Are you looking to increase athletic performance? The biceps femoris is one of the most important muscles involved in multiple athletic movements including sprinting and leaping. Because of this, targeting the biceps femoris during your exercise program is one of the best ways to increase your overall athletic abilities.
1. Deadlift: The deadlift is one of my favorite exercises for building mass in the biceps femoris muscle. While the normal deadlift is a great exercise in its own right, you can modify it to better isolate the biceps femoris by using the straight or stiff-legged variation. These will deactivate the quads and make sure the hamstrings are hit exceptionally hard. When doing deadlifts make sure there is little to no lower back rounding, unless you want to walk around with a bad back.
2. Squat: The back squat is another good exercise for adding mass and strength to your biceps femoris. Depending on where you place the bar, the exercise can place a significant amount of stress on the any of the muscles in the posterior chain, in addition to the quadriceps. I recommend working with a low bar position to really promote breaking at the hips and hitting the biceps femoris hard.
Make sure that you start off with a weight that you’re comfortable with. Many people move up in weight too quickly and end up having bad form due to muscular imbalances. A common form misshap associated with the squat is the hula movement. This should be avoided as it can place undue stress on the knee ligaments.
3. Goodmorning: The goodmorning is a great exercise for increasing the strength of your biceps femoris. It isolates the muscle better than the deadlift and squat and is great for increasing your numbers in both of those lifts. The major downside of the goodmorning is that it’s a moderately technical and difficult lift, in that small mistakes can lead to dire consequences. I recommend developing a strong posterior chain before doing this exercise.
4. Leg Curls: This is the only isolation exercise on this list. Leg curls are a solid exercise, although they don’t come highly recommended. If you do them, make sure that you do adequate work on your quadriceps as well because a muscular imbalance between the two can cause shearing forces on the knees. Some people complain about knee pain when doing the leg curl. If this is the case, then I suggest switching to glute-ham raises. The problem with machines is that they often don’t accommodate the variety of bodytypes that people have. One person might be fine with a machine, but the another might not.
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