6 Best Hamstring Exercises For Lower Body Strength
Posted on May 18 2021
e naturally experience quad dominance in most of our daily movement, if I’m not wrong, most of the fitness freaks concentrate on feeling the pump on their quads. Like they say, ‘out of sight, is out of mind’, people easily skip the hamstrings as they are on the rear of the thighs.
The only time when we feel the hamstrings exist is when the quadriceps overpower the action of the hamstrings throughout a certain range of movement.
Athletes, runners, those who practice high jump, those who do desk jobs need to pay extra attention to their hamstrings. Continued sitting tends to tighten your hamstrings and increase the risk of injuries.
Women who wear high-heeled footwear are also at risk of weak hamstrings as wearing heeled shoes puts them on their toes, forcing their quads to do most of the work.
Your hamstrings are a collection of muscles in your posterior (back) thigh. They originate on the ischial tuberosities (sit bones) and run down the posterior of your thighs. There are two hamstrings in the inner backside thigh and one in the outer thigh. The hamstrings are bi-articular, meaning they connect and affect the function of two joints, the hip, and knee.
FUNCTIONS OF HAMSTRINGS
Hamstrings help to stabilize knee joints, help maintain hip and torso positioning, responsible for extension of the knee, flexion of the knee. Your hamstrings along with your glutes push the body forward as you run. Greater hamstring strength will allow for improvements in posture, allow you to stop fast, and change the direction, which is a critical part of sports performance. Having stronger hamstrings make tasks like standing up from a chair, climbing the stairs, and bending over to pick something much easier. While your quads help you push yourself forward, your hamstrings help you pull your body back.
The best thing you can do to care for hamstrings is to include a couple of strength training exercises in your training program that particularly focus on strengthening hamstrings.
The 6 exercises listed in this blog are some of the best hamstring exercises which can be practiced without any equipment at the comfort of your home…
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
1. Place a knee-height platform that you can rest your foot on. Stand with hip-width apart about 2-3 feet in front of the platform.
2. Get into the forward lunge position with your right foot forward, keeping your torso upright, core braced and the toes of your left foot rested on the platform behind you. Your toes can be flat or tucked. Your front knee should be stacked over your front foot.
3. Keeping your torso upright, slowly lower your right knee towards the floor keeping your knee in line with the floor, your thigh should be horizontal.
4. Don’t shift forward on the toes, make sure you distribute your weight evenly in your whole feet.
5. Press the right foot into the floor, push the top of the left foot into the platform and drive through your heel back to the starting position.
6. Repeat this movement 5 times before you swap to the other leg.
1. Place a kettlebell (about 5 to 20 pounds weight) with the handle in alignment with the back of the arch a few inches in front of you. *Once you master the form, work your way up to heavier weights.
2. Position your feet hip-width apart, bend forward by keeping your core engaged.
3. Hinge your hips back and keep your back flat, grab the kettlebell’s handle with both arms.
4. Stand up by driving your hips forward, lifting the kettle bell just above the knees keeping your weight pushing through your heels.
5. Repeat this movement by keeping the correct form for 10 repetitions.
1. Start seated on the floor with legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Place your hands behind your hips slightly wider than the shoulders. (Your palms should be facing your hips).
3. Your chin should be tucked throughout the movement and your heels should be in contact with the floor.
4. Prop yourself up on your hands, lifting your hips and torso off the floor.
5. At this position, you’ll be lying face up, your elbows will be in line with your shoulders. Maintain a straight line from foot to chest.
6. Hold for 20 seconds and then slowly release to the floor.
7. Perform this exercise 5-7 times.
1. Lie on your stomach with your hands extended under your chest.
2. Curl your legs up by squeezing your glutes.
3. Support your upper body with your forearms while you curl your legs.
4. Release your legs by lowering your feet back to the floor.
5. Repeat about 10-12 times.
FRONT & BACK LUNGES
1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Take a big step forward with your right leg and lunge.
3. Your both the knees should be bent with your back knee just above the floor.
4. Drive back up to starting position by pressing your right heel into the floor.
5. Repeat the lunges by taking a step back with your right leg, bend both the knee to see that your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is just above the floor.
6. Your front and back movement with one leg will count as one rep. Repeat for a count of 10 times on one leg and then switch legs.
SINGLE LEG DUMBBELL DEADLIFT
1. Begin by standing straight holding a dumbbell in each hand with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Keep your core engaged, chest up and chin tucked in.
3. Once in position, lean forward shifting your weight onto your left leg while extending your right leg behind you.
4. As you bend over, lift your extended leg and pitch your body forward until your body forms a ‘T’ shape.
5. Your arms should be hanging in front of you holding onto weight.
6. Slowly bring in your extended leg to the starting position and repeat the movement for 10 counts.
7. Switch legs and repeat.
Train your hamstrings and build posterior strength to overcome muscle imbalances…
Your posterior leg powers your stride so you can accelerate, push up hills and sprint to the finish line…