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  1. #1
    Veteran MrRippedZilla's Avatar
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    Muscle hypertrophy: hamstrings

    A couple of pieces of training data for today, just the sort of mood I'm in


    Changes in the medial-lateral hamstring activation ratio with foot rotation during lower limb exercise

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18331800 (pm me for the full paper)

    Abstract
    This paper investigated whether the ratio of medial-lateral hamstring muscular activation could be altered with changes in foot rotation position (both internal and external rotation) during three standard lower limb exercises.
    It has been suggested that those with medial compartment knee OA activate the lateral hamstrings more than the medial to help unload the diseased compartment; therefore, preferential activation of this muscle during lower limb exercise may help to further decrease the stresses on the articular cartilage and be an effective intervention for knee OA and lateral hamstring injury.
    Thirteen healthy young adult subjects were tested and average medial and lateral hamstring EMG data during the full exercise, as well as the concentric and eccentric phases, were used to calculate the medial-lateral (M-L) hamstring activation ratio for each exercise and foot position.
    Results suggest that internal foot rotation increases the M-L hamstring activation ratio while external foot rotation decreases this ratio. Therefore, altering the position of the foot during standard lower limb exercise can help selectively activate the medial or lateral hamstring muscle groups. This selective activation may have implication in treating symptoms of knee osteoarthritis and hamstring injury; but, longitudinal intervention studies would be needed to determine clinical utility.


    What they did...

    They took 13 individuals (6 men, 7 women) and had the perform 3 movements - lying leg curl, 1 leg glute bridge and 1 legged deadlifts.

    During all 3 movements they experimented with foot rotation (straight, external, internal) to see if it had an impact on what part of the hamstring was more/less activated. They were looking at the medial (middle) and lateral (side) portions of the hamstrings specifically.

    Electromyography (EMG) was used to assess the level of muscle activation. EMG data has its own issues that I won't go into here but suffice to say that the numbers should be interpreted with caution and not be seen as a universal, guaranteed, thing.


    What they found...

    Feet straight = insignificantly favoring the lateral hamstrings on leg curls & glute bridges while significantly favoring medial hamstrings on deadlifts.
    Feet turned out = significantly favors lateral hamstrings for all 3 movements.
    Feet turned in = significantly favors medial hamstrings for all 3 movements.

    For single leg DLs in particular, unless you actively externally rotate, its pretty clear that the focus will be on the medial hamstrings.


    Take home points

    Something as simple as foot positioning can influence what part of a specific muscle group is activated - something the advanced bodybuilders should probably be aware of.

    To gain more mass on your lateral hams, focus on external rotation for most movements while keeping an eye on exercise selection (DL variations are probably not going to be enough).
    To gain more mass on your medial (middle-ish) hams, focus on internal rotation and DL variations should probably be your main focus.
    Last edited by MrRippedZilla; 04-17-2017 at 04:54 PM.
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  3. #2
    Elite BRICKS's Avatar
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    Thanks Zilla, good info.

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  5. #3
    Veteran NbleSavage's Avatar
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    Love this stuff, Zilla. Well done.
    'Trying to make some sense of it all, but I can see it makes no sense at all...is it cool to go to sleep on the floor? Cuz I don't think I can take any more...'
    - Stealers Wheel "Stuck in the Middle"

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    Elite ToolSteel's Avatar
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    Can you do one on calves? Asking for a friend...
    You can't inject wisdom

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    Veteran MrRippedZilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToolSteel View Post
    Can you do one on calves? Asking for a friend...
    I've written like 4 variations IIRC of calf articles for a bunch of different people so its not exactly a foreign concept to me.

    Short answer: if your...friend...has small ankles and high calf insertions, he's ****ed. They will never, ever, look big enough to him.
    The toughest achievements involve long, isolated, battles with your self.

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  11. #6
    UG BENCH KING ECKSRATED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToolSteel View Post
    Can you do one on calves? Asking for a friend...
    This made me giggle a little bit.
    Strengthfirst

  12. #7
    E-Fighter Extraordinaire Joliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECKSRATED View Post
    This made me giggle a little bit.
    I giggled a bit, as well.
    Stroking out on the toilet = gay. Stroking out on the platform = legend. --DYS

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  13. #8
    Elite ToolSteel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joliver View Post
    I giggled a bit, as well.
    I giggled as I was typing it.
    You can't inject wisdom

  14. #9
    Elite kittensandkilos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToolSteel View Post
    Can you do one on calves? Asking for a friend...
    Simply just wear tall socks all the time. Problem solved.

    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" -Michael Scott


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