We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
You don't need a barbell set, weight machines or other expensive equipment to exercise your hamstrings. Using little or no equipment, you can build muscle, improve muscular endurance and improve the flexibility of your hamstrings in the privacy of your own home. Using common exercises, create basic workout routines and do them several times each week to work your hamstrings.
To increase the size and strength of you hamstrings, perform your repetitions slowly and use hand weights or resistance bands. Depending on your starting strength, you might be able to use two 1-gallon milk jugs filled with water to create 16 pounds of dumbbell substitutes. Resistance bands and kettlebells are two other effective options for strength workouts. If you have no equipment, try body-weight exercises. Perform 10 to 25 repetitions of each exercise slowly, working until the last few reps are very difficult to perform. Take a two-minute break, then perform another set the same way. Perform three sets of one exercise before you start another exercise.
If your goal is to improve your muscular endurance, perform your hamstring exercises quickly, performing reps for 60 seconds, taking a 30-second break, then starting a new exercise. Continue exercising this way for 15 minutes or longer, aiming for an eventual 30-minute workout when your conditioning allows you to do so.
An effective exercise for building your hamstrings is the straight-leg deadlift. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart holding two dumbbells, water jugs, kettlebells or other weights in your hands. Bend over at the waist and place the weights on the tops of your feet without bending your knees. Practice this exercise without weights to learn the technique so you don't injure your back. Start with a moderate amount of weight, then add more before using heavy weights. If you start to feel muscle pain before the weights reach your feet, don't lower any further -- perform the exercise lowering yourself just past your range of comfortable motion, and increase your downward motion each week as you improve flexibility.
If you have an exercise ball or ab roller, use it to work your hamstrings. Lie on your back with your arms at your side and your legs straight and place your legs on the ball or your feet on the handles of the ab roller. Roll the ball or roller backward, bending your knees and raising your hips off the ground. Roll back and forth. This repeated motion helps build hamstring size, giving a more athletic look to your legs.
Good mornings gently lengthen and stretch your hamstrings, helping improve flexibility, and are easy to perform with or without weights. Hamstring flexibility is critical to both recreational and competitive athletes; hamstring pulls are a common injury for runners. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward, bending at the hips while keeping your legs straight. Good mornings are similar to straight-leg deadlifts, but you don't reach for the floor. If you have weights, hold them near your shoulders as you bend forward, and stick your buttocks slightly backward.
Squats and Lunges
You might be familiar with squats and lunges and know they give you a good lower-body workout. While these exercises recruit your hamstrings as stabilizers, the hamstrings are not the primary muscles worked with these exercises, so don't rely on them as your main exercises. Add them to workouts, alternating them with straight-leg deadlifts, leg curls and good mornings to vary your muscle use.
Mountain Climbers and Burpees
Low-resistance calisthenics without weights are effective for creating high-repetition exercises that work your hamstrings to improve endurance. Mountain climbers put you on your toes and hands, similar to a starting position in a track race. Perform this exercise by moving your legs back and forth, as if you were climbing a steep hill on all fours. To perform burpees, start in a standing position, drop to a crouch, kick your legs back, get back into your crouch, then jump up.
Standing Hamstring Curls
Like lying curls, standing hamstring curls build muscle strength as you shorten, then lengthen your muscles against resistance. If you have a resistance band, put one end around your ankle and attach the other end to an object in front of you. Slowly bend your knee backward, moving your heel upward until your lower leg is parallel with the floor.