for hitting both the glutes and hamstrings. It’s also great for developing power. To perform the exercise, grab a kettlebell and stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Using your hips, pop the kettlebell forward. Think about your hips as the hinge, not the knees. Your upper body merely guides the kettlebell - all the power comes from your posterior chain.
Watch demo video here.
 


2). Hip thrusts.

This is one of the best exercises for developing the glutes. The best way to begin doing this exercise is with body weight only. This can help you strengthen the mind-muscle connection with the glutes and can help you get maximum muscle contraction. Once this becomes too easy, try single-leg hip thrusts. To do hip thrusts, place your upper back on a bench and bring your feet in close to your glutes. Tuck your chin and push your hips upward. Squeeze your glutes at the top. If using a bar, be sure that the bar rests directly over the hips. A bar pad can ease the pressure of the bar.
Watch demo video here.
 


3). Nordic Curls.

This is one of the most effective exercises for hamstring development. There are a few ways to perform Nordic curls. The first way is to have a partner hold your heels or wedge your toes under a heavy machine or bar. Using your knees as a lever, slowly lower your body forward while trying to control the motion with just your hamstrings. Place your hands out to catch yourself and give yourself a small push back to the starting point. Other ways include using a weighted barbell or a heavy piece of equipment that has room for your toes to fit under.
Watch demo video here.
 


4). RDLs.

Romanian Deadlifts, or RDLs, target the glutes and the hamstrings through hip extension. The exercise is very versatile too. You can perform this exercise on a variety of equipment, single-leg, or using a b-stance (one leg works, while the other leg merely stabilizes).  To do this exercise, get dumbbells, a bar, a low cable, or the landmine. Grab the weight and push your body weight through your heels. Slowly lower the weight and keep it close to your body. Keep your head/spine neutral and keep your back flat. Lower the weight as far as you can, stopping before your back begins to round. Lift yourself back to the starting point - focusing on using just your glutes and hamstrings.
Watch demo video here.


 
5). Landmine sumo deadlifts.

This exercise hits all parts of the glutes and the abductors, which are located in the upper and sides of the glutes. This lift can help develop the upper glutes. To do this exercise, stand in front of the end of the bar. Place your feet twice shoulder-width apart with your toes and knees pointing outward slightly. Bend down and grab the bar with an interlocking overhand grip. Lower your hips until your shins are perpendicular to the ground and your upper body is tall. Using your glutes and hamstrings, pull the bar upward until you're standing upright. Slowly lower the bar back down and repeat.
Watch demo video here.
 
Before training, be sure to warm up. Also, taking BetaTOR 30 minutes before training can help you get more quality reps and recover more easily. Thank you for reading, and train hard y’all!

    
  Erin Stern
, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia

 

 

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