Ten-minute Weight Training to Strengthen your Hamstrings
Hamstrings are a group of muscles that, more often than not, don’t get enough attention when we train. Discover some great exercises to strengthen your hamstrings.
Hamstrings are a muscle group that’s usually overlooked in training routines. In fact, many people haven’t even heard of them. However, these muscles are an important part of the back of the leg, so it’s helpful to set some time apart for a good hamstring workout.
The hamstrings begin at the pelvis and extend to the tibia. That’s why not strengthening them properly can cause severe injuries. Some of the best hamstring exercises work in an indirect manner, such as squats or deadlifts.
Still, it’s absolutely necessary to work out this muscle group through specific exercises, in order to develop and strengthen the hamstrings. This specific training can include weight training. In this article, we’ll explain some very effective ideas to strengthen the muscles.
What are hamstrings
The hamstrings are a muscle group composed of three muscles:
- The first is the biceps femoris muscle, which is located on the outside of the thigh.
- The second is the semitendinosus muscle, which is in the inner thigh.
- And the third is the semimembranosus muscle, which is located below the semitendinous.
The main function of the hamstrings is to allow knee flexion and hip extension. Insufficient development of these muscles generates an imbalance of strength with the quadriceps. This imbalance considerably increases the risk of injuries to the knees and the quadriceps themselves.
What usually happens is that these muscles work very little or nothing at all during conventional workouts. It occurs mainly because many people consider that, from an aesthetic point of view, hamstrings aren’t as showy nor attract as much attention as other muscle groups, such as the biceps or the abdominals.
There are several exercises you can add to your workout routine that are very helpful in developing and strengthening the hamstrings. Many of them include weight training, but there are some you can do without weights.
The important thing is to perform the exercises with the appropriate technique. A ten-minute workout three times a week will allow you to have fit hamstrings.
Weight training for hamstrings
The ‘good morning’ is an exercise that may seem difficult for those who don’t know about it. If you’re a beginner, then you should start doing this particular exercise with no added weight. Once you acquire proper technique you can start incorporating weight to your training.
This exercise is excellent for strengthening your hamstrings, as well as stretching them properly. In addition, it also allows you to work out other muscle groups at the same time, such as the gluteal muscles and the spinal extensor muscles.
The key to getting the maximum out of the good morning exercise is to control your weight by keeping your back straight and tight. To perform this exercise you must stand, keeping your body straight and with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, you should place your hands behind your head. If you’re using a weight bar, place it behind your shoulders just as if you were squatting with weight.
Now, all you have to do is bend your body forward by the hips, keeping your back straight. In this position, you should feel the hamstrings being stretched. Finally, return to the starting position to start over. We recommend you do this exercise at least 15 times to experience a proper stretch.
Deadweight with stiff legs
This exercise is a variation of the classic deadlift but is designed to work hamstrings more specifically. It also looks similar to the ‘good morning’, but with some variants.
To perform it, you must stand and take the barbell with your palms facing down, at hip level. You should keep your back straight and your legs slightly apart, a bit wider than your shoulder width. Keep your knees slightly bent to start the exercise.
Keeping your knees still, you should lower the bar to the top of your feet, flexing your hips a little. Always keep your back straight, as if you were going to pick something up from the ground.
You will feel how your hamstrings are stretching during this exercise. Then, you should return to the starting position in order to start over. You can incorporate this exercise to weight training and do a series of 15 repetitions.
Exercises without weights
Finally, there are many exercises you can do without the added weight that is also very good for strengthening your hamstrings. Among the main ones are the ‘retained hamstrings’ or ‘nordic curl’, the ‘hamstring leg curl fit ball’ or the ‘hip lift’.
The hip lift and the hamstring leg curl are very similar, with the only difference being that you use the fit ball in one of them. We also recommend doing slopes to develop your hamstrings.
In short, whether you’re training with or without weights, these are some ideal exercises to provide strength and resistance to this muscle group. Even when you might feel it’s not as attractive as other muscle groups, it’s vital for body balance.
Hamstrings are involved in most of the movements that we make on a daily basis, so it’s always advisable to maintain this area in the best possible way.