Your hamstrings will help you run faster, jump higher, and carry more weight on leg day. Many guys forego the hammies and instead concentrate on the anteriorly located (meaning on the front side of the body) quads. Don’t get us wrong; your quads should also be paying attention to. Training must focus on more than your mirror muscle groups (think biceps, abs, and quads) and broaden its scope to include exercises to strengthen other muscles, particularly those of the muscle groups.
Dumbbell Good Morning
How to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind the back, and clutching a dumbbell. This is where you get off. Keep knees slightly bent and torso straight, the hips are gradually hinge forward from hips to the ground. Allow for a moment before starting, then resume to begin.
Pro tip: Rack two dumbbells on your shoulders to put an end to this move (scroll to the bottom for a demonstration).
How to Banded Glute Bridge: Wrap a resistance band around the thighs and lie on back with knees and feet on the ground, from butt. Prepare the core, press into heels, and squeeze glutes to lift hips toward the ceiling while pushing the floor. Sit down and then press the knees apart.
Pro tip: Throughout the entire movement, keep the band taut.
Dumbbell Donkey Kick How to: Get to the top of the mat with a kick. Place a dumbbell at the crease of knee. This is where you get off. Keep right knee bent at 90 degrees and lift leg into the air until the thigh is parallel to the ground. To get back to work, reverse the trend.
Pro tip: Start this move without adding weight.
Banded Staggered Deadlift How to: Start standing on the left leg with the resistance band looped under left, hold one hand in either hand, step right foot slightly, and lift the heel. To a 45-degree angle, push hips back and lower torso. To return to starting position, drive through the left heel to reverse the course.
Pro tip: You can also do this exercise by holding weights in your hands.
How to: Bridge Hip Cooklift:
How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Hug your right leg toward your chest and hold your knee. Engage your glutes and lift your hips until your left thigh forms a straight line with your back. The mat is lower down.
To amp up the heat, try lifting your toes on the floor.
How to: Start with legs extended and hands on the ground, palms flat on the ground, fingers pointed toward the body, and arms straight. Press into hands and lift hips into the air until the body forms a straight line from shoulders to heels. When you bend right knee and tap right toes on the ground near the glutes, keep your hips up. Repeat on the left side to return the injured right leg to the starting position.
Pro tip: No stability ball? This one isn’t complicated; instead, concentrate on squeezing those hamstrings.
How to Glute Bridge: Start lying on the ground with knees bent and feet flat, hip-width apart. Engage the core, press into heels, and squeeze glutes to lift the hips until the body is in a straight line from knees to shoulders. Lift the right knee toward the chest. Pause and then lower the right foot. Repeat with the other leg. Do the same with the left. io.
Try These At-Home Hamstring Exercises
Glute bridge As the name implies, the glute bridge targets your glutes, but it also works your lower back, core, and hamstrings. This exercise is great for all fitness levels, and as you get better, you can increase how difficult it is to do by adding weight or doing single-leg variations.
Here’s how to do it: – With the single-leg glute bridge, you’ve successfully nailed the traditional glute bridge, spiced it up, and really isolate your hamstrings.
Here’s how to do it: –
Sliding hamstring curls You may only be familiar with the hamstring curling machine, but we have good news for you: This version is just as difficult. All you need is a pair of sliders, carpet or turf, or a towel, as well as a hardwood or tile floor.
Here’s how to do it: – Deadlift Deadlifts are one of the best exercises, and you don’t have to be concerned about getting bored because you can do so many variations. Try the kettlebell version if you really want to work your hamstrings. You can also do this move without a kettlebell or weights if you are new to weightlifting. As always, remember to have a slight bend in your knees and always maintain core engagement.
Here’s how to do it: – If deadlift variations such as the Russian deadlift, kettlebell deadlift, or hex bar deadlift are no longer feasible, consider the single-leg deadlift. Not only will your hamstrings be strained, but it will also put your balance and core strength into question.
Here’s how to do it: Want more hamstring-centric exercises?
Give this13-minute hamstring workout a try: Oh, hi! You appear to be someone who likes free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness stores, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and start receiving your rewards right away.
The hamstrings are an important 2-joint muscle that acts at both the hip and knee during running Since they are a powerful hip extensor, they play a major role in propelling the body forward with each stride The hamstrings also bend the knee following toe-off to prepare the leg for the recovery phase
Strong hamstrings are able to create more force, which contributes to your ability to run faster In addition, stronger hamstrings—and all of your leg muscles for that matter—are able to store and utilize elastic energy better, which improves your running economy If not strong enough, or if too much demand is placed on this muscle group, runners can experience hamstring strains, tears, muscle cramps, and marked tightness To minimize your risk for sustaining a hamstring injury, here are three exercises to strengthen different functions of your hamstrings
Exercise 1 – Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian Deadlift strengthens the hamstrings to extend the hip, in other words, to bring the knee/thigh back following the foot strike The groin (adductors), gluteals and low back are also strengthened in this exercise This strength is important for running posture, power, and endurance for maintaining effective form
Many runners have tight hamstrings and may find it difficult to achieve the optimal position required in the Romanian Deadlift If this is the case, focus on lengthening the hamstrings by doing the banded version of the Romanian Deadlift Once you’re able to create the postures required, you may add weight
Do the banded version of the exercise 2–3x/week for 2–3 sets of 15–20 reps/set For the weighted version, reduce the frequency to 1–2x/week for 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps
Exercise 2 – Hamstring Curl with Exercise Ball
The exercise ball hamstring curl strengthens the hamstrings to flex the knee and control the knee, when the leg straightens The groin (adductors) and gluteals are also strengthened in this exercise The main difference between this exercise and the Romanian Deadlift is that we fix the muscle action at the hip joint (since we keep the glutes engaged and don’t let the hip joint angle change) while strengthening the knee flexion function of the hamstrings Combined with the Romanian Deadlift, the exercise ball hamstring curl strengthens both functions of the hamstring muscles, which enhances its ability to propel the runner forward and to store elastic energy, improving running economy
Do this 1-3x/week for 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
Exercise 3 –Band-Assisted Nordic Hamstring Curl
The band-assisted Nordic Hamstring Curl also strengthens the hamstrings to control and perform knee flexion The groin (adductors) and gluteals are also strengthened in this exercise As with the exercise ball hamstring curl, the band-assisted Nordic hamstring curl strengthens the knee flexion action of the hamstrings and contributes to better force production during the propulsion phase of each stride