F.I.T. Tips - How to Strengthen Your Medial Hamstrings

With Gavin Buehler

As I mentioned in the above article, I often find a significant imbalance between knee extensors (Quads) and knee flexors (Hams) with the hamstrings being weaker. The medial hamstrings in particular (Semitendinosus & Semimembranosus), usually being weaker than the lateral (outside) biceps femoris. The femur (thigh bone) stacks on top of the tibia (shin bone) so we want that joint alignment to be stable. As we learned before, of the three hamstrings, only the semimembranosus and semitendinosus connect to the tibia, which is why it is crucial for them to be strong to assist with knee stability.

EMG studies have shown that movements requiring knee flexion, such as Leg Curls & Nordic Ham Curls seem to recruit these two muscles well, whereas hip extension movements such as Romanian Dead Lifts do a good job of recruiting the often more dominant lateral hamstring, the biceps femoris.

It’s a good idea to include both types of movements in your hamstring programing, but make sure that you’re balancing the strength of all hamstrings. While Leg Curl movements can recruit more of the inner hamstrings, they can still be biceps femoris dominant if you perform them with your toes pointed out away from each other. If you are going to focus on the medial hamstrings, try doing them with toes pointed in toward each other.

In this video we’ll cover a couple of Leg Curl movements with a focus on the inner hamstrings that require minimal equipment if you don’t have access to leg curl machines.

As always, this video is for educational purposes only. Please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.