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Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:22 pm
by SmokeWillow
My inseason programs consist of power cleans, back squats, bench press and the push press. I'm wondering if this is enough to keep the hamstrings stimulated.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:42 pm
by stuward
What's your sport? If you're not sure, add in a deadlift or similar exercise.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:44 am
by jjoseph
I play soccer. It was suggested by a strength coach to do romanian deadlifts as opposed to conventional. I also do hamstring curls, because they help improve the deadlift.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:17 am
by SmokeWillow
stuward wrote:What's your sport? If you're not sure, add in a deadlift or similar exercise.
I run track. I feel like back squats performed correctly will prevent an unhealthy quad/ham/glute ratio but I'm not sure if my sprinter will take a hit from the "lack" of stimulus to the hamstring group. I'd like to do as little as possible to stay fresh for my sprint sessions.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:48 am
by stuward
"back squats performed correctly" is highly subjective as there are many "correct" ways to perform back squats. Regardless, hamstring strength is very important to sprinters. I would include some sort of exercise, like glute/ham raises or Romanian deadlift. However in-season, technique, plyometrics and working on speed is more important than strength training. Paying close attention to warmup is also important in preventing hamstring pulls.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:09 am
by SmokeWillow
stuward wrote:"back squats performed correctly" is highly subjective as there are many "correct" ways to perform back squats. Regardless, hamstring strength is very important to sprinters. I would include some sort of exercise, like glute/ham raises or Romanian deadlift. However in-season, technique, plyometrics and working on speed is more important than strength training. Paying close attention to warmup is also important in preventing hamstring pulls.
I'm going to run a test. I will perform a 5rm on curl last day of my cycle. Two weeks into my in season workout I will test it again, then at 6 weeks out. Not only will I monitor my hamstring strenght, I will note if the ratio of back squat max/ to let curl max changes much then I'll have my answer.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:32 pm
by robertscott
SmokeWillow wrote:
stuward wrote:"back squats performed correctly" is highly subjective as there are many "correct" ways to perform back squats. Regardless, hamstring strength is very important to sprinters. I would include some sort of exercise, like glute/ham raises or Romanian deadlift. However in-season, technique, plyometrics and working on speed is more important than strength training. Paying close attention to warmup is also important in preventing hamstring pulls.
I'm going to run a test. I will perform a 5rm on curl last day of my cycle. Two weeks into my in season workout I will test it again, then at 6 weeks out. Not only will I monitor my hamstring strenght, I will note if the ratio of back squat max/ to let curl max changes much then I'll have my answer.
squats absolutely do build big strong hamstrings, provided you squat below parallel. I am not convinced your leg curl idea will give you an accurate picture as leg curls train the knee flexion function of the hamstrings and not the hip extension function. It's the hip extension function you should care most about as an athlete.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:07 pm
by SmokeWillow
robertscott wrote:
SmokeWillow wrote:
stuward wrote:"back squats performed correctly" is highly subjective as there are many "correct" ways to perform back squats. Regardless, hamstring strength is very important to sprinters. I would include some sort of exercise, like glute/ham raises or Romanian deadlift. However in-season, technique, plyometrics and working on speed is more important than strength training. Paying close attention to warmup is also important in preventing hamstring pulls.
I'm going to run a test. I will perform a 5rm on curl last day of my cycle. Two weeks into my in season workout I will test it again, then at 6 weeks out. Not only will I monitor my hamstring strenght, I will note if the ratio of back squat max/ to let curl max changes much then I'll have my answer.
squats absolutely do build big strong hamstrings, provided you squat below parallel. I am not convinced your leg curl idea will give you an accurate picture as leg curls train the knee flexion function of the hamstrings and not the hip extension function. It's the hip extension function you should care most about as an athlete.
I thought leg curls train the whole fiber though? Anyways, people say that the back squat is a poor exercise for hams because they are contracted isometrically yet they consider deadlifts a good exercise for the lower back yet it contracts isometrically.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:10 pm
by stuward
The hamstring crosses the knee and the hip. It works knee flexion and hip extension. During the squat it lengthens and shortens at the same time which some call isometric but in fact, it's a dynamic stabilizer. That doesn't mean the hamstring is not working hard.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:12 pm
by robertscott
Stu put it better than I ever could.

Back squat deep with a wide stance and you'll hammer your entire posterior chain.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:49 pm
by SmokeWillow
stuward wrote:The hamstring crosses the knee and the hip. It works knee flexion and hip extension. During the squat it lengthens and shortens at the same time which some call isometric but in fact, it's a dynamic stabilizer. That doesn't mean the hamstring is not working hard.
So do you think I'll be fine squatting high bar in heeled shoes?

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:52 pm
by stuward
http://www.strengthandconditioningresea ... gs-squats/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The squat is not a suitable exercise for developing the hamstrings. Therefore, where hamstring development is required for sports performance or for injury prevention, other exercises should be introduced into a program, such as the Nordic curl or Romanian deadlift.
(The Nordic or Russian Curl are other names for Glute/Ham Raise)

" the conventional back squat is most definitely a quadriceps exercise." The tips Robert was giving were to increase the hamstring component. Doing it your way is very quad centric.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:20 pm
by Matt Z
What about high pulls or power cleans? Either would seem like an obvious choice for a sprinter, since both are explosive movements that develop speed-strength. Also, with power exercises you'll generally need less recovery time.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:00 am
by stuward
Matt, that goes back to my earlier point. Absolute strength is not the main goal for in-season training.

Re: Squats enough for inseason stimulus for legs?

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:51 pm
by Drake Van Steed
You may want to avoid working hamstrings too hard in season because they can get very sore, which could decrease performance. That's especially true with romanian deadlifts, which stress the ligaments under tension , causing extreme soreness that can last several days. Not to mention deadlifts are more strenuous for your back and central nervous system. U have to ask yourself if they are worth the risk to your back and worth the risk of depleting your recovery ability while you're trying to play a sport. You might comsider playing it safe with low volume training in season and just throw in a set or two of leg curls once a week if youre concerned about detraining.