The hamstrings are essential for overall health. So what are the best hamstring exercises we recommend?
The key is usually strengthening and that is what this hamstring exercise list is all about.
It is extremely common for athletes to pull hamstrings, runners to feel pain there, and average Joe’s to report that they always feel tight.
When a muscle is weak it can often feel tight.
1. Hamstring and Calf Wall Isometric
Here we are getting the hamstring and the calve to work together.
This is one that you can do at a lot of different levels meaning the foot can be further down the wall or you can be farther away from the wall.
We can also get you to bridge up higher to get some more glute.
2. Cocontration Hamstring Bridge
This is definitely the evil stepbrother of the wall drill above.
The goal with this hamstring exercise is to get 60 seconds with two legs.
If it’s easy you are probably a little off so check your form. The biggest thing is dragging the foam roller towards you as you push down through the mid-foot.
We do not want to push the foam roller away with the quads.
3. Hamstring Bridge with Cross Over Reach
Hopefully, after this one, you see how we like to use logical progressions in our classes.
Once you master two legs with can add some alternation of the ribs and pelvis by reaching.
One side doing one thing and the other doing the exact opposite.
Think about watching the hips and shoulder of someone running.
4. Slider Eccentrics
The last one is very important for a few reasons. It is more of a heel focus.
We did a lot of mid and forefoot in this example of a hamstring exercise, but all angles and foot pressures matter.
You can even change the first three to be more heel dominant.
Another consideration is the first three are relatively isometric meaning we are stationary like a statue. Isometrics are a phenomenal entry point and we mentioned doing them at all angles. Check out our FAQ for more info on isometrics and other terms.
When choosing hamstring exercises, make sure to include an option that gives you a good eccentric training stimulus.
This means they are working hard while lengthening.
The sliders will train a full range of motion locking in the gains from the start.
Want to take a follow-along hamstring class? We have a hamstring specific class that is part of our Elite Video Membership.
Have a great day and let us know if you have any questions below!