The One Exercise to Complete Your Hamstring Development
Hamstrings are one of the most important muscles in your body. They connect your thigh bone (femur) with your shin bone (tibia). If they don’t work properly, it will affect everything from walking up stairs to running down them.
You might think that you’re not going to need any hamstring exercises because you have a strong core and strong legs already, but that’s not necessarily true! Many people do not realize just how much their hamstrings contribute to stability and balance.
In fact, if you want to become a better runner or even improve your strength, flexibility, and power in general, then you’ll definitely benefit from working on your hamstrings.
How Much Should I Work On My Hamstrings?
You may wonder why you’d want to work on your hamstrings when there are so many other muscles that could use some attention. Well, there are two reasons:
1. Strength Training Benefits Your Body in General
Strength training benefits your whole body in general. When you strengthen certain muscle groups, like your quads or glutes, it makes all the other muscles stronger too. For example, if you want to run faster and jump higher than someone else, then you need to increase the size of your quadriceps and hamstrings.
But also, your calves need to be trained, because they will help you push off the ground.
2. Your Hamstrings Are an Often Overlooked Area
Your hamstrings are one of the most important muscle groups that are often overlooked in exercise regimens. Yet, in everything from sprinting to jumping and even stability, they’re always involved. Your hamstrings can also be a limiting factor in your ability to squat and deadlift.
If you want to run faster, jump higher, and look great in a pair of jeans, then you need to focus on your hamstrings.
How Do I Start Working On My Hamstrings?
There are several different ways to work on your hamstrings, depending on what exactly you want to focus on. Here’s a list of our favorite hamstring exercises:
1. Back Extensions
Back extensions are great for targeting your hamstrings. You can do them on a GHD machine, glute ham developer or simply on the floor. Be sure not to rush through this exercise.
Focus on keeping your core tight and squeezing your glutes as hard as you can. You can also think about pushing your hips forward rather than just up in the air.
2. Romanian Deadlifts
Romanian deadlifts, or RDL’s as they’re commonly called, are an awesome way to strengthen your hamstrings and also your lower back, glutes, and even your upper back to an extent. If you want to increase the difficulty you can use a normal pronated grip or an alternate crossover grip.
3. Leg Curls
These are a great way to isolate your hamstrings and really focus in on one specific area. You can either do these with a partner holding your ankles or you can use a hamstring machine at the gym. If you’re using a partner, then have them push down on your legs when your curl your feet up towards your backside and then release.
4. Glute-Ham Raises
Glute-ham raises are an excellent way to strengthen your hamstrings as well as your entire core. You can do these either on a special machine or using a GHD. If you’re doing these on a GHD then it’s a good idea to have someone there to spot you in case you lose your balance.
5. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are an excellent way to build power throughout your entire body and also your core. They’re also fun and something you can really get into. Swings can be done one-handed or two-handed and they’ll still provide a great challenge.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to do them:
That wraps up our quick guide to working your hamstrings and building up your strength and speed in the gym or on the track. Be sure to share this article using the buttons below if you found it helpful!
Sources & references used in this article:
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Supreme Hamstring Resistance Training by J Ladon – Power, 2019 – generationiron.com
Hamstring exercises for track and field athletes: injury and exercise biomechanics, and possible implications for exercise selection and primary prevention by N Malliaropoulos, J Mendiguchia… – British Journal of …, 2012 – bjsm.bmj.com
Effect of injury prevention programs that include the nordic hamstring exercise on hamstring injury rates in soccer players: a systematic review and meta-analysis by WSA Al Attar, N Soomro, PJ Sinclair, E Pappas… – Sports medicine, 2017 – Springer
Complete Hamstring Rehabilitation Program for Division I Football Athletes by C McFadden – 2013 – researchrepository.wvu.edu
Exercise Technique: Deficit Deadlift by SN Lanham, JJ Cooper… – Strength & …, 2019 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Complete Body Development with Dumbbells by M McKown – 2003 – books.google.com