10 Best Exercises for Hamstrings

Hamstring exercises

The hamstring area is one of three major muscle groups that make up part of the back of legs. Therefore, those who wish to have muscular and well-defined legs cannot fail to include hamstring exercises in their workout.

These are precisely some exercises for hamstrings we are going to know in following list, Check it out:

1. Earth lifting

Hamstring exercises

In addition to being one of the primary hamstring exercises, this variation of the deadlift activates the quads, forearms, glutes, lower back, mid-back and trapezius secondarily.

How to do: stand in a standing position, holding a barbell near your ankles. Feet should be directly below the hips and slightly turned outward. Hold the bar with a hook press (where the index finger and middle finger catch the big toe) or pronated (palms facing down) and hands shoulder-width apart.

Then, lower yourself to the bar, with the spine in full extension, forming an angle with the back that allows the shoulders to be positioned in front of the bar and the back to be as vertical as possible.

The next step is to move across the floor through the front of the heels. Lift the bar while keeping your back at a constant angle. Bring the knees out laterally to keep them away from the bar.

After the bar passes the knees, complete the lift by driving the hips toward the bar until the knees are fully extended.

2. One-legged kettlebell deadlift

Hamstring exercises

Also rated as excellent, the exercise is compound and strength. It reaches the hamstrings primarily, but also works the glutes and lower back secondarily.

How to do: standing, with your arms beside your body, hold a kettlebell with one hand. Rest only one of the legs on the floor, which should be the one with the same arm that holds the load. The knee of the leg that left the floor should be bent, as in the first picture.

Then, bend at the hips, lower the load and extend the leg that is not resting on the floor behind the body, in the horizontal, as a way to maintain balance. Continue lowering the kettlebell until you are in a position parallel to the floor and the weight touches the floor.

Finally, return to the starting position and do the exercise with the other side of the body.

3. Lying leg curl

Hamstring exercises

The leg curl is a classic bodybuilding movement that works the hamstrings in isolation. Its difficulty level is beginner and it was also rated excellent on the Body Building website.

When doing the exercise, you need to be careful with the weights you select. The load cannot make you unbalanced, as this can cause injury to the hamstrings and lower back.

How to do: first of all, it is recommended to choose an incline (angled) machine rather than a straight one, as the incline position activates the hamstrings more than the straight one. Adjust the lever of the machine according to your height and lie on your stomach with the lever padding on the back of your legs, a few centimeters below your calves.

Keep your torso straight on the bench, make sure your legs are fully extended, hold the side straps of the equipment and keep your toes straight. Exhale as you lift your legs as far as you can, but without taking your upper legs off the padding.

When you reach the full contraction position, hold for one second. Then inhale the air and return the legs to the starting position.

4. Romanian Deadlift

Hamstring exercises

Intermediate level, this strength exercise primarily works the hamstrings and reaches the glutes secondarily.

How to do: standing, hold a barbell at hip level. The press should be with palms facing down, shoulders should be back, back arched, knees slightly bent.

Lower the bar by moving the buttocks back as far as you can. Keep the bar close to the body, head pointing forward and arms back. If you do this correctly, you will reach the maximum range of flexibility of your hamstrings just below your knees. Any movement deeper than this will be compensation and should be avoided.

When you reach at the bottom of the range of motion, return to the starting position, bringing the hips forward to be in the standing position.

5. Sumo Ground Lift

Hamstring exercises

With an intermediate level of difficulty, this variation of the deadlift is performed with a wide stance and takes some of the load off the back and transfers it to the hips. This is good for hamstring and gluteal development and makes it easier to maintain the correct position during the exercise.

How to do: load a barbell with the appropriate weight and place it on the floor. Position yourself close to the bar so that it crosses the center of your feet, which should be positioned fairly wide, close to the washers on the bar. Bend at the hips to hold the bar as in the first picture. The press can be hooked, pronated or mixed (with one palm facing up and the other facing down).

The arms should remain directly below the shoulders inside the legs, which should be a wide distance apart as shown in the first image. Relax the shoulders, take a deep breath and lower the hips, facing forward and keeping the torso elevated. Move across the floor, feet apart, with the weights at the back of the center of the feet.

Then, extend through the hips and knees to lift the bar. As the bar passes your knees, lean back and bring your hips toward the bar, pulling your shoulder blades together.

Then, return the load to the floor, flexing through your hips and controlling the barbell as you lower it.

6. Kettlebell Twist

Hamstring exercises

Kettlebell swings are very effective hamstring exercises due to the stretch that occurs as the weight is brought in the direction of the lower part of the movement. In addition to this muscular region, the exercise also works the glutes, abdominal and shoulders.

How to do: standing, hold a kettlebell with both hands, in a pronated press, aligning the feet with the shoulders. Slightly bend your knees and bring your hips back. Keep the chest lifted and lower the torso until it is parallel to the ground.

Then, lower the kettlebell and pass it between the legs, keeping the arms fully extended. After that, push the hips forward explosively, contracting the glutes. The momentum should be mechanical. Lift the kettlebell to shoulder height without using the strength of the arm muscles to do the movement. Lower the weight and let the kettlebell swing again, returning to the starting position.

The back should be kept straight throughout the exercise to avoid injury. The torso should not lean forward, the movement should be done by bending at the hips.

7. Hamstring and gluteal raises

Hamstring exercises

This exercise that brings an intermediate level of difficulty was very well qualified. It primarily works the hamstrings, while secondarily reaching the glutes and calf muscles.

How to do: adjust the machine to do the exercise according to your height. Place your feet against the foot frame of the machine and lie face down, with your knees well behind the padding and both hands together on your head with your elbows bent, as shown in the picture.

Then, starting from the bottom of the movement, keep your back arched as you begin the exercise, bending your knees. Bring the toes up to the foot frame, while lifting the upper body, which should be kept straight. Continue the movement until the body is in an upright position.

Then return to the original position, lowering in a controlled manner.

8. Kettlebell Forward

Hamstring exercises

This variation of the forward roll consists of passing the kettlebell between the legs. It was rated 9.4 on the Body Building website and rated excellent.

How to do: standing, torso straight, hold a kettlebell in one hand. Step forward with the left leg and lower the upper body, flexing the hip and knee, continuing to keep the torso straight. Lower the knee until it touches the ground as in the second picture. The other leg should be in front of the body, with the knee bent at 90 degrees and the foot resting on the floor.

The next step is to pass the kettlebell between the front leg, giving the weight from one hand to the other as you make the advance. Push through the heel and return to the starting position.

Then alternate leg positions and repeat the exercise.

9. Seated leg curl

Hamstring exercises

Leg curls are simple exercises for the hamstrings, but quite effective. This variation of the exercise was rated as good by the Body Building website and works the region in isolation. Its level of difficulty is beginner.

When doing the exercise, you need to be careful with the weights you select. The load can not make you unbalanced, as this can cause injury to the hamstrings and lower back.

How to do: adjust the equipment lever according to your height and sit on the machine with your back against the support padding. Place the back of your legs on the lever (a few inches below your calves) and hold the padding that goes on your lap against your thighs, just above your knees.

Hold the side straps of the machine and keep your toes straight, pointing forward. The legs should be completely straight in front of the body, as in the first picture. Then, exhale the air while dragging the lever backwards, as far as you can, bending your knees.

The torso should be immobile at all times and upon reaching the contracted position, hold for one second. Slowly return to the original position while inhaling the air.

10. Ground snatch deadlift

Hamstring exercises

We have here another variation of the deadlift, which in addition to working the hamstrings, also reaches the lumbar region, glutes, quadriceps, trapezius and forearms. The exercise is compound and its level of difficulty is intermediate.

How to do: place the bar on the platform, position your feet directly under your hips, let them turn outwards, lower yourself towards the bar and hold it with a wide grip, wider than shoulder width. The back should be in full extension and the head should be pointing forward.

Begin the movement of lifting the bar, driving through the heels, lifting the hips. The angle of the back should be the same until the moment when the barbell passes the knees. When you reach that point, drive the hips through the bar as you lean back.

Return the bar to the platform, returning to the starting position by reversing the previous movement.

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