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Workout to balance hamstrings? - PS I'm female

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  • Workout to balance hamstrings? - PS I'm female

    Naturally I have very large hamstrings, whether or not I work out. However, today I noticed that they look out of place.

    I was at the beach with my daughter and a photo was taken where my hamstrings look like the only muscle on my leg. Now, I don't want to enhance those muscles but I wouldn't mind either building up my calf muscles or my quads. Is there anything that would focus on building muscle everywhere BUT my hamstrings?

    When I was in high school and college, my legs looked proportionate because I was spending 3+ hours a day horseback riding (training horses and practicing for competition). Of course, my legs were a bit more body builder than they were lean model-ish and I definitely wanted the latter at the time.

    But now, I could really care less. I just want to look proportionate again. I wish I could still horseback ride but right now that's out of the question with a 1 year old in tow.

    On a side note (but somewhat related) is there ANYWHERE a chick can buy shorts that fit over larger thigh muscles but still fit in the hips and waist? I have found two pair in the past 10 years that actually work. I tend to wear skirts instead.

    ETA: I haven't truly worked out for a year. Only walking/jogging/hiking and doing what floor exercises I can do (think crunches, planks, pushups) with a munchkin crawling on me.
    Last edited by thepaleochild; 03-19-2011, 07:04 PM.

  • #2
    Umm, stop gripping things so tightly with your legs? Lunges will help with quads and simply pushing off of the ground with your feet (think jump rope) will help with your calves. Also, and this is only for looks, place something heavy on your toes and lift them off the ground (works the muscles on the front of your leg).
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
      Also, and this is only for looks, place something heavy on your toes and lift them off the ground (works the muscles on the front of your leg).
      actually, this exercise is helpful for people who get shin splints
      I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

      Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
        Lunges will help with quads and simply pushing off of the ground with your feet (think jump rope) will help with your calves.
        I was afraid that lunges would build my hamstrings. I think I might have to suck it up and realize that any leg workout will to some extend build hamstring muscles. :/ Thanks!

        Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
        Also, and this is only for looks, place something heavy on your toes and lift them off the ground (works the muscles on the front of your leg).
        Only for looks? I had a horse trainer have me do this every day once upon a time to help build leg muscles. Usually books were the weight (I was a college kid and what's more plentiful -and useless- than books?)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by federkeil View Post
          actually, this exercise is helpful for people who get shin splints
          I've always stood with the front half of my feet on stairs/bleachers/what-have-you and lowered my heels and raised them to prevent shin splints. Don't know if it worked, never got any but was always told to do it by track and tennis coaches.

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          • #6
            Lunges definitely involved the hamstrings.

            If you're looking to really isolate your quads, I guess the best way is to do leg extensions on a machine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chickenbackside View Post

              If you're looking to really isolate your quads, I guess the best way is to do leg extensions on a machine.

              Hmmm... not the answer I was hoping to hear (although it is appreciated!) sadly I cannot devote time to the gym right now. Time to workout, surely, but the gym means childcare for my kiddo and I'm not really a fan of childcare.

              Looks like I just get to be the weirdly muscled thigh girl. :P

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              • #8
                you could always sit down on a chair , cross one leg over the other , sit your little one on your foot , hold both their hands , and presto .. a leg extension machine that increases resistance by itself .....and always wants you to do just one more set ! my kids loved it when they were little ....and I will never forget how fried my quads used to get ..
                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paleo-...43036789093004

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                • #9
                  You could also do sissy squats: Squatting down with heels raised on something and leaning back.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by simodalcais View Post
                    you could always sit down on a chair , cross one leg over the other , sit your little one on your foot , hold both their hands , and presto .. a leg extension machine that increases resistance by itself .....and always wants you to do just one more set ! my kids loved it when they were little ....and I will never forget how fried my quads used to get ..

                    Oh you are my hero. Why didn't I think of this? She LOVES doing this. And I use her for arm weights, why not legs? THANK YOU! This is exactly the suggestion I need.

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                    • #11
                      There are all kinds of body weight squat exercises. Yes, the hamstrings will get some work, but if yours are already strong, they won't get stronger or bigger. The weak link is what gets trained when you do compound exercises.

                      Gordo

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gordo View Post
                        The weak link is what gets trained when you do compound exercises.
                        I don't think this is true. For some movements, maybe.. You can chin without working your back at all if you have strong biceps. You can also bench without involving your pecs very much, even with a more than shoulder width grip, if your triceps are stronger.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pandadude View Post
                          I don't think this is true. For some movements, maybe.. You can chin without working your back at all if you have strong biceps. You can also bench without involving your pecs very much, even with a more than shoulder width grip, if your triceps are stronger.
                          For those two movements, maybe. I don't think either of them are particularly good compound exercises. I'm thinking squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc.

                          Gordo

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                          • #14
                            Please don't do leg extensions. Those are horrible for your knees. Stick to weighted lunges or step-ups to build your quads. And squat.
                            Primal Personal Trainer
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                            • #15
                              i find that front squats use way more quad than anything else
                              I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

                              Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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