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The Ultimate Guide to Building Hamstring Strength

December 06, 2023 3 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Building Hamstring Strength

Having strong hamstrings is essential for a well-rounded fitness routine. Not only do strong hamstrings provide stability and strength for other lower body exercises, but they also help protect the knees from injury. Whether you are an athlete looking to increase performance or just someone wanting to improve their overall health, having strong hamstrings is important.

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In this guide, we will cover the basics of building hamstring strength, from understanding why it’s important to incorporating hamstring-specific workouts into your routine. We’ll explore everything from stretching and foam rolling to specific hamstring exercises and strength training. Read on to learn how to get stronger and healthier with the ultimate guide to building hamstring strength.

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Why Are Hamstring Exercises Important?

Strong and healthy hamstrings can help reduce the risk of injury in sports and exercise activities, as well as everyday life. When your hamstrings are weak, they can’t support other muscles and structures as effectively, leading to increased stress on your joints and surrounding tissues.

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Strengthening your hamstrings can help improve your balance and stability, and can even help prevent back pain by providing additional support and strengthening the muscles of the lower back. Having strong hamstrings can also help improve your performance in sports and physical activities, as well as helping you build strength in other areas of your body.

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Stretching and Foam Rolling

Before beginning any kind of exercise program, it’s important to spend time stretching and foam rolling your hamstrings. This helps to increase flexibility and range of motion in the muscles, which can then help prevent strain and injury during more strenuous exercises.

To stretch your hamstring muscles, start by lying on your back and looping a towel or resistance band around one foot. Gently pull the leg up towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, relaxing and focusing on your breath, then switch sides.

Foam rolling is another great way to target your hamstrings. Use a foam roller to gently roll out the length of your hamstrings, starting at the hip and working your way down to the knee. Take your time and don’t be afraid to apply pressure – your hamstrings tend to be quite resilient and can handle some pressure. Aim for 30-90 seconds per side.

Hamstring Exercises

Once you’ve stretched and foam rolled your hamstrings, it’s time to start incorporating some specific exercises into your routine. Here are a few of our favorite exercises for targeting the hamstrings:

  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Barbell Glute Bridge
  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Glute-Ham Raise
  • Good Mornings

For each exercise, focus on keeping your core engaged and using slow, controlled movements. Start with light weights and focus on form first, then gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the exercises. Aim for 8-12 reps of each exercise, completing 3-4 sets. You can also incorporate these exercises into a circuit or superset to mix it up and keep things interesting.

Strength Training

Strength training is one of the most effective ways to build and strengthen your hamstrings. Strength training should include compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step-ups, as these all target the hamstrings while also engaging other muscle groups.

These exercises should be done with weights that challenge you, but not so heavy that you lose proper form. Aim for 8-12 repetitions of each exercise, with 3-4 sets. Don’t forget to rest in between sets – your body needs time to recover and rebuild muscle.

Building strong and healthy hamstrings doesn’t have to be a chore. By incorporating stretching, foam rolling, and specific exercises into your routine, you can quickly and easily increase your hamstring strength. Remember to always focus on form and use proper technique, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with heavier weights. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to stronger, healthier hamstrings in no time.