The Best Workout for Hamstrings

You want to achieve a toned physique and show those hamstrings? Don’t worry, this article has the perfect workout solution for you! With the right workouts, you can develop strong and powerful hamstrings while avoiding any potential injuries.

Quick facts: Best Workout For Hamstrings

  • ✅ Research has shown that the Romanian deadlift is the best exercise for targeting your hamstrings, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  • ✅ Glute-hamstring raises target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, and can be used to improve hamstring strength and stability, according to the American Council on Exercise.
  • ✅ Brace bridge exercises are a great way to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and core, according to Openfit.
  • ✅ The Nordic hamstring curl is an advanced exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and lower back muscles, according to the American Council on Exercise.
  • ✅ The hip thrust is a compound exercise that targets the glutes, hamstrings, and core, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

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The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that extend from the top of your pelvis to below your knee. These muscles allow you to bend your knee and rotate your hip joint. They also help with balance and stability when running or jumping. A strong set of hamstrings can improve both performance and prevent injury.

However, targeting these muscle groups can be challenging since they’re often overlooked in fitness routines. To ensure proper hamstring development, it’s important to include exercises specific to this area in your workout routine. This guide will cover some of the best exercises for strengthening the hamstrings along with tips on how to perform them safely and effectively:

Anatomy of the Hamstrings

Understanding the anatomy of the hamstrings is key to achieving the best workout for them. The hamstrings are a group of three muscles located in the back of the thigh. They are responsible for knee flexion, hip extension and rotation, and stability of the knee joint.

Knowing more about the anatomy of the hamstrings will help you craft the best workout for them.


The hamstrings are a group of three muscles: the semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris (which has two separate heads). The primary function of the hamstring is to extend the hip and flex the knee. This powerful group of muscles also helps stabilize your hips and protect other joints from rotational stress.

The hamstrings are used in a variety of exercises ranging from squats and deadlifts to lunges and step-ups. They’re also heavily involved in running activities like sprinting, jogging, jumping, and hopping. When training your hamstrings, it’s important to focus on both isolated movements as well as compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups for a full workout. Doing so will help you achieve balanced strength gains throughout your lower body as well as greater mobility and stability at your hips, thighs, and knees!


The hamstrings are a group of muscles located at the back of the thigh, extending from the gluteal area all the way down to the knee joint. Consisting of three primary muscles – semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris – these powerful muscles are responsible for flexing and extending the leg.

The semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles originate on the ischial tuberosity, commonly known as your “sit bones”. These muscles connect to both your tibia (shin bone) and fibula (outer leg bone), crossing both your hip and knee joints. The biceps femoris runs parallel to these other two muscles, originating on your pelvis before inserting into both your tibia and fibula.

When it comes to workout targeting your hamstrings, it is important to understand their full anatomical makeup in order to get the best results. In addition to traditional exercises like Romanian deadlifts, it is important to include unilateral moves like single-leg glute bridges or reverse lunge variations in order to ensure everything is targeted evenly.

Types of Hamstring Exercises

Hamstrings are a large group of muscles located on the back of the thighs and they play an important role in movement and stability. A variety of exercises can be done to build and strengthen the hamstrings, and it is important to choose the right exercises based on your fitness goals and abilities.

Let’s look at some of the best hamstring exercises and their benefits:

Glute-Ham Raises

Glute-Ham Raises are a great exercise to target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise involves kneeling on the floor with your feet placed firmly on an elevated surface, such as a chair. You then lean forward, placing your chest against your thighs while keeping your hips tucked in close to your body. From here you lower yourself down slowly until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes then raise yourself back up using the power of these muscles until you reach the starting position.

Glute-Ham Raises are best performed using body weight only or adding weights for added resistance. This exercise is can be done at home or in the gym and forms an important part of any hamstring workout routine for increased strength and size gains when done regularly.

Romanian Deadlifts

Romanian Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the hamstrings. This exercise works by targeting the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles. It involves holding a barbell in both hands and bending at the hips while keeping your legs straight until the barbell reaches just below your knee level. You should then exhale and drive your hips forward to return to an upright stance. Proper form is essential when performing this exercise so as not to strain any of your muscles.

Romanian Deadlifts can be done with different levels of resistance depending on your fitness level and goals. It is important to ensure that you never round out your back when performing this exercise as this can cause injury over time. Additionally, if you are just starting out, it is best to start with lighter weights. With practice, you will be able to increase the weight and intensity of your workouts with Romanian Deadlifts for maximum results.

Lying Leg Curls

Lying leg curls are a type of hamstring exercise used to strengthen the hamstrings, which run along the back of your thighs. This exercise is typically done with a machine that requires you to lie down and hook your heels under a small pad. As you start to curl your legs, the machine provides resistance and helps you lift your lower legs up against gravity.

Lying leg curls target the muscles on the posterior side of your upper leg (your hamstrings). They also recruit and activate other surrounding muscles in order to remain stable while performing this movement. Because they are a fairly easy exercises, lying leg curls can be appropriate for both beginner and advanced exercisers alike. You can increase resistance with heavier weights or by doing more repetitions.

It’s important to keep good form for this exercise, as proper technique will ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles throughout the entire range of motion.

Single-Leg Deadlifts

Single-Leg Deadlifts are a great exercise for targeting the hamstrings and glutes. This exercise can be performed using either a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell or sandbag. To achieve the maximum benefit from this exercise, it is important to keep proper form throughout.

To begin, stand with feet hip-width apart, gripping the weight in one hand. With an arched back and a slight hinge at the hip, gradually lower the weight towards the ground while shifting your weight onto one leg and lifting your other foot off the ground. Once you have achieved full range of motion lower back up to starting position. While performing this exercise make sure to maintain correct posture throughout and keep your abdominal muscles contracted to protect your back from injury.

A good routine incorporating Single-Leg Deadlifts would be:

  • For beginners: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg
  • For experienced lifters: 4 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

The stiff-legged deadlift is an effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the hamstrings. This exercise can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, or resistance bands. The stiff-legged deadlift specifically targets the glutes and hamstrings while also engaging other muscle groups such as the quadriceps, core muscles, and lower back.

To perform this exercise correctly you will want to start with your feet approximately shoulder width apart and your back straight. Bend at your hips until you feel a stretch in your glutes and hamstrings while maintaining a flat back with your eyes looking forward throughout the movement. Make sure not to overly arch or round when bending forward as this can cause injury to your lower back.

As you come up from the bottom of the movement make sure to squeeze your glutes together and engage your core muscles for maximum results.

Benefits of Hamstring Workouts

Hamstring workouts have many benefits. First, they help to improve agility and overall mobility. Stronger hamstrings can also help to prevent injury by providing more stability to the lower body when performing activities such as running, jumping and squatting. Workouts targeting the hamstrings can also be great for improving your posture since weak hamstrings can cause an imbalance in your hip flexors which lead to poor posture. Hamstring exercises can even help you to become faster and increase power in your movements. Finally, working out your hamstrings has been linked with improved circulation, which is essential for proper muscle recovery after a workout session or athletic event.

Overall, strengthening the hamstrings with targeted workouts is a great way to improve overall athleticism and health.

Safety Tips

Working out your hamstrings is an essential part of exercising for overall health and fitness. However, it is important to take safety precautions when working out this muscle group to avoid injuries.

Let’s look at the best ways to work out your hamstrings safely:


A proper warm-up is essential to any workout. When it comes to the best workout for hamstrings, an effective warm-up should be included with exercises focusing on dynamic stretching and range of motion.

Dynamic stretching involves active movements through a full range of motion designed to get the heart rate up and muscles activated prior to the main exercise. Examples of dynamic stretches for hamstrings include hip thrusts, lateral leg swings and single leg step-outs.

Additionally, static stretching can be incorporated into the warm-up but should take a back seat to dynamic stretching as it has little effect on improving performance. Static stretches such as standing toe touches can be beneficial for lengthening hamstrings post-workout.

Proper Form

When it comes to working out your hamstrings, there are a few safety tips you should always keep in mind. To ensure proper form when performing hamstring exercises, make sure your back is always kept straight, never rounded. Also make sure your body is in a stable position and that you are keeping your hips aligned. This keeps your hamstrings from being overworked and keeps them from becoming strained or injured.

Additionally, it’s important to exercise with the correct amount of weight for your experience and strength level; gradually increase the weight as you become stronger. When performing exercises that involve bending at the waist such as deadlifts or Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs), make sure to use light weights or alternatively no weights depending on experience and strength levels until you become comfortable with the movement pattern. Doing so will help prevent any injury to the lower back.

Start Light

When it comes to working out your hamstrings, it is important to start light and build up intensity gradually. It’s easy to go too hard right away, and then you end up with sore muscles that can limit your workouts the next day.

To get started on the right foot, choose exercises that focus on stretching the hamstrings rather than straining them. Foam rolling and slow dynamic stretches are great for warm ups before starting a strenuous workout routine. As you progress, increase weight and reps for better results. Just remember to keep good form in order to protect yourself from injury.

Stretching out the hamstrings ahead of time can also help decrease recovery time afterwards and reduce muscle tightness or soreness after a hard session. Lastly, incorporate strengthening exercises into your routine such as single leg deadlift variations for maximum gains.


The best workout for hamstrings will depend on your fitness level, existing hamstring strength, goals, and physical limitations. However, a few key exercises are necessary for any program. The Romanian Deadlift is an effective exercise that can target all three hamstring muscles simultaneously with progressive overload. Additionally, single-leg exercises such as the Nordic Hamstring Curl and Single-Leg Glute Bridge provide a great way to target hamstring weakness from an individual perspective.

Progressing through each of these exercises with an emphasis on improving ROM and control is essential for maximising results and minimising injuries. Finally, pairing aerobic exercises such as running or cycling with some of these strength movements is key for combating muscle imbalances and preventing injuries over time.

FAQs about: Best Workout For Hamstrings

Q1: What is the best workout for hamstrings?

A1: Squats, deadlifts, and Romanian deadlifts are all effective exercises for targeting and strengthening the hamstrings. To maximize hamstring development, you can also include single-leg exercises like lunges, step-ups, and single-leg Romanian deadlifts.

Q2: How often should I do hamstring exercises?

A2: You can typically do hamstring exercises two to three days per week, using a variety of exercises. Make sure to give your muscles at least 48 hours of rest between workouts.

Q3: What should I do if I feel pain while working out?

A3: If you feel any pain during your workout, stop immediately. Consult a doctor if the pain persists.

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