There are so many exercises targeting hamstrings. So which one is the best? ACE (American Council on Exercise) conducted its’ own scientific research study to compare 8 different hamstring exercises (seated leg curl using a machine, Romanian deadlift, single-arm/single-leg Romanian deadlift, glute-ham raise using a machine, glute-ham raise without equipment, kettlebell swings, and stability ball hamstring curl) to the prone leg curl using a machine. Each exercise compared the muscle activation of the hamstrings to the prone leg curl using a machine (the exercise that commonly recruits both the bicep femoris and semitendinosus equally). The results… the kettlebell swing recruited the bicep femoris (BF) more while the stability ball hamstring curls, reverse hip raises and glute-ham raises without equipment recruited the semitendinosus (ST) more than the leg curl. Kayla Schmitt, B.S., et al. suggest the most effective exercises in recruiting both the BF and ST are the prone leg curl using a machine, kettlebell swings, and single arm- single leg Romanian deadlift.
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