Bodyweight Hamstring Exercises To Do At Home

If you’re looking for how to workout hamstrings at home without equipment, then you are at the right place. Here I’m going to share the 8 best bodyweight hamstring exercises that can help you maintain and develop hamstrings strength.

Additionally, these exercises will also help you recover from hamstring injury because they often included in hamstring muscle rehabilitation and prevention programs.

The hamstrings are a group of three muscles named bicep femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus, and they run down the back of your thigh, from hips to knee.

It is one of the large and important muscles to train, especially for athletes and sports professionals. Strong hamstrings help you perform easy to advanced activities like jogging, running, squatting, jumping, and deadlifting.

If you’re one of the fitness enthusiasts who love working out at home and want to strengthen and tone your hamstrings, then these bodyweight exercises for the hamstring will surely be going to be useful for you.

the 8 best hamstring bodyweight exercises based on studies

  • Slide Leg Exercise
  • Nordic Hamstring Curl
  • Standing Hamstring Leg Curl
  • Hamstring Bridges
  • Single leg Romanian Deadlift
  • Stationary Lunges
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Lateral Lunges

Single Leg Sliding exercise for Hamstring

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Glutes, Adductors, Lower Back

How to:

  • Start with lying on the floor on your back with your arms are at your sides, knees bent, and heels on the slider (that can easily slide over the floor).
  • While keeping your right heel on the mat, lift your left leg and your pelvis off the floor until your knee, shoulder, and hip come in a straight line.
  • Now, curl your working leg in a slow and controlled fashion toward you.
  • Squeezing the hamstring of your left leg, slide forward in a slow and controlled manner until it is straight, and then reverse the move to complete one rep.
  • Complete ten repetitions on each side for three sets.

This exercise works best when it comes to activating hamstring muscles such as the bicep femoris and semitendinosus.

For sliding, you can use anything that can slide on the floor such as towel or two pieces of rug.

This move is also strengthen the lower back and help you relieve your lower back pain.

Bodyweight Nordic Hamstring Curl

Difficulty: Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Lower Back, Hip

How to:

To perform this move, you need a partner for assistance.

  • Begin with kneeling on the mat, torso upright and forward, and ask your partner to hold your ankles.
  • Keeping your hips extended, slowly lower your body forward (and toward the ground) as far as possible or until you can’t longer go down.
  • Put your hands out in front of you on the floor when you can’t go down further, pause for a couple of seconds, and then push yourself back to the start. That’s your one rep.
  • Maintain a neutral spine during the entire movement.
  • Go for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.

If you don’t have a partner, no problem. You can still manage to do this without him or her. only, look for something where you can hold your ankles for balance. For example, hook your legs under a bench or loaded barbell.

This move is basically of intermediate level, however, with consistent practice, you’ll able to do this in a more effective way.

You may find it difficult to perform Nordic hamstring curls, but remember if you do only 50 percent of this exercise, you’ll still be building muscle and getting better at performing them ( if you’re consistent).

Bodyweight Hamstring Leg Curl

Difficulty: Beginner

Other muscles involved: Glutes, Adductors

How to standing hamstring curl:

  • Stand upright in the hip-width stance with your hands on your hips.
  • Slightly bend your right knee and bring your left foot heel toward your buttock as close as possible.
  • Make sure you squeeze your hamstring muscle when you fully curl and hold for a second and two and then lower your leg to the start. That’s your one rep.
  • Continue until you do 12 to 15 reps and then switch to the other leg.
  • Do three sets of 12 reps each set, each leg.

Hamstring curl is an extensive workout for hamstring muscles especially the weighted ones. However, bodyweight leg curl can also help you maintain strength and tone your hamstring muscles.

Other than standing hamstring curl, there are different types of hamstring curl you can try at home. For example, you can do it with a resistance band and dumbbell.

Bodyweight Hamstring Bridges

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Glutes, Adductors, Lower Back and Core

bodyweight hamstring exercises
bodyweight hamstring exercises

How to:

  • Lie flat on your back, and keep your feet on an elevated object so your knees are bent to approximately 90 degrees.
  • Keeping your upper back on the floor, lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from knee to shoulder.
  • If you’re doing a single leg hamstring bridge, lift your one leg off the bench with your hips until your knee, hip, and shoulder form a straight line.
  • When you lift your hips, your posterior muscles such as hamstrings, glutes, and hips work together and build strength.
  • At the top, hold for a couple of seconds and then lower to the start.
  • Do not arch your lower back when you lift your hips.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

The hamstring bridge exercise strengthens the hamstring, improves hip mobility, isolate glutes as well as activate core muscles.

Whether you’re a male or female (beginner), you can do this bodyweight hamstring exercise at home to gain hamstring strength.

Bodyweight Single leg Romanian Deadlift

Difficulty: Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Glutes and Lower Back

How to:

hamstring bodyweight exercises
hamstring bodyweight exercises
Image by Womens Health Mag
  • Start upright with your feet width-apart and arms straight at your sides.
  • Slightly bend your right knee and raise your left leg off the floor behind you as far as possible or until your torso becomes parallel to the ground. Your hands hang straight toward the ground.
  • Make sure to squeeze your hamstring muscles for three-five seconds when your rear leg fully extended behind you. And then return to the start. That’s one rep.
  • Suggested sets 3 and reps 10 each set.
  • Maintain flat back during the entire movement.

Single leg Romanian deadlift is one the best bodyweight exercises to maintain strength and tone the hamstring muscles. It also improves hip mobility, stability as well as overall balance.

Dumbbell Romanian deadlift and barbell RDL work more efficiently and effectively on posterior muscles such as hamstrings, glutes, lower back while the bodyweight RDL helps you maintain overall strength.

Stationary Lunges

Difficulty: Beginner

Other muscles involved: Hamstrings

hamstring exercises bodyweight
hamstring exercises bodyweight

How to:

  • Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Take one large step forward with your right foot and the left foot in the same place. That the start.
  • Lower your rear knee toward the ground as low as possible while keeping your left leg shin as vertical as possible to the ground.
  • Hold in this position for a couple of seconds, and then squeezing your quads, push your heels into the floor to return to the start. This is one rep.
  • Do as many repetitions as required.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Glutes and Hamstrings

How to:

  • Stand upright in front of a flat bench with your face facing against it, stand one large step away from the bench. Bench height should be according to your knee height.
  • Lift your one leg off the ground and place your feet (upper portion) on the bench whilst keeping your other feet firmly on the ground. This is your starting position.
  • Engaging your leading leg muscles, lower your hips toward the ground until your rear knee come close to the floor or as low as possible.
  • Pressing into the floor with your leading leg heel, return to the start. That’s your one rep for one leg.
  • Train both sides with an equal number of sets and reps.

Tips:

  1. If you don’t have a bench at home, use a chair or any elevated object to place your feet on it.
  2. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the move.

Lateral Lunges

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Other muscles involved: Hamstrings

bodyweight exercises for hamstrings

How to:

  • Stand straight in the hip-width stance, and step out your right leg to the right with your toes pointing forward and feet flat on the ground.
  • Do a squat on your right side whilst keeping your left leg as constant as possible.
  • Stay in the lower position for a couple of seconds and then, pushing through your right heel into the floor return to the starting position.
  • This is your one repetition of one side.
  • Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each set on each side.

Who can do bodyweight hamstring exercise?

The above bodyweight hamstring exercises are less intense, easy, and safe to perform. Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, male or female, you can do these hamstring workouts at home without equipment and without the risk of injury.

However, I would suggest you take advice from your doctor or trainer.

If you are/have:

  • on medication
  • pregnant and breastfeeding
  • suffering from injury
  • any medical issue

Home Workout Routine for Hamstring Bodyweight Exercise

ExerciseSetsRepsRest between set
Slide Leg Exercise38-101 minute
Nordic Hamstring Curl31260 seconds
Hamstring Bridges31260 seconds
Single leg Romanian Deadlift3121 minute
Bulgarian Split Squat31560 seconds
Stationary Lunges3151 minute
Bodyweight Hamstring Home workout Routine (train once a week)
Featured image credit: Man photo created by master1305 - www.freepik.com

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