The pursuit of muscle hypertrophy, particularly in targeting specific muscle groups like the hamstrings, is a common goal among fitness enthusiasts. The study, “Individual distribution of muscle hypertrophy among hamstring muscle heads: Adding muscle volume where you need is not so simple“, provides valuable insights into the complexities of achieving targeted muscle growth. This article aims to dissect the study’s findings and methodologies to equip personal trainers with strategies to optimise hamstring hypertrophy for their clients.

Overview of the Study

This research delves into the nuanced distribution of muscle hypertrophy across different heads of the hamstring muscles, challenging the conventional one-size-fits-all approach to leg training. It highlights the variability in hypertrophy response among individuals, suggesting the need for personalised training programmes to achieve balanced and significant muscle growth.


The study employed advanced imaging techniques to measure changes in muscle volume among the different heads of the hamstring muscles following a structured leg training regimen. Participants were subjected to a variety of exercises aimed at targeting the hamstrings, with subsequent analysis to identify patterns of muscle growth.

Results and Analysis

The findings revealed significant disparities in hypertrophy distribution across the hamstring muscle heads, indicating that some muscles may be more predisposed to growth than others. This variability suggests that generic training programmes may not effectively target all areas of the hamstrings, potentially leading to imbalances and suboptimal hypertrophy outcomes.


The study concludes that achieving uniform hypertrophy across the hamstring muscle heads requires a more individualised approach to training, taking into account each muscle’s unique response to exercise. This challenges trainers to reconsider traditional leg workouts and adopt more tailored strategies to meet their clients’ hypertrophy goals.

Excel in Hypertrophy Training as a Strength & Conditioning Exercise Specialist

Practical Tips for Personal Trainers

  • Conduct Initial Assessments: Begin with thorough assessments to identify individual strengths and weaknesses in the hamstring muscle group. Use this information to customise training programmes that address specific hypertrophy needs.
  • Incorporate Varied Exercises: Include a mix of exercises that target different hamstring muscle heads, such as Romanian deadlifts, leg curls, and good mornings. Varying exercises can help ensure comprehensive muscle engagement and growth.
  • Adjust Intensity and Volume: Customise the intensity and volume of exercises based on the individual’s response to training. Some clients may require higher volumes or intensities to stimulate hypertrophy in more resistant muscle heads.
  • Emphasise Eccentric Phases: The eccentric (lowering) phase of exercises is particularly effective in stimulating muscle hypertrophy. Encourage clients to focus on the slow and controlled lowering of weights during hamstring exercises.
  • Monitor Progress and Adapt: Regularly assess progress and be prepared to adjust the training programme based on the rate and pattern of hypertrophy observed. Flexibility in programme design is key to addressing the evolving needs of each client.

Achieving targeted hypertrophy within the hamstring muscle group is a complex process that demands a nuanced understanding of individual muscle responses to training. By adopting a more personalised approach, personal trainers can effectively guide their clients toward achieving balanced and significant muscle growth. This study underscores the importance of tailored workout programming and highlights the need for ongoing assessment and adaptation to maximise hypertrophy outcomes.


Frouin, A., Le Sant, G., Barbier, L., et al. (2024). “Individual distribution of muscle hypertrophy among hamstring muscle heads: Adding muscle volume where you need is not so simple.Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. Click here to review the full research article

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