Hamstrings have always been one of my favorite muscles to train. I love how tight the back of my legs feel at the end of a workout, and I adore the curve well-developed hamstrings add to one’s profile. That sexy hamstring curve is the perfect accessory for your skinny jeans, shorty shorts and sassy swimwear.
To help get your hamstrings top form, I thought I’d share a workout featuring some of my favorite exercises. Add these sets to your leg or glute day. Or, if the back of your legs need extra love, add in a second hamstring day into your training week. Just make sure it’s a few days after your leg day, so your hamstrings have sufficient time to recover. Take a look & get to work!
JB’S HAMSTRING WORKOUT
Minimize rest between sets (30 – 60 seconds).
4 x 12 Lying Hamstring Curl, superset with
4 x 12 Seated Hamstring Curl
4 x 12 Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlift, superset with
4 x 10 (each leg) Weighted Diagonal Step-up (shown without weights)
4 x 12 Glute-Ham Raise, superset with
4 x 15 (each leg) Single-Leg Bench Bridge
Weighted Diagonal Step-up
I feel this version of the step-up more in my hams and glutes than the traditional step-up.
Get Set: Stand parallel to the bench with a barbell across your shoulders or dumbbells in hand.
Work: Step up laterally and forward onto the bench. Kick the back leg up for an additional challenge. Step down to starting position. Complete all reps on one side before moving on to the second side.
This is a challenging, but very effective exercise for the hamstrings, glutes and calves. You WILL be sore after doing this exercise.
Get Set: This exercise can be performed with a partner holding your ankles or by securing your ankles under a piece of equipment (as shown). A Smith machine at a low position also works well to secure your ankles. Fold up a towel or a mat and place under your knees.
Work: Descend to floor, keeping your body from head to knees in a straight line. (This will be tough when you are first learning this exercise.) Flex your hamstrings and glutes to control the movement. When you reach the floor, land on your hands. Then, gently press off your hands to help you return to the upright position. However, remember to focus on using your glutes and hamstring to control the majority of the movement.
Single-Leg Bridge Using Bench
This is a killer exercise to target the hamstring/glute tie-in. You can perform this un-weighted or with a plate in your lap, as shown.
Get Set: Lie down on the floor perpendicular to a bench. Place the heel of one foot on the edge of a bench and extend the other leg straight up. For additional challenge, place a plate or dumbbell in your lap.
Work: Press into the heel positioned on the bench and raise your hips as far off the ground as you can. Then, lower your hips about half way down. That is one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other side.
Push Toward Your Best
Remember to appreciate where you are TODAY in your fitness and life journey. We all get so caught up in where we are going, what we are working toward and the things we want to change, that we rarely take time to just bask in our current awesomeness. So, go ahead and do it. Take a good long look in the mirror and account for all the work your have done for your health, your body, your mind and your soul. Be grateful for all you got. It’ll infuse you with potent positive goodness to keep you smiling and moving.
Keep pushing— your best is waiting.