You might be going hard on squats at the gym to accomplish a particular fitness goal, but are you doing it right? If you are paying much attention to your hamstrings, then you are probably doing it wrong. Chances are that you find this a bit confusing, but we are going to clarify it in a while. Read on and you will understand why hamstrings may be overrated for the squat.
Most people don’t agree that the hamstrings are the most overrated muscle group for the squat. But before you dismiss this idea, let’s first dig into it. First off, the hamstrings can best be described as two-joint muscles. They cross both the hip joints and knee joints. For the knee joint, they play the role of flexors and are also extensors.
That said, massive squats are all built upon the quads. This doesn’t mean that strong hamstrings are not to be valued. Any strong muscle is great for your body. In this case, strong hamstrings have several benefits.
This includes a healthy knee and lower chances of tearing your hamstring. Apart from that, it also allows you to lift heavy loads, especially where deadlifts are concerned.
So, why are hamstrings the most overrated muscle group for the squat?
As you do squats, you might think that you are building your hamstrings. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. Squats are not the best exercises to grow your hamstrings. If you want to build your hamstrings, a hamstring exercise is always the best way to go.
These are the muscles tasked with bending your knees. With a strong hamstring, you’ll improve your jumping and running ability. Moreover, you will avoid the most common leg injuries.
Impressive squat results
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How can you pull this off? Stop focusing on forward leans and refrain from building your squats around the hamstrings. Think of squats as a quad-dominated exercise. Most folks attempt to replace the squat with the deadlift. This is wrong because the deadlift draws most of its strength from your back.
Does this mean that your hamstrings don’t contribute to squats?
Your hamstrings will typically contribute to squats sparingly. Squats come in handy when it comes to developing your lower body muscles. They help you attain immense strength.
With that said, quads are certainly powerful and more prominent. The quadriceps action on the knee is therefore superior to that of the hamstrings. Developing these muscles will mean that you’ll run much better and avoid injuries.
Do the squats work the hamstrings, and when do they work the hamstrings?
What you may not know is that the hamstrings are mostly contracted during the squat. As you bend down, the hamstrings lengthen and contract during the up and down squat motion.
The motion makes your hamstrings stronger so that they become more toned and sculpted. From this observation, the squat gives more to your hamstrings, and your hamstring contributes less to the squat.
The dominant muscles during the squat
Most people look at the squat as a “quad-dominant” or “hip-dominant” exercise. However, that’s far from reality. The squat doesn’t exclusively work a particular muscle. There is a variation of squatting for those who want to target a specific muscle group.
The squat activates several muscles in the lower body. All of the muscles activated during the squat tend to extend to the knees and hips. When you squat, you stimulate the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The quads shoulder the biggest responsibility during squats. It is therefore fair to say that the quads are dominant.
When it comes to core strength as well as strengthening the lower body, squats play an integral role. Squats help strengthen your quadriceps.
Quadriceps tend to be bigger and more reliable than your hamstrings. We are in no way discrediting the hamstring muscles, we are just highlighting why they are overrated.
What we can conclude from this is that your body first deploys a single-joint muscle. The two-joint muscles then follow suit. This way, movements are incredibly efficient.
When you use your hamstrings more during squatting, you’ll undoubtedly hamper dynamic movement. Hamstrings are known to get in the way of squats, making the exercise less effective. Bear that in mind whenever you are doing squats.