304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM
Can’t get enough of leg day? Can You Train Those Hamstrings Every Single Day for Maximum Growth? Let’s Unravel the Mystery Behind Massive Legs and Peak Athletic Performance. Here’s What You’ve Been Itching to Know!
The hamstrings are a large muscle group that doesn’t recover quickly and is sensitive to injuries. That means hamstring workouts take at least 2-3 days to fully recover from. Training hamstrings every day is going to be detrimental to muscle growth and strength and raises injury risk.
Why is more not better and what can you do to optimize the growth of your hamstrings? Keep reading below to find out.
Maintaining muscle mass and central nervous system control requires using your muscles daily. However, when it comes to training and hypertrophy, pushing a muscle beyond its normal limits is essential to gain muscle growth and strength.
Understanding the recovery process after training is key to optimizing your hamstring workouts for better results and injury prevention.
Contrary to popular belief, muscle growth doesn’t occur during weightlifting; it happens afterward. When you challenge your muscles, they experience micro-tears, initiating a repair process that leads to muscle growth.
This repair involves fusing muscle fibers with new proteins, adding mass and strength to the muscle. The recovery period depends on various factors such as age, gender, diet, sleep, activity levels, and hormones.
Yes, a muscle might look bigger after a good training session but this is temporary. It’s just extra blood being sent to the muscle which gives it a fuller appearance.
Hamstrings are a large muscle group, which means they take longer to recover than smaller muscles. Additionally, hamstring exercises often involve compound movements that engage a significant amount of muscle mass.
Consequently, hamstring workouts demand more recovery time. On average, it takes about 24 hours for a light hamstring workout to recover, while more intense sessions may require 2 to 3 days or longer. I’ve been sore for 5 days after a hamstring session before, wouldn’t recommend it.
How quickly your body recovers not only depends on training intensity, it also depends on; age, gender, diet, sleep, other activity, and hormone levels.
Training again before complete recovery can be counterproductive and should be avoided. That means you can’t train your hardest every day and expect your hamstrings to keep growing. You’re adding muscle damage on top of damage. You might even regress training your hamstrings every day.
The frequency and intensity of your hamstring workouts play a crucial role in recovery. Heavy compound movements like barbell deadlifts induce more fatigue and require longer recovery periods compared to lightweight leg curls.
So if you want to train more often, using isolation exercises like leg curls is going to be better since you can recover quicker from those. that’s because you put less stress on the rest of your body which frees up recovery capacity for the hamstring.
For most individuals, training hamstrings twice a week is sufficient, especially when combined with other leg exercises like squats and deadlifts.
Due to their size and susceptibility to injuries in athletic situations, it’s vital to take precautions when training hamstrings. Giving them ample time to recover (at least two days between sessions) can reduce the risk of injuries.
If you participate in sports that heavily stress the hamstrings, closely monitor your recovery to avoid overexertion. Hamstring injuries are a common way to be on the sidelines for a while.
If you want to train every day, you can’t train your hamstrings all that hard since they have to recover fully within 24 hours. While you can do it, you’ll run into some problems.
The Problems with Daily Hamstring Training:
Understanding the recovery process and optimizing your hamstring workouts can lead to more significant muscle growth and reduce the risk of injuries. By giving your hamstrings sufficient time to recover (about 2-3 days in between), you can achieve better results and improve overall athletic performance.
Training hamstrings two to three times a week with higher intensity is a more sustainable and effective approach for muscle growth and overall development.
By incorporating moderate to high-intensity workouts and allowing sufficient recovery between sessions, you can maximize muscle gains while minimizing the risk of injury.
For growing a muscle, more volume is often the right way to go. However, as we saw above, there are limits to that. But what about strength?
As you can read above, muscles need time to recover. Muscles grow because your body repairs the torn muscle fibers and adds new proteins to ‘glue’ the ends back together. If you put your hamstrings through another hard workout, you are potentially tearing muscle fibers that haven’t been fully repaired yet + more which means the recovery will take longer.
If the hamstrings arent really recovered yet, your body won’t use all the muscle fibers for maximum force production. That means you’ll be able to push slightly less weight every time you train without recovering properly.
That means you might be undoing recovery work your body hadn’t finished yet and setting yourself back. If you start the next workout when a muscle is fully recovered, you can use more force and intensity which means more muscle tearing and more growth. How long that takes is different for everyone but it’s probably not 24 hours later. (Unless you’re using performance-enhancing drugs)
On top of that, you dramatically increase the risk of injury by training the same muscle hard every day. If you get injured, this will set you back more than getting in that extra workout it is worth (which isn’t actually much).
Especially with hamstring workouts, you often do heavy compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. These exercises work the hamstrings hard but also use a lot of muscles in the rest of the body. That includes many stabilizing muscles. If those stabilizing muscles are not fully recovered and you put another heavy load on them, you probably won’t be able to perform the exercise with good form. This dramatically increases the injury risk.
And once you get injured, training becomes much more difficult and you will have trouble gaining meaningful amounts of strength until you’re recovered.
Of course, you still want all the muscle gains and you want them now. What can you do to optimize your hamstring workouts and get the most out of them?
There are two parts to this tricep growth equation: During your workout and after.
While working out, that’s your chance to signal your body that it has to grow muscle. Here are some ways you can do this best.
It’s a good idea to mix up the workouts in reps and weight. Doing one workout with heavy weights but lower (5-8) repetitions and another workout with lower weights but higher repetitions (8-15) helps provide different training impulses to the muscles and also makes it a bit easier to recover. The heavy workout can focus on compound lifts like squats and deadlifts while the lighter workout can focus on leg extensions, lunges, etc.
As you can read above, the actual growth of the muscle happens in the 1-3 days after the workout. So after you gave your body the signal to repair the hamstrings, now it’s time to give your body the best chance to actually do this. Muscle recovery is a very complicated topic and not possible to fit into a few paragraphs. On top of that, everyone is different and has different needs for recovery. That said, here are some general pointers that help everyone recover.
If you notice fatigue and can’t recover quickly enough, adjusting the factors above doesn’t help and you absolutely want to focus on growing your hamstrings, consider reducing training other body parts. You body has only so much capacity to recover, no matter how good the circumstances. Reducing the training of other body parts means there is more capacity to recover the hamstrings.
Yes, overtraining hamstrings can indeed lead to injuries. When you push your hamstrings beyond their capacity without allowing sufficient time for recovery, it increases the risk of strain, tears, and other injuries.
Overworked muscles become fatigued, compromising their ability to support the body properly during movements, which can result in sprains, strains, or even more severe injuries. It’s essential to strike a balance between training intensity and recovery to prevent overtraining and minimize the risk of injuries.
Yes, some exercises are more demanding on the hamstrings and whole body and are best avoided when training them every day. Heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts (and their variations) are particularly taxing on the hamstrings but also other muscle groups like the lower back.
Training these exercises with high intensity daily can lead to overuse injuries and fatigue in the hamstrings and surrounding muscles. To prevent potential harm, it’s advisable to vary your hamstring workouts and incorporate exercises that provide targeted stimulation without excessive strain on the muscles.
Mixing in lower-intensity exercises and giving the hamstrings sufficient rest between intense sessions is key to safe and effective hamstring training.