The 10 Best Hamstring Workouts

Hamstring workouts can help us strengthen our hamstrings, which is essential for avoiding injuries and improving athletic performance. Your hamstrings also help you achieve speed, power, and agility in many sports by contributing to functional movements such as walking. When performing explosive movements, these muscles are crucial in shifting the load from your knees to your hips. Strong hamstrings, for example, are required for a sprinter to launch off the blocks and accumulate speed.

Here are ten hamstring workouts you can do to increase the mass and strength of your hamstrings:

Barbell Hip Thrust

A Man Doing Barbell Hip Thrust As One Of His Hamstring Workouts
Tim Keeley on YouTube.com

A barbell hip thrust is an excellent leg workout that improves lower-body strength. It is performed by lifting your lower back and torso with your knees bent and your upper body resting on a bench. The barbell hip thrust works for muscle groups throughout your lower body, particularly the gluteal muscles and muscles at the back of your legs, when performed correctly.

The barbell hip thrust is a leg workout that activates muscles in your lower body’s entire posterior chain, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, and erector spinae. Hip thrusts primarily target your glutes, specifically the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius.

Kettlebell Swings

A Man Doing Kettlebell Swings
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Another one of the great hamstring workouts is kettlebell swings. Kettlebell swing is a basic ballistic exercise used to train the posterior chain. It entails moving the bell in a pendulum motion from between the knees to anywhere between eye level and fully overhead, and it can be done with either one or two hands.

Kettlebell swings are a leg workout that increases hamstring activation. You should feel the tension in your hamstrings while performing this exercise, which indicates that you are activating them.

See Also: Best Exercises For Bigger Legs Without Any Equipment – 2023

Glute Bridges

A Man Doing Glute Bridges
Image by Freepik

A glute bridge is also one of the best hamstring workouts because it involves lying on the ground on your back and thrusting your hips upwards which can activate your hamstrings more effectively.

The glute bridge is one of the most effective hamstring workouts to tone your glutes and your hamstrings. This lower body workout isolates and strengthens the glutes, hamstrings, core stability muscles, hip muscles, the lower back muscles, and strengthens the stabilization of the spinal cord.

Glute-Ham Raises

A Man Doing Glute Ham Raises
Eric Cressey on YouTube

The glute ham raise is a bodyweight leg workout that helps to build the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and to some extent, the calves.

The glute-ham raise trains the hamstrings‘ two key functions simultaneously. Glute-ham raises also help to maximize your muscle efficiency. And they also train the hamstrings in a very functional way that’s perfectly suited to faster running and overall lower-body explosiveness.

See Also: Hamstrings: Why You Should be Training Them More

Lying Hamstring/Leg Curls

A Man Doing Hamstring Curls
Ryan Humiston on YouTube

The lying leg curl is also one of the most effective hamstring workouts that you can do with a weight machine to work the muscle in the back of the thigh. The leg curl primarily activates the hamstrings muscle group, which is located along the back of the femur or thigh bone and are responsible for the extension and contraction of the knees, as well as the extension of the hips by moving the upper leg backwards.

In addition to its usage of the three hamstring muscles as primary mover muscles, the leg curl also recruits muscle fibers in the calf muscle groups, glute muscle groups, and quadriceps femoris muscle groups to a certain extent – with the quadriceps and calves being utilized primarily as stabilizer muscle groups for the most part.

Sumo Deadlifts

A Man Doing Sumo Deadlifts
Mind Pump TV on YouTube

The Sumo deadlift is a leg and back workout that is a variation of the conventional deadlift often adopted by powerlifters. The difference between the two lies in the setup of the lifter’s feet and hands. When the bar is gripped with the lifter’s hands inside their legs, which looks like a sumo wrestler stance.

All deadlifts work the back muscles, core, hamstrings, and glutes. In sumo deadlifts, because your legs are wide and your center of mass is a bit lower to the ground, you’re also really going to feel it in your hip adductors (inner thighs) and quads. And you’re also going to put more emphasis on your glutes and the entire posterior chain.

Jump Squats

A Man Doing Jump Squats
Photo by Leon Ardho on Pexels.com

Jump squats are a bodyweight leg workout characterized by leaping directly upwards at the top of the movement. Jump squats also target your glutes, quads, hips, and hamstrings. As you lift off, your heart rate does too. That’s what makes it a powerful plyometric move.

See Also: Why Hamstring Strength is Vital for any Athlete

Lunges

A Man Doing Lunges
Image by Freepik

Lunges are a powerful exercise, allowing you to shape and strengthen almost every muscle in the lower body-the hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. It helps strengthen your lower body, increase core strength, and muscle tissue, and help you get the perfect buttocks you always hoped for.

Bulgarian Split Squats

A Man Doing Weighted Bulgarian Split Squats
Image from vecteezy.com

The Bulgarian split squat refers to the version of squats where the back leg is elevated on a bench or a sturdy chair, while the split squat is the version performed without the rear leg being elevated.

It’s one of the great hamstring workouts to strengthen the muscles of the legs, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Also, as a single-leg exercise, your core is forced to work in overdrive to maintain your balance.

Side Lunges

A Man Doing Side Lunges
Image by Freepik

Lunges are an accessible bodyweight leg workout you can do at home to strengthen your legs, and there are plenty of variations you can do. One of the most common variations is side lunges, which allow you to work different angles than standard lunges.

Side lunges are a very important lower body movement that works for multiple muscle groups, they work your quads, abductors, glutes, and of course hamstrings.

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