Hamstring Muscle Cramps (WEAK GLUTES!)

Hamstring Muscle Cramps (WEAK GLUTES!)


Chris: Hey, Jeff. This is Chris from Arkansas.
I’m 34 and I’ve been a member of Athlean-X for the last 8 to 10 months. My “Ask Jeff” question is: When I try to do
things like barbell hip thrusts I get Charlie horse cramps in my hamstrings. Keep in mind, I do an 8 to 12 minute dynamic
warmup prior to working out, as well as a static stretch routine nightly. Thanks for all your information and keep up
the great work. Jeff: Hey, Chris! Thanks for your question.
It’s actually a really, really good question because cramping most often is not the result
of what we think it might be. You see, a lot of people think that cramping
comes from either being dehydrated, or low in sodium, or low in potassium. While those things might occur they really
only occur at such severe levels of depletion that you’re probably going to have other things
to worry about hand getting to the gym and doing your workout. You see, when you cramp – especially during
a barbell hip thrust – most often the result of that, or what’s causing that, is a weakness
in another muscle group trying to do the job of the muscle group that’s too weak in the
first place. Think about a barbell hip thrust. You should
be getting the strength from your gluts to drive you into hip extension; it’s a hip extension
machine. Your knees are bent so you think that you’ve
got to push up to your hamstrings, but they hamstrings are probably trying to do the job
of the weak gluts and in doing so, they’re not equipped to do it. It’s like asking for help when the help’s
not really there. The ill-equipped help, or muscles here – hamstrings for hip extension
– are not going to do a really good job doing it. So they’re going to work and do their best,
but become quickly seized up and cramped because they’re being overtaxed and overloaded. In
this case you’re looking at a case, probably, of weak gluts. What you have to do is really start to switch
your mindset when you do your glut barbell thrust, or your glut exercises. Really focus
on trying to initiated the movement with the gluts. Squeeze as hard as you possibly can. Squeeze like you’ve got your last dime between
your cheeks. It might work. Something, whatever you can think about to try to drive that movement
from the gluts first, and then allow the hamstrings to help. The same thing happens even when
you’re just doing a squat. You’d be amazed at how much your hamstrings
actually help you with knee extension, not curling your knee up. That’s why I don’t
really like hamstring curl machines because they’re not very functional. See, in function
your hamstrings will actually work to extend your knee. Watch as I demonstrate here with the skeleton.
See, as I take a step, we know that the hamstring wants to bend my knee back. Remember, the
descent into a squat or even as we walk, as our knee bends; that’s not active hamstring
flexion. That’s happening because we’re giving into
gravity. We’re allowing the knee to bend as I take that step. What happens though is,
in order to straighten ourselves out, if I didn’t have to worry about it I could pull
my leg back openly here. You can see that the bone would move, the
knee would flex and that’s what the hamstring would do. That’s what we think, that’s why
we do hamstring curl machines. If I don’t allow my foot to come off the ground – which
is what’s happening when we really walk, or run, or squat – then that force is getting
blocked. Here, when I put my hand behind it what happens?
If I keep moving my body forward like I’m walking what happens? It actually straightens
the knee out. You can do this yourself. Again, try to pull back on your hamstring, but don’t
allow your foot to leave the ground. You’ll see that you’ll be able to straighten your
knee. So, the role of the hamstring is probably
misunderstood and that’s what leads to so many different hamstring injuries. It’s really
driven by the fact that the glut initiates the movement even in the bottom of the squat
and even with every step we take. Let the glut become the power house and let the hamstring
then kick in to help. You’re going to get a lot less cramping an
again, maybe you want to address your hydration needs too. I don’t think that’s the issue.
I think weakness in the primary muscle is asking for help from other muscles that are
ill-equipped to help out in the first place. That’s how we get a lot of cramps. Hope you guys found this helpful. If you have,
make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up. If you want your question answered here
on my next “Ask Jeff” segment, send your questions right here to [email protected]
and I’ll do my best to include yours there. If you’re looking for a complete training
program to start putting the science back in strength and training you like an athlete,
then head to AthleanX.com right now and grab one of our Athlean-X training systems. Guys, I’ll see you back here again in just
a couple days.

100 thoughts on “Hamstring Muscle Cramps (WEAK GLUTES!)

  1. Jeff! Can you do a video about shoulder packing? A lot of guys dont focus enough on it, and i find it a bit confusing…Thanks for any advice 😉

  2. Is this partially why Glute cramping isn't as common, because people have weak glute? Where do I buy one of those shirts?

  3. It really is hard to believe that someone gives so much advice for free on YT….you don't see that often these days, well done and thank you jeff!!

  4. Cluster sets. How are they beneficial for athletic training? Are they a good variation approach to strength and conditioning?

  5. Hey Jeff, can you do a shoulder video, my shoulders don't really feel or grow and I do it every exercise correct and the weight I go to light, heavy weight and hit at least 30 reps per set, can you please help me Jeff.

  6. I have had the most painfullest hamstring cramp experience these past few days, actually can't physically walk anywhere, fuck leg day!

  7. I usually get quad cramps during those hip thrusts. Are weak glutes also the culprit?
    This exercise works my glutes very well but often my quads cramp up before I can finish my set.

  8. Lmaooooooo squeeze like you got your LAST dime between your cheeks that shit is hilaaaaaaaarious lol but if you actually think about it you'd be squeezing that shit hard!! Your last dime ?!?!

  9. Sooo… If I get cramps in my calves from jumps or sprints during soccer practice, does that simply mean I have to train calves more often?

  10. omg my hamstring cramped while doing squats today and this is the first thing I see on YouTube lol great timing as usual

  11. Hey Jeff, I was wondering if you had any advise on increasing the size of the brachialis in the bicep. Some people say you need to do hammer curls or reverse curls, but i find that is more of a brachioradialis exercise, while others say you focus on that part of the bicep in every bicep exercise. Its hard for me to believe you cant at least incorporate the brachialis more in an exercise because ive seen guys who have a huge brachialis standing next to a guy who has the same arm size but no brachialis in sight.
    Thanks.

  12. Jeff, whats your opinion on weight lifting belts? I've already seen a ton of videos regarding weightlifting belts but I just wanna hear your opinion about that. What are the pros and cons. Thanks.

  13. Is it possible to get a video on the difference between Traditional Deadlift and Sumo Deadlifts? If anyone knows, it's you!

  14. most ppl are malnourished lacking vitamins and minerals… cramping is inflammation most of which could be resolved by eliminating inflammatory foods, but no one is going to do that

  15. Jeff has done a lot of functional exercise focuses that have worked me over. I'm curious what his take would be on a power clean or clean and jerk.

    Cheers to you Jeff — very cool channel.

  16. hip cramps or hip pain can be caused by either a hernia or reduced range of motion around the hip. The pain can also come from muscle or tendon strain which you can sometimes fix with over the counter medication like tylenol.

  17. Hi Jeff! I love you channel hear. It helps me a lot. May you just do some video about glut exercises? And about hipper lordosis and flat back? I know there is channel for women but i prefer your explaining.

  18. Damn this makes a lot of sense actually I do a lot of running and never really lifted alot then when
    I went back to lifting I would get the same type of hamstring issues, I think my glutes and hamstrings were wayyy weaker than my quads and they were struggling

  19. so is it right to take from this: muscle that cramps, are too weak compared to the muscles it needs to work together with. and a conclusion of that would be to find a workout that strengthens this muscle?

    Tanks for a verry good Youtube channel.

  20. Pls pls reply I pulled my muscles near my thighs almost 6 months it's severe now pls suggest me some stretches to get rid of it

  21. I've had the worst hamstring cramps the day after — or even several days after — doing seated leg curls. It often begins while I'm in bed late at night, and it can be so agonizing and so prolonged, I think I'm literally going to end up in the hospital. Of course, I can't try to employ the glutes more when I'm doing a leg curl since the hams are the isolated target. They ARE doing the work. They just don't like it.

  22. Yes tell that to my Pectineus getting a cramp by doing a front flip with hands… How can I focus to work all my muscles with the same power at this super short period of time…?

  23. I was hoping for more direction on how to avoid hamstring cramps and pulls. I get them whenever I do some type of lunge to work my glutes. Other than Jeff telling us that squeezing the glutes during the movement (which I already do) there was nothing to glean from watching this. What do we do to strengthen the glutes to make hamstring cramps a thing of the past?

  24. 250 squat first time & have worked all the way up to 415 in a little over a year. but anytime I try to leg curl 65 lbs I cramp so easily 😭

  25. My hamstrings just started cramping out of nowhere though. I started lifting regularly when I an 8th grader and used to squat no problem, in fact it was one of my favorite lifts, but after football season my junior year I took a break for a week when the season was over and started getting ready for basketball season, and while I was doing just a simple 135 pound warm up set, I just started cramping up so bad when I put the weight back up and its been happening ever since. I did figure it might’ve been like he said, just weak muscle groups or maybe overload because I used to work my legs at least 3 times a week, so I started doing other lifts that mimic squats, even just body weight squats but I would still cramp up after that first or second set. So I have no idea what’s wrong, I took an exercise science course and read a couple scholarly articles with research and it turns out the hamstrings aren’t utilized much during squats, all that did was raise more questions, I was told by my professor that it might be nerve damage. So I might get that checked out soon, I just don’t understand how that would’ve happened, but I’ve tried everything from staying hydrated, starting with a good warm up, and I know you’re not supposed to stretch before lifting, but I tried that and I still have the same problem. It’s been about 4 years now

  26. this video is helpful but not related to my probem as i have pain in my right leg which starts from behind knee and spreads over to hamstrings and calves which is affecting my performance and overall strength i am also not able to sit on my feet it makes me feel realy week I would be pleased sir if you helped me out of this

  27. First time I got a hamstring cramp I didn't know what to think I was 12 and I was screaming out of my mind the leg was just tightening up I thought I was gonna die🤣. I still get them and their painful but I just try to lay down and try to go thru the pain

  28. glutes, glutes, many thanks for addressing this. I misunderstood hamstring are weak (if that can ever be the case).
    Many thanks Jeff #athlean-x

  29. i get cramps on my hamstrings when i go swimming. It gets really bad. the worst was when I went swimming at a bay and my left hamstring cramped so bad i had to keep my knee bent and used my right leg to swim. went back out 10 minutes later just to have the right hamstring cramp next.

  30. I’m here just had another cramp , every leg day I get follow up hamstring cramps. I’m 6’7” tall and have tight hip flexibility so I tend to do lighter weight squats to increase depth safely as well as mostly on leg days just doing accessory work the ham string curls are some of my focus. Because yes I want to target them. The hamstrings can be worked in many ways but I find no matter which way I work leg day I’m getting cramps. Your video tells me hey you can cramp if they are weak and your using the wrong muscle groups to compensate that makes sense but how to separate and choose which muscle fires first in any lift is next to impossible even for an experienced lifter. I’ve been lifting for 18 years and I’m in my 30s

  31. I end up with lower back spasms when I try to squat or deadlift. Don't even out weight. Just the bar. Form is correct is what I was told by multiple people

  32. i actually have more cramps in my foot, even when i'm doing excercises that have nothing to do with my foot. overhead tricept extention, tips, etc. I think i unconsciously tighten my feet when my body is
    underload. not too sure. anyone have any ideas for me?

  33. I didn't even see this video three years ago and I've been helping my mom understand when it's a weakness, dehydration or lack of potassium, because of all I learned directly and indirectly from Jeff. My mom has been testing things out and fortunately she only needs to drink more water and do extra dynamic stuff but this man has done so much for so many, because he's a gifted genius and always willing to share cuz of a heart like his. Good man, good info, great channel. Perfect channel actually

  34. Dude I got a hamstring cramp as I was walking today. I don't lift or workout or anything, I'm a highschool student, and I was just walking through the hallway when it happened. I'm at home now, and I was just Googling more about hamstring cramps when I saw this video lmao. Thought it would help me, boy was I wrong. 😭😂

  35. I get these hamstring cramps when doing lunges. I struggle to get my glutes to activate on any lifts though, the pump always goes to the quads no matter how much I focus on glutes. The mind body connection is there, i can 'turn them on' and squeeze them driving the hips forward but the muscle itself seems to have low blood flow or something.

  36. Thanks. My physio already gave me glute strengthening exercises for hamstring and calf issues over a year ago but after being less mindful of the situation, this video refreshed the need to strengthen them again after I've been encountering some more cramps post-workout around the hamstrings and groin.

  37. Thank you ATHLEAN-X. Following you since high school, and now i am near end of med uni. Just wanna say that i am sharing knowledge i got from you. Just educated one 14 yo kid how to get into streetworkout. He was listening and i think he will acept my tips ( aka tips i got from you ) 🙂

  38. What I'm dying to know is why do leg muscles always cramp after doing any kind of leg training but not other muscle groups?

    I usually get cramps in my quads and/or calves… Or shins at night when I train legs. But if I train say shoulders or chest or back, even if it's a muscle group I've been neglecting, they never cramp. Just legs do this. Oh, and foot cramps also.
    What's that about? Is there a known science behind that? Or is it just me?

  39. Why I always suffers from cramping only when targeting hamstring by isolate workouts like leg curl and stiff leg deadlift 😥
    I have been not Training hams from long time. I want to grow hams. Please guide .

  40. how about calves? i have huge calves cramps when i am plantar flexing foot its terrible and painfull. Athlean plz help

  41. I have watched like 4 of this guys videos and all my issues and going back to having weak glutes. Sounds like it’s time to work on my booty

  42. I get hamstring cramp just by folding my leg in bed over a minute. My physio told me to drink quinine (as well as specific exercises to the gluteus )

  43. I can feel my left hamstring spasm and become uncomfortable after doing weighted hip thrust. Is that the same thing as cramping?

  44. Please tell why I always feel cramps during doing hamstring curls workout. I hv been unable to do hamstring workouts from 2 years.
    I use to do stiff leg deadlift and hip thrust in behalf of isolating hamstring by Leg curl

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