Here are a few clips of some hamstring exercises and some tips .
Lying (prone) hamstring leg curl:
- Try not to let your body (torso) come up off the pad.
- Don’t look up with your neck. This will create excessive tension /curve in your thoracic spine. I have even gotten neck pain from doing this accidentally.
- It’s hard to see the speed of the exercise here because of my editing, but, it’s good to “explode” up on the curl and then go slooow on the way down…it’s hard to do if you get tired, I know. ?
- Point your toes towards your knee on the way “up” , while curling the weight. Then point them away from your knee on the way down, slowly.
- All of these things make it harder. As you get tired, it’s hard to remember, just do the best you can to focus on the hamstrings contracting and relaxing .
- Feet shoulder-width or narrower.
- Keep knees slightly bent.
- Push hips back / hinge as you bend.
- Go down to just below the knees or until you feel the hamstrings stretch.
- Keep you back flat, don’t arch.
- Let the weights just hang close to your body, don’t pull them up with your arms.
- Come back up and squeeze glutes.
- Toes on a plate to make it harder, otherwise, just put feet flat on the floor.
Barbell Single-leg Deadlift (you can use dumbbells too) :
- I used the green “bumper plates”….they are 10# , but the same diameter size as a 45# plate, but thinner. This is so you get some height off of the floor and you won’t have to bend over as much to get it .
- You can start with dumbbells in each hand if the bar is too heavy (45#) or just an empty 35# bar.
- Feet shoulder width or narrower.
- Hinge at at the hip and bend over, while picking one leg up off the floor . You should feel the hamstring stretch on the leg that is down on the floor.
- If you start to lose your balance ( I always do a little because my ankle wobbles !) , tighten your core and make sure your whole foot on the floor is holding the weight .
I’m including this video because it has hamstring workouts in it , with glute exercises..These are some exercises that are easily modifiable. Most of them could be done at home or at the gym. They can be done with just body weight, or dumbbells / kettlebells, or at the gym with barbells and cables. I love these because you can progress over time to more advanced versions (body weight to weighted , double to single leg, supersets, etc) and still get a good burn !!!
- Lying Hamstring Machine Curl
- Bridge with elevated feet (hamstring focused when feet are farther away from the body)
- Single-leg bridge with elevated foot
- Glute kickback
- Barbell Front Squat
- Barbell Sumo Squat
- Standing Hamstring Cable Curl (you could do this without weight and really focus on going slow and squeezing just the hamstring muscle)
- Standing Hip Extension (elevated on plates)
- Single-leg deadlift (with Kettlebell)
- Sumo Goblet Squat (with Kettlebell)
- (Bulgarian) Split Squat with EZ barbell