Exercises for Hamstring: For Recovery and Strength
The Hamstrings are muscles, which are responsible for extending our legs and bending our knees. A group of three, these muscles run along the back of your thigh, from your hip, to below your knee. Hamstrings are responsible for knee and hip movements. They help in walking, running, squatting, and in sports too. It is very common to have hamstring injuries, which can be resolved by doing exercises for the hamstring. These usually take a very long time to recover from.
If suffering from any hamstring injury, do not worry, we have you covered. Some exercises that will help in building hamstring strength, and recovering from your injury, are given below.
Hamstring Muscles Exercises for Beginners
The purpose of the exercises mentioned next is to build a foundation of strength for your lower body and hamstring muscles. These are beginner exercises, and you will most likely have no difficulty going through them.
Exercises for hamstring: Bench Hip Thrust
A great exercise to develop hamstrings. This is a great exercise for a beginner. To do this, you need to place your back and upper shoulders on a bench and hug your arms across your chest. Your hips should be low, and your feet should be placed flat on the floor.
The next step is to drive both feet into the ground as you press both hips upwards. When you reach upwards, squeeze your glutes for two seconds and then lower them.
The exercise is recommended to be done in 3×12 reps with a 30-60 sec rest in the middle. You can also add extra weight as you get better at doing the exercise.
Single-Leg Bench Hip Thrust
A single leg bench hip thrust begins similarly to a normal bench hip thrust. Place your back and shoulders on a bench and place your feet on the floor with the hips low.
Then lift one leg while bending your knees. The toes should be flexed up towards your head. Then, push the remaining foot into the ground as you push your hips upwards. At the top, squeeze your glutes for two seconds, lower your leg and repeat the process with the other leg up. Add extra weight when comfortable.
30-60 sec rest is recommended with 3×10 reps.
To do a wall stretch, lie on the floor with your legs raised at a 90° angle with your butt against a wall and your feet facing upwards at the ceiling.
After doing this, flex your feet while gently straightening your knees. Let your hips sink into the floor for a few seconds. It is recommended to do it for 10-20 seconds but stop if you feel any kind of pain.
Exercises for Hamstrings with Dumbbells
Dumbbells can be useful when it comes to exercise or building muscles. Hamstring exercises too are more effective with Dumbbells. Some Dumbbells oriented hamstring exercises are as follows.
Exercises for hamstring: Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
To do a dumbbell Romanian deadlift, first, stand up with one dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells in such a way that your palms are facing you. Involve your abs in the exercise as you hinge your hips backward lowering the dumbbell. Lower the dumbbells towards the middle of your shins. Then, stand back up and squeeze your glutes for a second.
Do it in a routine of 3×12 reps with 60-90 second breaks.
Single-leg dumbbell deadlift
To do a single-leg dumbbell deadlift, hold a dumbbell in both your hands. Place your hands at your sides. Raising your left foot behind you, bend your right knee slightly.
After this, move down until your chest is nearly parallel to the ground. Use your right leg to press on the floor and then come back to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise, doing a routine of 3×6 reps on each side.
Exercises for Hamstrings at Home
Although almost all exercises mentioned above can be done at home with certain precautions, the exercises mentioned below are some of the best ones to do at home.
Exercises for hamstring: Glute Bridge March
To do a glute bridge march, lie on your back, palm facing downwards and arms at your sides. Your feet should be flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
Lift your body off the ground, forming a straight line from your shoulder to your knees. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings while lifting your body off the ground. Lift your right leg off the ground and straighten. Engage your core and align your thighs.
Then, lower your other leg and repeat the procedure on the other side. Keep your hips as high as possible.
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
A single-leg glute bridge is another exercise that you can do to improve and develop your hamstring muscles at home.
To do this, you need to lie on your back with your arms on your sides. Then, bend your knees shoulder-width apart. Lift your right leg. Now, engage your glutes in the exercise. Make sure your back is firmly planted in the ground. Then, make a straight line with your hips, knees, and shoulders. Engage your glutes when your hips are at the top and lower them after a second. Switch sides and repeat the exercise.
This is the simplest version of Glute Bridge. To do this, lie down on your back, your knees bent. Your palms and feet are flat on the floor. Push both feet into the ground while moving your hips upwards. When at the top, squeeze your glutes together for two seconds. Lower and repeat the exercise.
Exercise for Hamstring Muscles Injury
It is possible to injure your hamstrings due to sports, over-exercise, or any other reason. Hamstring muscles are important parts of our lower body and any injury to them should be sealed carefully. During Hamstring rehab, the following exercises might help.
During the initial phases after a Hamstring injury, do not exercise for a couple of days. After that, one can begin with a few stretching exercises and then slowly progress towards more difficult strengthening exercises. Some of them are given below.
|1||Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch|
|4||Seated Hamstring Curl|
|5||Bent Leg Hamstring Stretch|
Exercises for hamstring: Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch
You can do this exercise to provide elasticity to the healing tissue.
To do this exercise, place your foot on a table as lean and stretch as far as comfortable. Your leg and chest should be straight. You might feel a little bit of pain at the back of your leg, but it won’t be that painful. Do this exercise for 10 seconds. Three sets twice a day.
In this exercise, let your legs fall on gravity and let the hamstring muscles catch your legs before they fall to the horizontal.
As your legs are falling, only contract the hamstring muscles to prevent the foot from landing. Begin with 1 set of 10 reps and slowly lead to 3 sets of 15 reps per day.
Bridge Exercises can be done by lying on your back, bending the knees, and pushing the hips upwards. Both feet should be on the floor pushing up.
Start from 3 sets of 8 reps and then slowly build to 3 sets of 12 reps. Then move on to single-leg bridges. To do single-leg bridges, you need to do the same and ensure your gluteal muscles while making sure to maintain a straight line from the shoulder to the ground.
Seated Hamstring Curl
This is a hamstring exercise that might look easy but is difficult. There is a resistance band held together by a partner or tied to a fixed point. The other end will be tied to your foot as you lay on your back. After this, pull your feet to your buttocks. By doing this you will be contracting the hamstring muscles which is a good exercise. 3 sets of 8 reps are considered good for beginners.
Bent Leg Hamstring Stretch
Another stretching exercise while dealing with hamstring injury recovery is Bent leg hamstring stretch. It targets the muscle fibers closer to the hip.
To do this, lie on your back and then pull your leg over. Make sure you keep your knees slightly. Do this until you feel a slight stretch at the back of your leg. Do three sets twice a day. Each set should be around 10 seconds.
Exercises for hamstring: Tips To Avoid Hamstring Injuries
Some tips to prevent any hamstring injury from happening are-
1- Warm up your muscles before any intense exercise by going for a walk or dynamic stretching.
2- Do regular stretching and walking exercise so that it isn’t too intense too suddenly for your muscles during intense workouts.
3- Be patient and increase the intensity of your exercise a bit slowly so that there is enough time for your muscles to adjust.
4- Stop exercising immediately if you feel immense pain. It is not good for your muscles to be put under unnecessary strain and pain very suddenly.