Hamstring Muscle Anatomy

The Hamstrings are actually comprised of three separate muscles: the Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus.

Hamstring Muscle Anatomy

Anatomy Chart courtesy of FCIT

These muscles originate just underneath the Gluteus Maximus on the pelvic bone and attach on the tibia.

The Hamstrings are primarily fast-twitch muscles, responding to low reps and powerful movements.


Functions of the Hamstring Muscles

The "commonly thought of" primary functions of the Hamstrings are knee flexion (bringing the heel towards the buttocks) and hip extension (moving the leg to the rear).

An example of knee flexion is the leg curl exercise and an example of hip extension is the stiff-legged deadlift exercise.

In movement, the hamstrings "primary" function is NOT knee flexion. In walking or running, for example, the primary function of the hamstring is to decelerate the lower leg in the sagittal plane. Positionally, knee flexion in walking/running occurs as a result of hip flexion and plantar flexion, again positionally. When the body responds to gravity, function changes (thank you to Jonathan Hewitt, APT - Athletic Enhancement Systems, for this contribution!)


Hamstring Exercises

Exercises that work the Hamstrings include:

  • Lunges
  • Standing leg curls
  • Bodyweight leg curls


Visit the Hamstring and Adductor Exercise Index for more movements to work your hamstrings.



 More From Fitstep.com

Is Muscle Soreness Necessary For Muscle Growth?
(This is Nuts) Power-Start Lactic Acid Training for Legs
The Great Big List of Calorie-Free Foods
10 Ways to Increase Your Bench Press FAST

Home -> Exercise Library -> Muscle Anatomy Index -> Hamstring Muscle Anatomy

     Site Search


     Follow Us On...



Click "Like" to Get New Exercises and Tips EVERY DAY!




Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Here...

And see every new exercise and training technique the moment I load it up!



Recommended For You...

Time-Volume Training

Time-Volume Training

Build muscle and strength like clockwork, even with very limited equipment, or NO equipment at all. This unconventional approach even builds muscle with light weight, saving your joints and nervous system from overload while you build mass fast.

Build muscle like clockwork now...