The ability to jump, run, and accelerate stem from the strength of our hamstrings. If your goal is to tone and develop your legs, you might want to start by focusing on the hamstrings.
Our hamstrings are imperative for functional motion, such as walking, and help us achieve speed, power, and agility during sports. The way we decelerate and perform movements such as bending or lengthening of the knee are all because of our hamstrings.
There are three main muscles that make up the hamstrings:
- Biceps femoris
Building strong hamstrings isn’t just for looks; well-developed hamstrings promote good posture and prevent serious leg injuries.
Exercises to Strengthen the Hamstrings
Hamstring exercising will build strength and help you improve your performance at the gym and daily activities.
1. Romanian Deadlift
This is one of the most effective exercises for the hamstrings. Romanian deadlifts will improve flexibility and mobility in the lower back, hamstrings, and hips.
- Hold the bar at hip level and grip it with your palms facing down. Your back should be arched and your shoulders kept back with your knees slightly bent.
- Start the exercise by lowering the bar and shifting your torso back as far as you can go. You head will be facing forward and make sure to keep the bar close to your body, keeping your shoulders back.
- The maximum range of flexibility would be just below your knee to get this exercise right.
- Once you have reached the bottom of your range of motion, gently return to your starting position, moving your hips forward to stand back up.
2. High Donkey Kicks
Donkey kicks are not just for the glutes but also give your hamstrings a great workout.
- Start on your hands and knees and place them a hip-width distance apart with your palms facing down on the mat.
- Starting on the right side, kick your right leg back as high as you can towards the ceiling and gently bring your knee back down. Without pausing, perform the kick again.
- Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds and alternate using the left leg.
- You have the option to place a light dumbbell in the nook behind your knee to layer up your exercise.
3. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings burn a ton of calories and put your hips, glutes, hamstrings, abs, and shoulders to work.
- Holding the kettlebell in your hands, bend your back forward at the hips with a slight bend in your knees and hold the kettlebell in between your legs. The kettlebell should be behind and above your knees while in the starting position.
- Squeezing the glutes, thrust your hips forward and as you stand up straight, simultaneously swing the kettlebell up to shoulder level.
- Make sure to keep your heels firm on the ground to maintain balance.
- Bring the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
4. Glute Ham Raises
Glute hamstring raises are a powerful exercise that activates the hamstrings and works to increases your sprint speed.
- You might need someone to hold your feet down or any equipment that can secure your ankles and feet to the ground.
- Start by facing down on the mat with your body parallel to the floor, as if you are in a push-up position.
- Your thighs will be in contact with the mat and your knees placed behind your thighs.
- Push your knees onto the mat and feel your hamstrings contract as your lift your torso. You can use your arms to soften the landing and help you lift up, however, your hamstrings should be put to work.
- Make sure to keep your back straight during the exercise and avoid turning your heels inward.
5. Squat Jumps
Squat jumps will put your quads and your hamstrings to work. Your entire leg benefits from this simple yet challenging exercise.
- Standing with your feet hip-width distance apart, start the exercise by performing a simple squat.
- When you get back up, add a little jump in at the end and land softly on your mat.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, especially after vigorous exercise. Now let’s put those hamstrings to work!
The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
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Huerta, M. (2016, July 26). 4 Exercises to Strengthen Weak Hamstrings. Retrieved from http://www.stack.com/a/4-exercises-to-strengthen-weak-hamstrings
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