Another reason to strengthen these powerful muscles is because they are prone to injuries (particularly if you run frequently).
Check out the hamstring workouts below to get started on your own hamstring-strengthening adventure. They’re suitable for people of all fitness levels and may easily be increased or ramped up as you acquire strength. Two or three times each week, incorporate a few of them into leg workouts, or follow the guidelines below to create your own small hammy circuit.
The key to making the most of them is to: Concentrate on contracting your hamstrings and allowing them to initiate each action rather than relying on your quadriceps or glutes.
Banded Glute Bridge
Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and lie down on your back, knees bent and feet 12 to 16 inches from your buttocks. Brace your core before pressing into your heels and squeezing your glutes to raise your hips towards the ceiling while pressing your upper back into the floor. After a little pause in this position, press your knees apart. Return to the beginning. That counts as one rep.
Tip: Throughout the exercise, keep the band taut.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Begin by lying on your back, pressing your arms into the mat, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Maintaining a level pelvis, straighten one leg toward the ceiling, flexing the foot such that the sole points up. Squeeze glutes to elevate hips off the ground evenly, then lower. That counts as one rep.
Tip : To protect your lower back, engage your core.
Dumbbell Donkey Kick
On top of the mat, get down on all fours. At the crease of your knee, place a dumbbell. This is where you’ll begin. Maintain a 90-degree bend in your right knee and elevate your leg into the air until your thigh is parallel to the floor. To get back to where you started, reverse the movement. That counts as one rep.
Tip : Start with no additional weight to scale this manoeuvre.
Banded Staggered-Stance Deadlift
Start by standing on your left leg with the resistance band wrapped under your left leg, holding one end of the band in either hand, stepping back slightly with your right foot, and lifting your heel. Lower your torso to a 45-degree angle by pushing your hips back. To return to the starting position, drive through the left heel to reverse the movement.
Tips: This exercise can also be done while holding weights in your hands.
Stability Ball Hamstring Squeeze
Begin by sitting on the mat with your legs outstretched and your hands directly behind your buttocks, palms flat on the floor, fingers pointing toward your body, and arms straight. Lift your hips into the air and press into your hands until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. While keeping your hips lifted, bend your right knee and tap your right toes on the floor near your glutes. Rep on the left side, extending the right leg back to the starting position. That counts as one rep.
Tip: Is there no stability ball? It’s no problem! You don’t need any equipment for this one; simply concentrate on squeezing your hamstrings.
Glute Bridge March
Begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Engage your core, then lift your hips by pressing into your heels and squeezing your glutes until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Raise your right knee to your chest. After a little pause, lower your right foot. Rep with the opposite leg. That counts as one rep.
Tip : To protect your lower back, keep your hips square and your core engaged.