Not-So-Gross Anatomy: Hamstrings

 Deadlifts are a nice way to build up those hamstrings.

Deadlifts are a nice way to build up those hamstrings.

Thanks for taking a look at the first of our Not-So-Gross Anatomy entries on the b3 Wellness Blog.

We start off with a personal favorite of mine – the hamstrings, aka the back of the upper thigh, aka semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris.

The hamstring group plays an absolutely vital role in how we function throughout the day. You would be hard pressed to move without them as the help you navigate walking, standing, hinging over, extending the hips, and flexing the knees.

hammys.jpg

With anatomy, understanding where the muscles originates, inserts, and functions helps develop a level of understanding that is critical for improving performance. For some performance can mean scoring the game-winning goal in a match. For others, performance may be simply getting through the day pain free.

The hamstrings group have the pleasure of crossing both the hip and knee joints. When looking at the diagram of the group, the biceps femoris (red highlight) are located laterally, the semimembranosus (yellow highlight) is located medial, and the semitendinosus (blue highlight) is between them.

 Illustration has removed the glute. Never, ever, lose your butt! This PSA has been approved by b3 wellness, llc.

Illustration has removed the glute. Never, ever, lose your butt! This PSA has been approved by b3 wellness, llc.

The hamstrings also make up part of what is called the posterior chain. This “chain” is a linkage between the hamstrings, the gluteals, and the spinal errectors.

Common injuries to the area include tendonitis, and varying degrees of muscle strains. Commonly referred as “pulling a hamstring” is a bit of a washing over the injury. And effectively understanding what movements cause pain, can help identify a path to get back on the road to recovery quicker.

 Tomorrow’s installment will include movements to train the hamstrings concentrically and eccentrically. Mobility patterns and rolling will also be shown.

 

References:

Neumann, D. (2010). Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: Foundations for Rehabilitation (2nd ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier.