Hamstring exercises are key to strengthening your legs. Not only so that, on an aesthetic level, but legs and buttocks are also more defined, firm, and strong. Strengthening hamstrings also improves your performance in other sports activities. For example, your legs will be better prepared and qualified to jump, run, or endure intense training. In addition, they also help you prevent injuries since strong legs better absorb the impact of high-intensity movements, stabilizing the spine and hips that suffer less.
If you want to achieve strong legs and take advantage of these benefits, include the hamstring exercises that we propose in your workouts. Also, remember that the hamstring stretch is key to avoiding discomfort and pain in the hip and lower leg area when exercising. Something that suffers especially for those who lead a sedentary life.
Hamstrings for a complete routine
Femoral curl with elastic bands
This is one of the best femoral strengthening exercises. The elastic bands allow you to optimize your training and achieve better results while dedicating the same time to this exercise.
Place the rubber band on your legs and lie face down on the floor. Both the abdomen and the pelvis should be resting on the floor in the starting position.
Forcefully contract your abdomen and bend your knee. At all times you must prevent the pelvis from lifting off the floor.
Repeat 10 times per series. Do two sets for each hamstring workout session.
Stiff-legged deadlift with a kettlebell, one of the most demanding hamstring exercises
In addition to strengthening hamstrings, this exercise helps you work your glutes.
Grab a kettlebell or kettlebell in each hand with your arms relaxed. Standing on a level surface, bend your knees, while keeping your shoulder blades tight and your chest high. Keeping your legs bent, very slowly move your hips back allowing your chest to stay as high as possible. Continue the movement until you feel the tension in your hamstrings. Stop for a few seconds while squeezing your glutes and preventing your back from losing its flat position.
Return to the starting position.
Make two sets of 25 movements. Rest one minute between the two sets.
Femoral curl with fitball
This is an excellent hamstring stretch exercise to gain strength and flexibility.
To adopt the starting position, lie on your back and place your feet on the fitball device. Starting from there, activate the abdomen and glutes to be able to lift the hips off the ground. Bend your left leg, preventing your pelvis and lower back from moving at all times. Return to the starting position following proper movement technique. And then do the same movement but now with the right leg.
Do two sets of ten repetitions for each of these hamstring exercises.
One leg hip thrust, one of the hamstring exercises that also strengthens the glutes
To start, lie on your back with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and place your foot about a foot away from your buttocks. Let the left leg remain straight. In this position, push your foot toward the ground and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips. Hold the bow position for three seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
Repeat but now with the right leg straight and the left knee bent.
This type of hamstring exercise requires a high number of repetitions to be effective. Therefore the recommendation is to do a series of 18 movements. Ideally, three to four sets per hamstring workout.
Nordic curl, one of the most demanding hamstring exercises
We are facing a very demanding exercise. But also very effective for strengthening the hamstrings. If you find it very hard, you can put it at the beginning of the routine, after the warm-up, when you are cooler.
Get on your knees on the floor and put your feet in a place that restrains them and makes them stop so that they do not move while you perform the exercise. Activate the abdomen and glutes, move the trunk that was aligned with your thighs towards the ground, always in a controlled way, and resisting with the hamstrings. Once down, help yourself with your hands to push yourself back to the starting position.
Keep in mind that the curves of the back must be maintained at all times.
Do two sets of 15 hamstring exercises with a one minute break between the two sets.
Hamstring exercises on the incline treadmill
These types of hamstring strengthening and stretching exercises should be performed on an incline treadmill. The alternative is to do it on a real hill with a significant slope and without obstacles that prevent you from exercising safely.
Run at full power uphill on a slope of at least 7% one minute and rest another. Repeat 5 times. Rest two minutes and repeat the exercise but now downhill.
As you can imagine it is a very demanding exercise.
Romanian walking deadlift for hamstring stretch and strengthening
The name of this exercise is shocking. It sounds devastating. The truth is that it is one of the most demanding hamstring exercises but at the same time more effective. Don’t panic and put it into practice. If you are looking for a complete routine, do not be afraid of it, just respect it.
Hold in each hand a dumbbell of the weight that you are able to bear with effort but without preventing you from completing the series of exercises. Stride forward the length you usually give when training. Soften your knees and lean toward the ground, keeping your spine neutral at all times. From that lower position and gently begin to get up to return to the starting position.
Execute a set of 15 repetitions. When your fitness allows you to do two sets of this exercise.
Do this hamstring workout once or twice a week to stretch, strengthen, and gain flexibility in your legs. You will notice the improvement after the first sessions.