train hamstrings

train hamstrings

Complex of exercises for the hamstrings

To form a beautiful and harmoniously developed muscles of the upper leg, training should include exercises on the hamstrings. Together with the pumped up, elastic buttocks, the back surface of the thighs provides an effective fit of the trousers and is largely responsible for a sporty, smart silhouette. These muscles are involved in many basic exercises, which need to be supplemented with isolators for the right accent.

Exercises for the hamstrings
Exercises for the hamstrings

Anatomical role and features of the hamstrings

Hamstrings are muscles-antagonists with respect to quadriceps, the main function of which is static. The biceps muscle straightens the thigh of the supporting leg, participates in the rotation of the tibia inwards and flexion of the ankle joint. It consists of a short and long heads that form the bulge of the hamstring and partly the hollow of the inner surface.

An important feature of the hamstrings is its tendency to shorten. This leads not only to the unharmonious development of the muscles of the posterior surface, but also often to painful sensations during the inclination of the forward or the raising of the straight legs to a 90 ° angle. To avoid this and ensure a beautiful muscle architecture, the training of the biceps femoris muscle must necessarily include stretching exercises. Read the article about neck muscles training.

Features of hip bicep training

Most of the exercises on the hamstrings also involve gluteal muscles and partially quadriceps, so it makes sense to make a total leg training based on the basic exercises and supplemented with the insulating muscles for the biceps muscle. This approach will ensure the correct and uniform development of the hips, without shifting the focus to any part of them.

Effective and proper leg training is, ideally, strength training, so it is quite difficult to choose good exercises for the hamstrings at home. Many-repeated sit-ups or attacks without burdens will not give such an effect as their variants with a barbell or dumbbells, and isolating exercises are not at all accessible without special simulators.

Before you start to work on the legs and back of the thigh, the muscles need to be warmed up. 10-15 minutes of running or walking on an inclined track will be prepared for training and will eliminate the risk of stretching.

Basic exercises for training the biceps

The described exercises for hamstrings are equally suitable for both female and male training, however there are some nuances in performance on which the final result depends.

Squats with a wide stance legs

Squats with a barbell – this is one of the basic basic exercises, in which not only the muscles of the hips, but also the press, the back, the legs, are involved. It is associated with a high level of injuries, so it is recommended for advanced athletes or under the guidance of an experienced trainer. General requirements for squats with a bar are as follows:

  • The back should be flat, the muscles of the press and waist are strained;
  • The movement does not start from the knees, but from the pelvic backwards, as when landing on a chair;
  • You need to bend your legs approximately to the right angle;
  • The knee remains motionless, in no case goes beyond the sock. Otherwise, the trauma is unavoidable;
  • The ascent is accomplished by a powerful, pushing movement. Should be felt gluteal muscle and the back of the thigh. To do this, it is necessary to rest on the floor with heels, without transferring the center of gravity to the socks.
Squats with a wide stance legs
Squats with a wide stance legs

When squatting with a wide setting of the feet, it is best to rehearse the exercise without weight or with the body bodily. This is necessary in order to choose for themselves the optimal width of the setting of the feet and the angle of rotation of the socks, in which the double-headed muscle of the thigh is maximally worked.

Of great importance is the squat depth. The deeper it is, the more the gluteal muscle is activated and worked on. For this reason, deep squats with a wide setting of the feet are recommended more to the girls. For men, to work on the hamstrings, it’s enough to squat about to the parallel of the hips with the floor.

Squats with dumbbells

This kind of sit-ups can be considered a facilitated version of sit-ups with a barbell. It is suitable for beginners, for whom the weight of the neck is still too great, as well as for those who think how to pump the back of the thigh with minimal participation of the buttocks. When doing sit-ups with dumbbells, you need to follow these rules:

  • To avoid unnecessary and unnecessary strain on the spine, hands with dumbbells should be kept straight and lowered;
  • The feet are parallel to each other and are slightly wider than the shoulders – so the hamstrings’ bicep is felt best;
  • You can not lean forward, emphasis on the heels.

With proper exercise, the biceps muscle is treated very effectively.

Squats with dumbbells
Squats with dumbbells


Dead or Romanian thrust is one of the basic exercises with the barbell, which among other things works well on the hamstrings, effectively working and stretching it. Like squats, it is associated with high injuries, so correct technique is the guarantee of safety and health of the athlete.

  • A straight back without rounding and deflections is a guarantee of her health. Deflection can lead to displacement of the vertebrae;
  • The feet are parallel and stand about shoulder width or narrower;
  • The movement begins with the removal of the pelvis back – only in this way, and not by tilting forward, there is a bending of the trunk;
  • The arms are straight and lowered, while flexing and unbending, the neck should be as close to the legs as possible, practically sliding along them – this gives the maximum effect of stretching the muscles and working out the hamstrings;
  • At the top point, it is advisable to twist the pelvis up and squeeze the buttocks.

Isolation exercises for the hamstrings

Isolating exercises are an opportunity to refine, “finish off” exactly the muscle that is needed. To complete a good training of the hamstring, the leg bend in the simulator and the special kind of hyperextension are well suited.


Usually this exercise is performed during the training of the muscles of the back, but it can be slightly modified and added to the training of the buttocks and biceps. Hyperextension for the hamstrings is characterized by the fact that the support cushions of the machine are not installed at the level of the pelvic bones, but at the level of the upper quadriceps. The rest of the technique does not change:

  • The back is straight, arms crossed on the chest or linked behind the head;
  • The buttocks are compressed, the forward slope is done slowly and smoothly, without jerking or swinging.

The movement is short, but completely focused on the hamstrings. This exercise gave a noticeable effect even in cases where others did not give the desired result.

Leg bending

Bending of the legs in the lying simulator is one of the isolating exercises that maximally work the biceps femoris muscle.

Leg bending
Leg bending

The technique is quite simple, but the result is always impressive:

  • The starting position is on the simulator face down. The legs are fixed with a roller in the ankle joint region;
  • It is important to press the trunk to the bench and not tear it off while moving – this will avoid injuries;
  • The movements are slow and smooth. The use of the force of inertia will reduce the athlete’s efforts to zero;
  • At the bottom point, the knees do not fully unbend, the legs are always tense.

Qualitative training of the hamstrings includes technically complex exercises, potentially dangerous for beginners. Working out the technique with the trainer will make it possible to extract the maximum effect from the trainings and avoid a long and costly rehabilitation period in case of trauma.

With caution should be approached to perform exercises on the legs in general and the hamstrings in particular people with diseases of the spine, knee or hip joints. Correct technique and competent selection of working weight are the primary tasks before the beginning of serious trainings.