The following best hamstring exercises use free weights (dumbbells and barbells) or no weights at all. They can be done at home or at the gym. Weight training equipment at gyms will also provide variety to your workout routines.
Remember that "hamstrings" refers to the muscles at the back of the thighs, or the backs of our upper legs. They are actually composed of three muscles: Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus.
The exercises listed below are not only effective thigh workouts, but some are also great thigh stretching exercises.
For workouts focusing on other parts of the leg, including calves, quadriceps, and front thighs, see Leg Exercises for Women.
Rest the barbell across the top of your shoulders.
Keeping your back very straight, inhale and bend your torso forward until you are horizontal with the floor.
Return to the starting position and exhale.
Repeat the complete movement several times, depending on your particular workout routine.
Best Hamstring Exercises Tips
To protect your knees, don't bend forward more than 90 degrees.
When you're starting out, you can bend the knees slightly to make the movement easier.
Keep your knees straight (never locked) for a greater hamstring stretch.
Keep your back straight when bending forward. Never round your back.
As with all weight training exercises, do the movement slowly and concentrate on the feel of the muscles.
Instead of a barbell, you can also use a light weight staff for this exercise. Doing Good Mornings with a Staff is an excellent warm-up and stretch for your hamstrings. Regular stretching will also help you to avoid injuries when using heavier weights.
Kneel on the floor with your arms across your chest.
Have your partner hold your feet firmly; or secure your feet firmly so that they do not move.
Lean your body forward from your knees.
Return to the starting position and repeat.
Best Hamstring Exercises Tips
No additional weights are used for this movement, however, it is very challenging, so it's best to start with small movements.
It's even more important to warm up your muscles before this exercise. You can warm up by doing Good Mornings with a Staff.
Using Weight Training Machines
If you have access to a gym, you can find many different types of equipment to work your hamstrings.
Here are a few other exercises that can be done with special weight training equipment at the gym:
Standing Leg Curls
Seated Leg Curls
Lying Leg Curls
To ensure that you're getting the best results from your workout, and to prevent injury, it's a great idea to ask a personal trainer at the gym to show you how to use the machines for the best hamstring exercises and workouts.
How to Get Great Legs All-Around
Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle, or just want to shape and tone your legs, the right exercises will help you reach your goals.
A great all-round program for your legs is the Killer Quads
program written by 20-year female bodybuilding veteran, Karen Sessions. The title is a little misleading as her e-book doesn't only focus on quads, but on all the muscles in our legs.
You can visit Karen's website to see if her program is right for you. Just click on the link above.
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