One of the most overlooked body parts

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Dear Reader,

If I were to ask you what the most overlooked body part is while training – – or in general – – and gave you the following choices, which one would you choose?

  1. Neck
  2. Forearms
  3. The MIND!
  4. Legs
  5. Back

Many of you would choose A and B (at least those of you that have been on this list or are part of the “0 Excuses Ship” as it were)  – – and rightfully so.

The forearms and neck (along with the lower back, of course) are VITALLY important to train, and they are usually ignored or given “lip service” at best in most training routines as opposed to what I espouse.

But even these aren’t the most overlooked body part by far.

A part of the body that is HUGE – – one of the largest muscles in the body – – takes the prize here, and no, it’s not what you’re thinking. Though the quads are oft neglected as well in favor of the “booby building” (beachboy) muscles, I’m not referring to those here.

No – I’m referring to the HAMSTRINGS.

One of the largest muscle groups in the body, and one which complements the quads perfectly – – and one which is essential to develop for overall leg strength and health, and yet – – I’ve seen few, if any people training them correctly.

‘Tis indeed sad, but first off, why the importance on hammies? Aren’t the quads the most important to train?

Aren’t YOU the one that has been talking about hill climbs – – and squats – – and other exercises that tax the quads big time, you may ask?

Well yes,  I have, but … this doesn’t mean neglect the hamstrings!

First off, overdeveloped (or merely well developed) quads + less developed (or not all) hamstrings = Open Invitation to an injury … NASTY ones at that, and I should know, my friend.

Back in the day, I too did not attach much importance to training the hamstrings.

One fine morning I was running hill sprints. Wasn’t feeling the best to start with, but suddenly, I “pulled” something in my calf and felt it not just in my calf but lower back as well.

It was quite literally a “ting” sound that I heard, sort of like you were to pluck a violin string and it stopped me literally DEAD in my tracks – – I’ll tell ya that!


As I gingerly limped down, worse was to come. As soon as I reached terra firma, I discovered I could barely put weight on my right leg – – the hamstrings to be specific – – and I later discovered I had torn (slight tear, but tear nonetheless) muscles right in the center of the hamstring area.

OUCH x 10. Not only did this put me out of commission for a week or so, but it was painful. I was lucky I drove to the park that morning; it was all I could do to even GET INTO the car at that point, let alone walk back home!

(Since then I’ve made it a point to stretch out the hamstrings and calves FIRST thing after hill climbs or sprints – – and then do anything else later!).

Second, hamstrings are just as much responsible for providing power and impetus in all leg movements as the quads are.

Think of it as you might the “yin and yang”. They both provide energy, and complement each other, and are both equally essential.

And if you don’t believe me, just follow a decent hamstring training routine and measure your sprint timings/results both before/after (both hill sprints and regular) and then come back and tell me.

Last, but not least, training and stretching the hamstrings correctly releases tension from the entire body and works the abs and lower back like never before.

The Chinese say the more pliable your hamstrings are, the less stress you carry around in your body, and they’re right, my friend.

Now, given all this, how exactly do you train the hamstrings you might ask?

Good question. The hammies are a muscle group that respond especially well to stretching and strengthening, and this is exactly how you train them (in essence).

The Hindu pushups done correctly and in proper form, all the way back are an excellent way to train both the calves and the hamstrings.

The stretches shown in the 0 Excuses Fitness System are an even better way to stretch this vitally important muscle out, and FEEL good thereafter.

And if you’re really advanced, you can try and do what the old man does in China – – and what I do, but beware – – work into that one – – it ain’t nowhere as easy as it looks!

Alright, my friend, that’s today’s “sermon” hehe. I’ll be back again later!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – Did you know that one of the best ways of training the hamstrings also works the abs and lower back heavily? That one way is climbing inclines – – works way better for the abs and lower back than climbing stairs does, and I’ve found this out myself. And if you don’t “got” a hill near you?

No problem, amigo – – we’ve got you covered with plenty of other exercises that are just as effective, and that’ll build your abs and core like nothing out there will. Check out the core training manual right here – –

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