The hamstring muscle is often a muscle neglected during exercise, however for most sports goers, it's essential to develop strong hamstring muscles to help avoid injury.
The hamstrings are made up of three muscles, semitendinosus, biceps femoris and semimembranosus.
They form together the large group of muscles that run down the back of your upper thigh. Their main function is flexion of the leg at the knee joint.
Its essential that you warm up and stretch your hamstring muscles prior to performing any sort of strength exercise, as often the hamstring muscles are in a contracted position, such as when driving to the gym.
Spending a minimum of 5 - 10 minutes of light exercise such as cycling - jogging will help warm up your hamstring muscles prior to stretching and then your workout - never train cold muscles!
Look in the STRENGTH TRAINING area for advice on how to train your body for your own specific goals.
Its wise for beginners embarking on training the hamstring muscles with weights to focus on using a lighter weight for higher reps in order to gradually develop muscular strength.
Unlike your biceps / triceps where most people can lift similar amounts of weights, there is a massive difference in the strength ratio between your hamstrings and your quadricep (front thigh muscles) which are much stronger.
Simply analysis the word hamstring and you will see the word string - this is basically what your hamstring muscles look like, they are not big and powerful, but long and tendon like.
Always cool down and finish your hamstring workout with some stretching and avoid do further leg exercises such as Squats.
If your doing a total body or lower body workout, focus on using your hamstring muscles last as this will reduce risk of injury.