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The hamstring

(M. biceps femoris)


The M. biceps femoris is located at the back of the thigh and made up of a two-joint (caput longum) and a single-joint (caput breve) part. The two heads of the muscle join together in a tendon which attaches to the calf bone (fibula) below the knee joint.

This muscle is mainly the antagonist muscle of the M. quadiriceps femoris which is is responsible for the extension of the knee joint. In this connection, it slows down the rapid foward movement of the lower leg and actively bends the knee joint.

Furthermore, the caput longum, which the two-joint part of the muscle, is responsible for the extension of the hip together with the musculi glutaei.

Its attachment point – the outer side of the lower leg bone – also allows the M. biceps femoris the external rotation in the knee joint. It is virtually the only external rotator of the lower leg.


The muscle on the back of the lower leg belongs to the ischiocrural muscles. These are often shortened when it comes to sportspeople and often strained (pulled muscles).




M. biceps femoris – caput longum

(two-joint part)



Seat bone (ischium)


Base: Calf bone (fibula)

Bending of the knee joint and exterior rotation when bent, extension of the hip




M. biceps femoris – caput breve


Origin: Back of the thigh bone
Base: Calf bone underneath the knee joint
Functions: Bending of the knee joint and exterior rotation when bent




Exercise examples



Leg curl
Leg curl


Course of motion:

  • Position yourself in the seat

  • Back flat against the back pad
  • Position your feet on the foot pad (padding above the hamstring)

  • Choose a sitting position so your knees are on the level of the centre of rotation

  • Thighs are hip-width
  • Pull toes towards the body
  • Tense trunk muscles
  • Hands on the side; hold contact to the hand grips

  • Bend legs by tensing the back of the thighs
  • Maximum motion amplitude

  • Remain on highest point for a short time

  • Then move slowly and controlled downwards

  • Keep tension of the muscles

  • Do not stretch out the legs fully 



  • Exhale while stretching the legs and the hip

  • Inhale while bending the legs and the hip


Advices of proof:

  • Keep tension in torso (chest out, stomach in)

  • Do not stretch out the legs fully

  • Breath regularly

  • Adjust weight to the training level (demanding, but not too easy or too difficult)



  • Leg curl standing using a cable pulley

  • Leg curl lying down




Course of motion:

  • Place feel shoulder-width apart

  • Bend legs (approx. 90°)

  • Lean upper body forward keeping your back straight

  • The hands grip the bar of the cable pulley from above with straight arms

  • Keep looking straight ahead

  • Stretch the knees and the hip in order to lift the weight 



  • Exhale while stretching the legs and the hip
  • Inhale while bending the legs and the hip 


Advices of proof:

  • Avoid stretching the legs fully
  • Keep the legs straight
  • Do not lean knees forward over the toes 



  • Deadlift with a barbell
  • Deadlift with kettlebells
  • Deadlift with dumbbells


Kickbacks (hip extension with cable)


Course of motion:

  • Attach the foot strap of the lower pully to the ankle
  • Face the multi gym
  • Standing leg slightly bent
  • Keep the upper body straight
  • Tense the adominal muscles
  • Pull toes upwards
  • Move the heel backwars/upwards by extending the hip, the leg is slightly
  • Until the hip is extended to a maximum extent
  • Slowly bring the foot back to the starting position without putting it down



  • Breath out when extending the hip
  • Breath in when returning to the starting position


Advices of proof:

  • Keep the upper body straight
  • Avoid misalignment of the hip
  • Movement solely from the hip
  • Do not lunge out 



  • Gluteal kicks on the floor or on a bench (on all-fours)
  • Lying on a mat (raises with bend or straight legs)
  • Kickbacks with a thera-band 


You can create a diversified and motivating workout of the M. biceps femoris by means of different training equipment. Use the following training equipment for for strengthening the hamstrings:



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