If you’re itching for stronger hamstrings that don’t get tight and sore as easily from performing everyday movements, we have a treat in store for you. These four workouts will give your hammies the love and power they need to get you moving through life with ease. We promise they’ll be worth those early morning trips to the gym!
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#1 – Good Morning
No, we’re not telling you good morning. There’s actually a workout with this name! A good morning involves gripping a barbell across your back and bending forward at your hips until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Only bend your knees slightly, so that your hamstrings will stretch as you fold forward. Then pause and raise up again, keeping your back straight the whole time.
#2 – Seated Leg Curl
The seated leg curl uses a leg press machine that’s adjusted to the right height for you. Once your back, feet, and thighs are in place (see video), grip the handle bars, and fully extend your legs to where they’re parallel to the floor. Then lower them into a 90-degree angle before pausing and raising again. Pay attention to your breathing — inhaling with each lift and lowering on the exhale.
Don’t make the weight resistance too high. Keeping it low enough helps you remain steady. Don’t worry: Your hamstrings will still feel it!
#3 – Deadlift
There’s a lot that goes into performing a deadlift carefully and properly. This weight-lifting technique focuses on the hamstrings yet activates several other muscle groups in the legs, back, arms, and shoulders. Dean Somerset thoroughly explains the ins and outs of this exercise in the tutorial video below, so please watch it all the way through before attempting!
We’ll leave you with these injury-preventing tips as reminders:
- This workout is not for people with back issues!
- If you are able to perform it, do not round your back.
- Don’t lift a weight that’s too heavy. When in doubt, start with a lighter one. (You can eventually work your way up!)
- Keep the bar close to your legs.
#4 – Barbell Romanian Deadlift
For a Romanian deadlift, hold the barbell with a mixed grip (one palm up, one down). Start by standing tall and slightly bending your knees. Hold the barbell close to your body as you slowly fold toward the floor. As you lower, push your hips back, and don’t round out your back. (Special tip for a straighter back: Squeeze your shoulder blades together!)
Lower the barbell down to about mid-shin or until you feel your hamstrings stretch. Do not drop into a squat position. Notice how Paul Fabritz keeps his knees and hips in proper position:
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