Hamstring Exercises

hamstring exercises

Hamstring Exercises for Fast Muscle Gains, Strength Increases and Full Muscle Development

This page is dedicated to explaining the best hamstring exercises to strengthen and build the muscle group on the back side of the thighs known as the hamstrings.

The hamstrings are integral to your ability to walk, run, jump and move. They work with the muscles on the front of the thigh known as the quadriceps, or quads, for essentially all movements carried out by the legs.

It is important that you do not neglect the hamstrings in your weight training routine because this can cause serious injury that will keep you from lower body exercise for quite some time.

If you train your quads and neglect to build the strength in your hamstrings, you will reach a point where your quads become out of balance with the hamstrings. This can be a problem if you have a powerful contraction in your quads that is too strong for the hamstrings to support which will result in a torn hamstring.

During my teenage years, I was able to considerably increase the strength of my quads through intense weight training and neglected my hamstrings in the process. While performing sprints one morning in a track competition, I experienced firsthand the consequences of neglecting the hamstring muscles when I tore my left hamstring during my initial explosion off of the starting blocks.

While many quad exercises do stimulate the hamstrings, it is important that you dedicate some time to hamstring exercises to ensure that you are fully developing your hamstrings and not leaving them behind.

muscle gains hamstring exercises

Here are the best lifts at strengthening and quickly building the muscles in the hamstrings:

Hamstring Lift #1: Hamstring Curls

Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings

Auxiliary Muscles: Glutes


Using a hamstring curl machine, you will start with your legs near full extension and curl your legs by pushing on the weight with the back of your calves or heels and bringing your heels upward until they touch your upper hamstring area. You will then return the weight to its starting position and repeat as necessary.

Most hamstring curl machines have handles for you to grip while performing the hamstring curl lift. I recommend using these handles as they provide added stability and allow you to focus more intensity into the hamstring curl movement.

Hamstring Lift #2: Forward Lunges

Targeted Muscles: Hamstrings

Auxiliary Muscles: Glutes


To perform the forward lunge exercise, you will hold a dumbbell in each hand and step forward with one foot about a normal stride’s distance in front of you. It is the hamstring of the leg of this front foot that will bear most of the load of this movement.

You will then bend your front and back knees until your back knee lightly touches the ground and then rise up and bring your front foot back to its starting position.

You do not want to alternate legs, but rather fully exhaust one leg before moving on to the other leg. So, you will complete a full set of reps with your first leg going forward before moving on to the next set of reps with your other leg going forward.

Alternating sets in this fashion will keep the stress of this exercise on one leg at a time which will serve to increase your exercise intensity and more fully exhaust the hamstring muscles being worked while performing each set.

Final Note

Because the hamstrings are used when exercising your quads, you will only need to choose one of the two hamstring exercises above to ensure full development of your quads and provide the stimulation necessary for fast muscle gains.

Another reason it is not necessary to perform multiple lifts for hamstring building is that the hamstrings are a very long and narrow muscle group and does not require stress from a wide range of angles for full development.

While utilizing one of these hamstring exercises will be sufficient for full hamstring development, in order to realize your full muscle building and strength gain potential you will need to follow a muscle building diet plan.

Be sure to visit other pages on my site as I have provided everything you need to know to quickly build every muscle in the body.

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