Tip: Seated Leg Curl to Banded Stiff-Legged Dead

This pump-and-stretch superset is great for hamstring hypertrophy. As a bonus, it's also very back friendly.

Since I have a tricky low-back issue, I have to find safe but effective ways to add size to my hamstrings. This superset does this trick:

  1. Start with the seated leg curl, which is more low-back friendly compared to the traditional lying leg curl machine. The goal here is to get a good pump.
  2. Then move to the still-legged deadlift with bands to stretch the pumped muscle (a great hypertrophy-inducing technique). The bands will overload the lift at the top portion of the movement.

Remember, to really build the hamstrings, you have to focus on both functions of the muscle. In a nutshell, this means you need a bent-leg exercise and an exercise where the legs are straight or nearly straight. (One knee-joint exercise and one hip-joint exercise.) This superset hits both functions of the hamstrings, adds an element of stretching under tension, and keeps your back safe.

Mark Dugdale is an IFBB pro bodybuilder and Mr. Olympia competitor. Mark has 22 years of experience on stage and a passion for brutal workouts. He has also produced five documentaries, participated in seminars with prison inmates, and was granted one of the last recorded interviews with Joe Weider. Follow Mark Dugdale on Twitter