As a certified personal trainer and Pilates instructor, I recommend incorporating hamstring exercises into your workout routine to help improve your overall fitness and mobility. Whether you’re looking to improve your athletic performance, tone your lower body, or just want to feel stronger or more comfortable in everyday movement, these exercises will get the job done — no equipment needed!
But first, a tip when working your hamstrings: start slow. Hamstring injuries are common so be sure to warm up properly, focus on quality over quantity, and stretch afterward to avoid injury.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands placed behind your head. Focus on keeping your shoulders back and your core muscles engaged. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, hinge at the hips, bending your chest toward the floor until your body forms an upside-down “L” shape. You should feel a slight stretch in your hamstrings. If you feel any pain or uncomfortable pulling, you’ve lowered too far! Slowly move back into a standing position on your exhale. Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to return to standing tall. Repeat.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor a few inches from your butt. Keeping your heels on the ground, lift your hips up and squeeze your glutes and hamstrings. You should form a straight line from your upper back to your knees. Pull your belly button in toward your spine, and slowly lower down one vertebra at a time. Repeat.
Single leg glute bridge
Starting in the same position as your standard glute bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor in front of you. With this variation, start by keeping your left heel on the ground, and raise your right leg straight up in the air. Squeeze the glute and hamstring muscles, keeping your core activated as you lift your hips. Keeping your right leg raised, slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for 10 res. Then switch to the other side, keeping your right heel on the ground and raising your left leg.