March 8, 2017 – Hamstring Anatomy

Hawkins

Hawkins

You might think when doing hamstring curls at the gym you’re working 1 muscle. In reality the hamstrings are a group of 3 to 4 muscles that function more than just bending the knee.

  • Biceps Femoris – Attaches from your ischial tuberosity (sits bones), to the outside of the fibula​
  • Semitendinosus – Attaches from the sits bone to the outside of the tibia
  • Semimembranosus – Attaches from the sits bone to the outside of the tibia as well

They can all extend the hip and flex the knee. But did you know they can rotate the shin bone, and even extend the trunk?

Why else does knowing placement matter? Because these muscles have LONG levers and cross both the hip and the knee, there’s a lot of demand on them in situations with quick movements (e.g. sprinting, kicking). The most often strained is biceps femurs, you can see why in the picture (it has the longest path).

Anatomy also affects how you train them: for example you can strengthen the hamstrings by just flexing the knee (ex. hamstring curl). But you can also strengthen them doing a Romanian Deadlift (extending at the hip with knees relatively straight). Next week we’ll go into hamstring self assessment:

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