You will love these hamstring glute exercises!
My friend Monica will help you with lots of tips.
I hope you enjoy this great post!
The definition of a refined physique can be found in the quality of glute/hamstring separation. Female champions have been defined by how visible the muscles in the hips, glutes and upper hamstrings are to the naked eye. Great champions like Lenda Murray, Kim Chizevsky, Denise Rutkowski and Cory Everson had the type of glute/ hamstring tie-ins that startled onlookers and impressed judges. Many bodybuilders are able to build size, develop mass and acquire elite symmetry, but few succeed in defining and building the entire hip/glute/hamstring area with all these components and then getting the musculature prominent.
Frankly, you cannot be a great champion unless you have full, sweeping hamstrings and rounded glute muscles. Even famous fitness women, like Monica Brant, are known for their superb glute/hamstring shape.
The contour of the legs is incomplete without adequate rear leg and glute development. I have yet to see anyone, especially a woman, with an overdeveloped hamstring. One rarely sees overdeveloped glute muscles. If you want to be visually exciting to anyone who views your lower body, learn how to achieve the glute/hamstring ties that instill awe and cause commotion.
At 26 my friend Monica is displaying the level of glute magnificence that women with more years of training usually boast. Her muscle separations through the use of compound movements with powerful mind-to-body connection that forces the glute muscles to work during any and every leg exercise.
Monica splits up her leg-training by doing quads and calves one day, hamstrings and glutes the next. She says she started with a decent but soft derriere, but through lots of hard work she has changed her rear area significantly. She makes certain points over and over again to emphasize what she feels is vitally important to getting glutes like hers.
“My glutes are a lot higher, fuller and tighter now. Heavy training with deep squats -getting my hips as low as possible -has always been the key. When you drop your butt to the back of your calves, you make your glutes work to get back up. The depth of the exercise causes your glutes to work. Any time you drop below that 90-degree angle you cause extra muscle fibers to come into play.”
Personal trainers usually consider going below parallel as unsafe. Monica says, “I have very solid knees and tremendous flexibility in my ankles. I’m able to do this. Not everybody can handle this kind of training”
“I’m big on compound movements, which many women neglect. Squats are always first. Ever since I started training I’ve always emphasized compound exercises. My repetition speed is the same on the concentric and eccentric portions of the movement. I do a two-count movement down and two counts up. And I never jerk the weight. I keep the movement steady. My rest time between exercises is about one minute”
“I don’t believe in wearing a belt. Without a weight belt you use all the secondary and stabilizer muscles of the lower waist and hips. That strengthens them. If they grow stronger they will be more prominent. I use straps for stiff-leg deadlifts because my leg strength is greater than my hand strength. However, I don’t believe in wraps for my knees, because I have strong knees. I like to do cardio to warm up before I train legs. I do the treadmill using 3.3 speed and a six on the incline. I’m happy with my hips and glutes now, but there is always room for improvement. I want to handle as much as I can with good form. The more weight I can use correctly, the more muscle I will build in that area.”
Squats are the most demanding exercise in weight training. The fact that Monica’s meteoric growth and development parallel her work with that one exercise is no accident.
“I always start any training with a heavy compound movement namely, squats. First I do 2 warmup sets of 15 with just the bar. (This is usually after I’ve done cardio of some sort to get my legs warmed up.) I believe with squats, especially to build great glutes, deeper is better. I sink below parallel with every set. If I can’t do the form I want with the weight that is on the bar, I decrease the weight. My first working set is with 135 x 12 reps; my second is 185 x 10; then I do 225 x 6 and return to 135 x 12. Occasionally my last set is my heaviest. Instead of doing 135 again for 12, I go up to 285 for reps till failure. My advice is to train as heavy as you can physically handle while still maintaining your form.
“I have always been a huge fan of squats and stiff-leg deadlifts. (Again, a going back to the theory of putting major emphasis on compound movements!) Squats are great for building the entire leg -quadriceps included. However, heavy deep squats are awesome for building a nice, round, bubble butt.
Stiff-leg deadlifts are great for hamstrings muscles (this is one of the best hamstring glute exercises). They allow you to squeeze the glutes at the top of the motion for a good contraction. A new favorite exercise at mine for the ham/glute tie-in is the standing hamstring curl.
Some companies have machines that at the top of the motion increase the tension by slightly rolling the foot pad up. This shift isolates the ham/glute tie-in area like no other exercise. If your gym has this equipment, you should incorporate it into all your ham/glute training sessions, maintaining good form to build up the glutes.
“You will be working your legs with each of these exercises, but to really work the glutes you need to make the mind-muscle connection. Mind- muscle connection is extremely important in all hamstring glute exercises. Contract the glutes with each movement, squeezing and isolating them as much as possible”
“Squats are a given for great legs. I cannot stress that enough. If you aren’t doing squats in your leg workouts, now is the time to add them. I always start with squats. Varying my stance from workout to workout, I train as heavy as physically possible while keeping strict form. For me this means sinking below parallel and not bouncing at the bottom. Also, make sure your back doesn’t round out at all. Often I pause at the bottom of the motion to take any momentum out of the motion, forcing my leg muscle to do all the work. My training approach on and off-season remains the same. I always lift as heavy as possible. And I generally keep my rep range within the 6-to-15 area. I discontinue leg-training altogether 12 days before a contest to allow full separation to come out”
Lunges on the Smith Machine
“Lunges are of the best hamstring glute exercises. You have to make sure you do not exceed the knee-toe line when lunging forward. You want to keep as much stress as possible off the knees. The best way to avoid stressing the knees is to keep a fairly wide stance. Lunges are often my second exercise after squats. I do 3 sets: 135 x 15, 165 x 12, and finally 185 x 8, completing all reps with the left leg, then switching to the right, rather than alternating legs. I feel this method burns a lot more!”
You can work a lot of different parts of the leg, depending on where you are in the movement. At the top you feel tension in the upper quads. In the middle you start to feel stimulation in the mid quads and hamstrings. At the bottom you feel it in the lower teardrops and glutes. Here’s where you put the glutes to work to get the weight back up. The more you squeeze the glutes, the more you thrust your body back upward. I usually do 3 sets: 135 x12, 185 x 10, and 225 x 8. I keep a moderate stance and sink as deep as possible. If you touch your glutes to the back of your calves you maximize working the glutes into this exercise.”
Monica finds that leg presses are a great mass-building alternative to squats. You also have the option of leg pressing rather than squatting if you suffer from lower-back or knee problems. People coming back from injury might be better off doing leg presses since they put less stress on those areas. This exercise also concentrates more on the thighs than glutes. Pre-exhausting your legs will force you to work your glutes harder.
“I always use this apparatus as a finishing exercise for my glutes. It’s important to keep your toes pointed slightly out to put the emphasis on your glutes rather than your hams and glutes. I usually work in the top range of the motion, where I can better isolate the glutes. This is another exercise in which I keep the weight as heavy as I can while still fully contracting the glutes to build them up. I generally do 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. The weight depends on the machine. Currently I rack it or use the entire weight stack.
“Good performance in all hamstring glute exercises -as in good form – is key to training. I always tell people that if you cannot handle the weight correctly, you should drop to a lighter weight. We aren‘t talking about cheat reps “here a training partner or spotter helps you bump out a few more reps than you would be able to do on your own. We are talking about people doing barbell curls who look as if their lower back is doing more work than their biceps.
”Diet is 100 percent responsible for causing glute separations to become visible. You may have tremendous glute development, but without shedding the fat and often the water that is over it, you won’t see anything”
“Determination and drive are essential to fitness success, and glute-training is no exception. You have to want it bad enough to achieve it. Anyone can develop muscle, but to take it to that next level, you have to spend the time training, spend the time dieting, and do the cardio. Legs and glutes are often the most grueling workout of the training week. They constitute the largest muscle group in the body, require the most calories for recuperation, and in my opinion, should never be fun to do. I know I’ve had a good leg/glute workout when I can hardly walk out of the gym!
“People often neglect hamstring glute exercises in their regimen. That’s why you see so many bodybuilders with tremendous upper bodies and skinny stick legs. The simple truth is that legs hurt to train. However, the reward is well worth the pain. Nothing is more satisfying than having a symmetrical physique. A nicely developed upper body balanced out by a great set legs and a nice round butt that doesn’t jiggle is worth every drop of sweat lost during a grueling leg workout.
“Since day one of training I have never let up on legs (I really love hamstring glute exercises). I don’t think a week ever went by during which I missed a leg workout. If I did, that would be the first workout the next week. Now I split my leg-training into two days: hams/glutes and then quads/calves. This schedule allows me to better work my hams and glutes. (I never had a problem developing my quads.) I found that if I trained legs altogether in one day, I would finish quads and barely have energy left for hams, let alone glutes. Since following this plan I’ve noticed my ham/glute tie-in has improved a lot. When I dieted down, my glutes were much better developed and much shapelier”
“Don’t let genetics determine how much you can develop your glutes. With good hamstring glute exercises you will success. Certainly true genetics plays a large role in fitness, but I think anything is possible. I weighed 115 pounds before I ever set foot in a gym. I was never fat, but I was soft. Now I compete at 134 pounds. To say I changed my physique tremendously would be an understatement. All you need is patience, attention to detail, determination, and the motivation to do it. As long as you set reasonable goals for yourself, you won’t become discouraged. As you reach your goals, reassess and set new goals”
“The best advice I can give people as far as inspiration is concerned is to keep a log of their weight and bodyfat, and every few months take pictures. In a year you will be glad you did. In five years you will look back in awe. Changing your body is the greatest reward of all”
Monica’s hamstring glute exercises
Cardio (treadmill): warmup
Squats: 2 warmup sets, 4 sets 12, 10, 6, 12 (or failure) reps
Lunges: 3 sets 15, 12, 8 reps
Hack squats: 3 sets 12, 1O, 8 reps
Leg presses (She sometimes uses both 60 degree and vertical as an altenative to squats.)
Butt blaster machine: 3 sets -12 to 15 reps
Note: She adds stiff-leg deadlifts and standing ham curls for occasional variety.
Two-day, leg-training split
Day 1: hamstrings/glutes
Day 2: quadriceps/calves