When it comes to lower-body workouts, our glutes get a lot of attention, but there’s something else that’s just as vital. hamstrings hamstrings hamstrings hamstrings hamstrings hamstrings
These muscles (which are actually three independent muscles) run along the backs of your thighs from your hips to your knees, and they’re involved in almost every leg workout and lower-body movement you do.
In fact, your hammies help you power up hills or incline treadmill walks or runs by driving a large percentage of your pedalling stroke. And if you want to squat a bit lower, lunge a bit deeper, and simply be a badass in general on leg days? It’s critical to spend time strengthening your hamstrings.
Kaley Cuoco: 6 Things to Know.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: Don’t let your quadriceps or glutes do all the work—focus on contracting your hamstrings and having them be the muscles that initiate each movement.
15-minute time limit
Dumbbells, resistance band, and a stability ball
Suitable for: Hamstrings
Instructions: Select three hamstring exercises from the following list. Perform 10 to 12 reps of each, then go on to the next exercise, pausing only when necessary. Repeat the circuit twice more for a total of three rounds once you’ve completed all three.
Banded Glute Bridge
How to:Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and lie down on your back, knees bxent 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.
Keep the band taut during the entire movement as a pro tip.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Start 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.
To protect your lower back, engage your core.
Dumbbell Donkey Kick
How to: Lie down on your back on top of the mat 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.Pro tip: To scale this exercise, begin with no additional weight.
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.
You can also do this workout while holding weights in your hands.
Stability Ball Hamstring Squeeze
Start 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 with the right leg extended back to the starting position.
Glute Bridge March
Start by lying down 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.To protect your lower back, keep your hips square and engage your core.