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Increasing Hamstring Strength with Proven Exercises

September 18, 2023 3 min read

Increasing Hamstring Strength with Proven Exercises

The hamstrings are an essential part of our body’s ability to move. Strong, flexible hamstrings have been linked to better overall physical performance, improved posture and balance, and can help reduce the risk of sports injuries. Unfortunately, many people overlook these muscles when developing their workout routine, leading to weak hamstrings that don’t provide the full range of motion they should.

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The good news is that it doesn’t take much time or effort to strengthen your hamstrings. Here we will discuss some simple and effective exercises for increasing hamstring strength. These exercises can be performed with minimal equipment, making them perfect for any home gym.

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Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your hamstrings. This exercise works your entire posterior chain including your glutes, lower back, and, of course, your hamstrings. Deadlifts also help improve your core strength and stability, which is essential for everyday activities.

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To perform a deadlift, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the hips and knees and grip the barbell with an overhand grip. Keep your back straight and chest up as you lift the weight off the ground. Stop when your legs are completely straight and your hips and knees locked. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position. Make sure to use proper form to avoid injury.

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Lying Leg Curls

The lying leg curl is another great exercise for targeting the hamstrings. This exercise can be done with a resistance band or cable machine. It is important to note that this exercise should only be done if you already have a good base of hamstring strength, as it places a lot of strain on the muscles.

To do a lying leg curl, begin by lying face down on a bench or floor. Place your feet on the band or cable with your toes facing away from you. Keeping your torso stationary, bend your knees and pull your heels towards your butt. Hold for a second and then slowly return to the starting position. As with all exercises, make sure to keep your movements slow and controlled to ensure proper form.

Glute-Ham Raises

Glute-ham raises are an excellent way to build hamstring strength and stability. This exercise can be done with a glute-ham raise machine or a combination of a power rack and flat bench. It is important to use proper form to get the most out of this exercise.

To do a glute-ham raise, start in a kneeling position on the bench with your feet anchored under the pad. Keep your back straight and lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Once in this position, drive your heels into the pad and squeeze your glutes to bring your torso upright again. Lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

Another great exercise for strengthening your hamstrings is the dumbbell Romanian deadlift. This exercise can be done with a pair of light to moderate dumbbells. It is important to maintain proper form to ensure safe and effective execution of this exercise.

To perform a dumbbell Romanian deadlift, begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Grip the dumbbells and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, push your hips back and slightly bend your knees. Lower the weights as far as you can while keeping your back straight. Once you reach the bottom, drive your hips forward to return to the starting position.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a great way to not only build strength in your hamstrings but also in your glutes, lower back, and core. This exercise requires a bit more coordination than some of the others, so it is important to practice proper form before attempting heavier weights.

To do a kettlebell swing, begin by holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of your waist. Push your hips back and slightly bend your knees, then explosively thrust your hips forward while swinging the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Allow the momentum of the bell to carry your arms back down to the starting position and repeat.

Strong and flexible hamstrings are essential for everyday activities and prevent injury. Luckily, there are several simple and effective exercises you can do to increase your hamstring strength. Deadlifts, lying leg curls, glute-ham raises, dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, and kettlebell swings are all great options for building hamstring strength. With proper form and consistent effort, you will be able to see results in no time.