When you think about training your lower body, you probably immediately think about your glutes or quads. But there is another muscle group that equally needs utmost attention as far as the workout is concerned. This muscle group is known as the hamstring, and a workout related to it will offer you the best lower-body workout. Our hamstring is actually made up of three separate muscles, and they play a pivotal role in every leg exercise and lower-body movement that we do. Our hamstrings drive a major portion of your cycling stroke and help us to power up hills or incline treadmill walks or runs. With the help of this article, we will try to figure out some of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs.

What are Hamstring Muscles

Your hamstrings are large muscles that run along the back of your body, or on your posterior chain. They are made of three separate muscles, i.e. biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. Taking these muscles altogether, your hamstring muscles serve an important purpose. They help you extend your hips and flex your knees movements which allow you to do everything from standing upright and bending forward to walking, running, and jumping.

Training your hamstrings will allow you to run faster, jump higher, and handle more weight on leg day when it comes time to take on some of the bigger compound movements that utilize multiple muscle groups and serve as the bedrock of any balanced strength program.

Benefits of Hamstring Exercises for Stronger Legs

  • Strengthen your back thigh which will improve your knee flexion and hip extension.
  • Reduced chance of injury, as a flexible hamstring will reduce the chance of straining or tearing the muscle fibres during heavy physical activities, such as running.
  • It also helps to improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in the hip joint and knee joint. Both of these benefits will help people fulfil daily tasks, such as walking upstairs climbing and bending forward, with ease.
  • Tight hamstrings decrease the mobility of the pelvis, which creates pressure on the lower back area. Strengthening and stretching the hamstrings can prevent them from becoming too tight and give extra support for the back and pelvis.

Top 10 Hamstring Exercises for Stronger Legs

1.) Romanian Deadlift – Romanian Deadlift is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. This exercise is a hip-hinge movement pattern, meaning your hamstrings and glutes are the main drivers here.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your arms relaxed by the front of your quads, with a dumbbell in each hand. This is the starting position.
  • Hinge forward at your hips and bend your knees slightly as you push your butt way back. Keeping your back flat, slowly lower the weight along your shins. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
  • Keeping your core engaged, push through your heels to stand up straight and return to the starting position. Keep the weight close to your shins as you pull.
  • Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. That’s 1 rep.

2.) Weighted Glute Bridge – Weighted Glute Bridge is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. This exercise can be made easier by using just your body weight.

Steps To Perform
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting them right under your hip bones. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze your glutes and abs and push through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold for a second and then slowly lower your hips to return to the starting position. This is 1 rep.

3.) Good Morning Exercise – Good Morning Exercise is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. This exercise really smokes your posterior chain muscles, including your glutes and lower back muscles, as well as your hamstrings.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your hands at your ears. For an added challenge, you can place a weighted bar or barbell on your back.
  • Keeping a soft bend in your knees, hinge forward at the hips and push your butt back as you fold your torso forward. Stop when your torso is just above parallel to the floor.
  • Drive your hips forward as you lift your torso back up and return to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top. This is 1 rep.

4.) Marching Glute Bridge – Marching Glute Bridge is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. In this exercise, the dynamic nature of the march brings on an extra cardio challenge to this single-leg strength exercise.

Steps To Perform
  • Lie faceup with your knees bent and your feet hip-width distance apart.
  • Engage your core so your low back presses against the floor. From this engaged position, lift your hips, squeezing your glutes at the top. Hold here.
  • Lift your right foot off the floor, bringing your knee toward your chest and stopping when you’ve hinged your hip to about 90 degrees.
  • Replace your foot on the floor and immediately lift your left foot off the floor to repeat on the other side.
  • Continue to march, alternating your feet, all while maintaining lifted hips.

5.) Single-Leg Glute Bridge – Single-Leg Glute Bridge is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. For greater hamstring activation, move the foot on the floor slightly farther away from your butt.

Steps To Perform
  • Lie on the floor face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands at your sides. Engage your core to press your low back against the floor.
  • From this position, lift your right foot off the floor and extend your leg.
  • Push off your left foot, engage your core, and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips and do a glute bridge.
  • Slowly lower your hips back to the floor. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do all of the reps on one side, then repeat on the other.

6.) Barbell Hip Thrust – Barbell Hip Thrust is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. To hit your hamstrings more than your butt, move your feet farther away from your body.

Steps To Perform
  • Sit on the floor with your back to a bench. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground, hip distance apart. Rest your upper back on the edge of the bench, slowly lift or slide the bar over your legs, and rest it in the crease of your hips. The plates (if you are using them) should be resting on the floor.
  • Drive through your heels to lift your hips up toward the ceiling, keeping your upper back in place on the bench.
  • Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • In a slow and controlled motion, lower your butt back toward the ground. This is 1 rep.

7.) Kettlebell Swing – Kettlebell Swing is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. Along with building posterior chain strength, the kettlebell swing also trains explosive movement.

Steps To Perform
  • Make a triangle with a kettlebell and your feet, with your feet at the bottom of the triangle and the kettlebell about a foot in front of you at the top of the triangle.
  • With a soft bend in your knees, hinge forward at your hips, push your butt back, and grab the handle with both hands. Tilt the bell on its side, handle toward your body.
  • Hike the bell high up in your groin area (your wrists should touch high in your inner thigh) and thrust your hips forward aggressively so that at the top of the swing, you are essentially in a standing plank, looking straight ahead, squeezing your core, glutes, and quads.
  • Once the bell reaches about chest height (and not above shoulder height), hinge forward at your hips and push your butt back again, letting the bell drop on its own as you do. You should not feel like you’re using your arms to lift anything. Let your eyes, head, and neck follow so that you don’t strain your neck. This is 1 rep.
  • When you’re done with all of your reps, perform a back swing to safely put the weight down: Bring the bell through your legs, but instead of thrusting your hips forward to bring it to shoulder level, place it back on the floor.

8.) Sumo Squat – Sumo Squat is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. Make this exercise easier by using just your body weight. While the squat is more of a knee-dominant exercise, the wider stance here encourages your inner hamstring muscles to fire more.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out about 45 degrees. Hold one weight with both hands on one end so it’s hanging vertically. This is the starting position.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back as you lower down into a squat.
  • Drive through your heels to return to standing and squeeze your glutes at the top. That’s 1 rep.

9.) Kickstand Deadlift – The kickstand Deadlift is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. The kickstand deadlift is a deadlift variation that focuses on unilateral, or single-leg, strength.

Steps To Perform
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Place one foot a foot-length behind the other, heel elevated (as shown above), so your stance is staggered. You’ll be working your front leg.
  • Hinge at your hips to lower your body. Push your butt far back and keep your back flat. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
  • Keeping your core tight, push through your front heel to stand up straight. Keep the weights close to your shins as you pull up.
  • Pause at the top and squeeze your butt. That’s 1 rep
  • Complete all your reps on one side. Then switch sides and repeat.

10.) Single-Leg Hamstring Curl – Single-Leg Hamstring Curl is one of the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs. This unilateral exercise really isolates your hamstrings while stretching the front of the hips and quads.

Steps To Perform
  • Loop a resistance band around the soles of both feet. Lie face down on a mat with your legs extended and arms folded in front of you.
  • Engage your glutes and curl one leg up toward your butt. Make sure to keep the other leg stationary.
  • Slowly lower the leg back to the starting position. This is 1 rep.

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.

Author

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