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doesn't feel like BW squats are targeting my hamstrings

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  • doesn't feel like BW squats are targeting my hamstrings

    essentialy, the above statement.
    I was doing bw squats, making sure to engage my glutes, slight curvature of the back, arse all the way to the ground.

    I got a killer lower back workout and a good pump in my quads and glutes and I even think some calf work but Im just not feeling it that much in my hamstrings...Are they supposed to have that pump/immediate muscle worked feeling or are they more for stabilising?

    Ohh and while where on the topic. I do pushups, pull-ups and squats as my main exercises, i skip the pike presses/shoulder press pushups because my shoulder just isn't that healthy for it atm (which im attempting to correct). Is there any muscle imablance issue with this? I still feel I get a relatively good front deltoid workout when i do pushups.

    Im 17 if that helps!
    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    I don't think a pump in your hams is necessary, but you have to make sure to go below parallel for them to work. If you really want to smoke the hams with a bodyweight exercise then try and find a way to do glute-ham raises.

    About the muscle imbalance theoretically yes it could happen that the front delts are overworked while the other shoulder muscles are neglected. This will make shoulder injuries move prevalent, as is the case with many bench-pressers who don't overhead press aswell. A push up is going to have less loading though, and due to facing the ground and pushing away from that rather than lying on a bench, your back should automatically put itself into a good position due to gravity.

    If the pushups themselves don't make your shoulder worse then I would just continue doing em, but definately fix the shoulder asap and possibly begin with something ligther than pike presses.


    • #3
      thanks very much! ill try and start of slowly with the shoulders, maybe just one set even.
      Ill concentrate on going below parallel too.

      keep it coming guys


      • #4
        Make sure you "push through the heels," i.e. keep your weight on your heel rather than coming forward on your toes. That seems to make a big difference for me in terms of where I "feel it."

        It's easier to get below parallel the wider your stance is. So try widening up some, and just make sure that your knees are always in line with your toes (which should point out slightly). I have to make a conscious effort to sort of splay my knees out as I go down to make this happen.


        • #5
          once you get your form and everything settled from above, try squatting really really slowly. you should feel your hamstrings more then. try for a good 4 seconds down and 4 seconds up. if you want to feel more of a pump after a regular workout, maybe you need to increase the difficulty by doing jump squats or bulgarians.


          • #6
            GET UNDER A BAR, your hamstrings are not going to activate that much with bodyweight, your quads are pulling your body up and aiding in lowering your body, but your hamstrings are ment to lower your body, when you squat they keep balance and allow any weight to be controled, that is there job, so if your just doing body weight there is no reason for them to activate that much because there is not that much weight being used. SQUAT, get that primal body moving weight, anyweight that is more than your body weight would do it. Bar too much? get a weighted vest or a medicine ball. BUT they will not activate or grow that much if there is no stimulus, your body wants balance, your hamstrings aren't going to say, I NEED TO GROW AND GET STRONGER if there is no reason to.


            • #7
              Squats don't really work your hamstrings as much as you'd think, just like pushups don't really work your biceps much. Biceps and hamstrings are both muscles for bringing the extremity in closer.

              Hamstring exercises:
              back bridges
              walking lunges

              and some more: bodyweight exercises hamstrings - Google Search