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Hamstring Exercises

Why should I train hamstrings?

Jump straight to hamstring exercises

The hamstrings are a group of muscles located on the back of your thigh, consisting of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. Together, these muscles are responsible for both hip extension and knee flexion, and they play a large role in stabilising the knees. 

A sedentary lifestyle can cause weak, tight hamstrings, which can lead to injury, knee pain, and poor posture. Training your hamstrings helps to address any weaknesses to prevent these issues from occurring. Training your hamstrings also helps to improve functional fitness, athletic performance, and aesthetics. 

Check out our other leg exercises: Adductor and abductor exercises, Calf exercises, Hamstring exercises, Quad exercises


What is the best exercise for tight hamstrings?

Having tight hamstrings is a really common issue, and there is no one single best exercise to address this. Combining strengthening exercises with stretching and mobility work will help to ease any tightness and build strength.

We've shared some of the best hamstring strengthening exercises below, and you can check out some of our favourite stretches for tight hamstrings here.

How can I train hamstrings without a machine?

The lying leg curl is a great exercise for isolating your hamstrings, but you can train these muscles even without a leg curl machine. 

Exercises like good mornings, deadlifts, and nordic curls are great for targeting the hamstrings, and can be done with free weights or resistance bands if you don't have access to a gym.

What exercises for a hamstring injury?

Hamstring injuries are quite common, and it can be frustrating to put your progress on hold when dealing with an injury. Always check with your doctor before exercising with an injury, as it may do more harm than good.

Once you've been cleared to exercise, gentle walking and stretching can help to ease any residual tightness. You can work your way up to hamstring strengthening exercises such as deadlifts, but make sure to start at a low weight and build up slowly to avoid injuring yourself again.

Hamstring exercises

How to leg curl

Isolate the hamstrings with hamstring curls. 

Main muscles worked:

  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
See all hamstring curl variations
How to deadlift

Strengthen almost your entire body with deadlifts.

Main muscles worked:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Trapezius
  • Erector spinea
  • Core
How to do good mornings

Target your posterior chain with good mornings.

Main muscles worked:

  • Hamstrings
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Erector spinea
See all good morning variations

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.