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Hamstrings: The “Elevators of The Body”
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Hamstrings: The “Elevators of The Body”

Hamstring strength is vital for several reasons. Sufficient hamstring strength is essential for injury prevention; they play a crucial role in stabilizing our knee joints and maintaining torso and hip position.

That said, when we think about lower-body training, the focus tends to be on the gluteal muscles. AKA, the booty. However, it’s vital that we don’t forget about those hamstrings; they’re essential for every lower-body movement and leg exercise we do. 

Our hamstrings are a muscle group that runs along the back of our thighs, between our hips and knees. Hamstrings or ‘hams’ work alongside our glutes to rotate, extend and abduct our hip. Squats, sprints, lunges, running, and walking require strong hamstring muscles.

Another reason our hammies should be included in regular workouts is that while they’re strong muscles, they are prone to injuries like strains and tears. Pulling a hammie can lead to weeks and months of healing before it’s healed.

No worries! Various exercises work both our hamstrings and glutes; deadlift variations and hip thrusts are two popular options. If, by chance, you’re concerned with making your booty seem more lifted, working your hamstrings will help.

Hamstring (and booty)Workout Structure & Exercises

With leg training or exercises, one rule to consider is to start with big compound lifts: squats, lunges, deadlifts, and hip thrusts. These moves require several muscles, so it’s best to do them at the beginning of a session when we’re fresh and full of energy.

Not only will these exercises contribute to lower body growth and an increase in strength, but they are an excellent way to get our heart rate up, which burns more calories throughout the workout.

Friendly reminder, our hamstrings, and glutes need to wake up before jumping into physical activity. They’ll need to be activated, which can be done with warm-up exercises. Don’t forget to stretch.

Hamstring Exercises Without Equipment

There are numerous exercises for our hamstrings that do not require equipment. While compound exercises are excellent, not everyone has barbells or dumbbells. That said, let’s look at some hamstring exercises to keep the elevators of the body strong.

Beginner Level Exercises


Inchworms are perfect for beginners, and it’s also an excellent exercise to get your workout going. Not only can this exercise increase our hamstrings' strength, but it also gives them an incredible stretch.

Donkey Kicks

This exercise is definitely easy to get right. Aside from being a simple exercise movement, donkey kicks are a great starting place for baseline muscle strengthening. That said, this move is demanding on our hamstrings, which is what we want.

Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are excellent for our glutes and hamstrings. In addition to those muscle groups, this exercise is perfect for our lower back. Glute bridges offer many of the same benefits as a squat and don’t put pressure on our lower back. This is an excellent substitute for those unable to do squats because of the knee or hip pain.

Alternating Reverse Lunge

Alternating reverse lunges are an improved version that targets our hamstrings more than the standard lunge. This is because our back leg is the driving force of the lunge, as opposed to our front leg, which makes it easier to control. When we can focus on the muscles we should be using, it allows us to have more of a focused workout session.

Intermediate Level

Sumo Squat To Stand

The sumo squat-to-stand exercise mobilizes our hamstrings, which provides the most out of the strength training. It’s essential that we go through the motion of this movement slowly as it goes into full hamstring extension. Slow and steady is necessary; otherwise, we risk injury.

Skater Jumps

Skater jumps are an excellent exercise for building lateral strength throughout our lower body, especially our glutes and hamstrings. If you're not into high-intensity workouts, you'll want to skip this one. Otherwise, this one’s for you.

Hamstring Walk Outs

Our hamstrings are going to feel this exercise, that’s for sure. Hamstring walk-outs work our hamstrings in two ways:

1: Through flexion of the knee

2: Through the extension of our hips

We should make sure we warm u before kicking off with this workout. Suppose we don’t; we can end up with painful hamstring cramps.

Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts are similar to glute bridges; only they have an added range of motion. An added range of motion means more significant strength gains. 

There are far more exercises that target our hamstrings than people realize. With all the importance of having strong hamstrings, now’s the best time to ensure we add some beneficial activities into our routine.

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