A simple way to raise the efficiency of leg bends
The standard approach to bending the legs in the simulator does not always bring the desired result. Dump weight, slow down and get ready for new muscle growth!
Author: John Paul Catanzaro
You have probably been told that the hamstrings consist mainly of fast muscle fibers, and therefore you trained them properly: heavy weight, a small number of repetitions, explosive contractions and impressive pauses between approaches. You were also told that plantar flexion of the foot enhances the activation of the muscles of the hamstrings, and you followed this advice. And at first everything went perfectly!
The problem is that at some point the hamstrings have completely refused to grow. Whatever you do, the result was zero, the volumes stood still. You tried to work alternately with one foot. They tried to bend their legs sitting, standing, lying, on all fours. We tried to do an exercise with an internal and external turn of the foot. Nothing helped!
If the situation is familiar, the proposed methodology can solve your problems.
When the next time you come to the gym for flexing your legs, try to do this: reduce weight by half, make more repetitions and slow down the pace. For example, if you usually do 4-6 approaches from 4-6 times and try to lift the load as quickly as possible, now make 2-3 set on 8-12 repetitions to account 4-0-2-0 with half the usual weight.
Watch your speed carefully. You do not have to go to the super-slown mode, but you have to work slowly enough to feel the muscle contraction. You do not need to take a metronome with you, better count the "one Mississippi-two-Mississippi" on the rise and "one Mississippi-two-Mississippi-three-Mississippi-four-Mississippi" on the descent. Work out the tempo and amplitude during warm-ups, and in working sets you will do it automatically.
Differences between different types of training will be immediately apparent. Usually you start flexing with an explosive contraction, and a sharp acceleration helps the projectile to overcome the rest of the way. Biceps hips after the initial push to work almost do not have to; The rest of the route they overcome in the role of passengers.
Since you often work with a weight that is simply too big for you, the technique of execution quickly becomes worthless. The fifth point soars upward to shorten the trajectory of the movement, and no matter how hard you try to keep the plantar flexion of the feet, in the second and third repetition the feet turn to the rear, because the calf muscles are included in the game and take on some of the load. I guarantee that if you make leg bend correctly, even with a relatively light weight, you will really feel the muscles of the back of the thigh.
The next moment: since you work with half the usual weight, you can cut all breaks in half. You need less time to rest between approaches, and less time to recover between workouts. If in the usual situation you between sets were resting 3-4 minutes, then with light weight 90-120 seconds will suffice. And if earlier you trained the hamstrings once a week, now you can do it twice per week.
Light weight at low speed will show weaknesses
Do not think that after losing weight the training will turn into an easy walk; doing an exercise in this way is more difficult than it may seem. The first approach will be really simple, but then your performance will drop dramatically. In the second approach, you will not count several repetitions, especially if the hamstrings are not used to such stresses.
It's not a problem. When you are tired, start lifting the load with the rear flexing of the foot (bending forward), but always lower it with plantar flexion (bending back). In the third and last approaches, put even less weight and try to maintain plantar flexion throughout all repetitions.
Training in this mode, you can no longer hide your weaknesses. Both the left and right hamstrings have to work from the beginning to the end of the trajectory of the movement, and not in any part of it. Because of this, you may notice that one side is dominant. This is normal. Believe it or not, slow bending of the legs with light weight very quickly reveal a disproportion in the development of the right and left thighs. If this disproportion occurs, do the exercise alternately with one leg and always start from the weak side.
Repeat the exercise twice a week for 3-4 weeks, and you initiate the growth of the muscle fibers that were in a lethargic sleep. For many years you have been attacking the muscle fibers of the 2b type, it's time to tackle fibers like 1 and 2. To accelerate the growth of volumes, this can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Believe me, the proposed method of training hamstrings can not hurt. If you do everything right, you will feel that the muscles of the back of the thigh are working, and you will see how they grow – perhaps for the first time in many years.
The weight you use can be easy, but under the end of the hamstrings, it will seem very heavy. So do not treat the technique lightly! It is worth trying, and you no longer want to look back – except to enjoy your success!