Best Glute and Hamstring Workout

Whether you’re a bodybuilder or an athlete, strengthening glutes and hamstrings is crucial for improving overall performance. And that’s why I’m going to share the best glute and hamstring workout that will help you build strength, mass, mobility, and balance.

The strong hamstring and glute will help you boost your running, sprinting, deadlifting, squatting, cycling, and jumping performance; and reduce the chances of injuries.

So whether your goal is to get powerful glutes hamstrings or simply strengthen your muscles to perform better in your sport, you can do the below exercises.

You Can Save This: 7 Day Gym Workout Plan With PDF

Should I Train Hamstrings and Glutes Together?

Yes, you can absolutely train your hamstrings and glutes together. Both glute and hamstrings muscles are located on the back of your lower body and connected to each other. So, training both muscles together can be effective.

How Do You Build Hamstrings and Glutes?

how to workout hamstrings and glutes
how to workout hamstrings and glutes (Image courtesy– freepik)

You can do a myriad of exercises to build your hamstring and glutes at the gym as well as at home.

However, working out at the gym provides you greater options than exercising at home.

You can do plenty of workouts, such as Romanian deadlift, hip thrust, weighted step up, hamstring curl, and more to build bigger glutes and hamstrings at the gym.

You can still do a plethora of exercises if you work out at home without equipment such as leg lift, Nordic hamstring curl, reverse lunges, slide leg exercise, glute bridge, and glute kickback.

Related: Bodyweight hamstrings exercises

Top 10 Workouts For Hamstrings and Glutes Workouts To Do At The Gym

  1. Romanian Deadlift
  2. Hamstring Curl
  3. Barbell Good Morning
  4. Weighted Step up
  5. Barbell Hip Thrust
  6. Weighted Glute Bridgle
  7. Cable Pull Through
  8. Belt Squat
  9. Split Squat / Lunges
  10. Hex Bar Deadlift
Related: Best Compound Glute Exercises For Bigger Glutes

1. Romanian Deadlift

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

The Romanian deadlift is one of the best workouts you can do to build stronger hamstrings – demonstrated in a study conducted by the Journal Strength and Conditioning Research. 1Muscle activation during various hamstring exercises – National Institute of Health Database

It also activates your glutes and can be an efficient exercise to incorporate into your hamstring and glute gym workout routine.

How to:

  1. Set the appropriate weight in the bar and place it on the floor in front of you.
  2. Stand straight in the hip to shoulder-width stance with your feet underneath of the middle of the bar.
  3. Keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips to grab the bar. Maintain a slight bend in your knees.
  1. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and palms facing the body. You can also use alternate or hook grip.
  2. Brace your core, inhale and pushing through your feet into the floor, slowly lift the weight from the ground and as you lift, pull your shoulder blades backward and press your hips forward as you completely stand up. That’s your one rep.
  3. Hold for a 3 to 5 seconds, and slowly lower the weight until the bar reaches to your knee height. And then again lift the weight and complete the second rep. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  4. Do as many reps and sets as you like.
  5. Squeeze your Glutes and hamstrings at the time of lifting the weight.
  6. Keep your back straight and the barbell close to your body throughout the movement.

Alternative: Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

2. Hamstring Curl

Difficulty: Beginner

You can do hamstring curl in several ways. For example, you can use a seated hamstring curl machine, lying machine leg curl, lying dumbbell hamstring curl, or standing cable leg curl.

Depending on the availability, you can do any of the above. However, machine leg curl can be safe and effective than other ways.

How to do lying machine leg curl:

  1. Lie prone on a hamstring curl machine and place your feet under the roller pad. Make sure the roller pad rested above the heels and below your calves.
  2. Grab the side of the bench firmly with your hands and keep your legs fully straight behind you. That’s the start.
  3. Inhale and slowly curl your legs until you feel the contraction in your hamstring and glutes muscles.
  4. Pause for a couple of seconds, and then extend your legs until they are straight. That’s on repetition.
  5. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each with 1 to 3 minutes rest between sets.

Related: Dumbbell Leg Curl

3. Barbell Good Morning

Difficulty: Intermediate

Good morning is an effective workout for the lower body, especially for the hamstring, glutes, and lower back.

It strengthens and tone hamstring and glute muscle, and increase stability and balance.

You can incorporate this workout into a lower body workout routine to build stronger glutes and hamstrings.

How to do good morning with a barbell:

  1. Pick an Olympic bar, put appropriate weight in it. And standing in the shoulder-width apart, place it over your shoulder and firmly grab it besides your shoulder. You can use only bar if you’re doing it for the first time.
  2. Lower your torso as low as you can with a slight bend in your knees. You’ll feel the stretch in your lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Try to lower your trunk until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold in the lower position for three to five seconds and then return your body to the standing position.
  4. Keep your back straight and core tight throughout the movement.
  5. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each with 1 to 3 minutes rest between sets.
Related: An Ultimate Guide To The Dumbbell Leg Exercises

4. Weighted Step up

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Step up is one of the highly effective workouts for strengthening and toning glutes and hamstrings muscle.

Step up and its variations elicit higher glute muscle activation compared to more than 10 exercises, such as hip thrust, lunges, split squat, and deadlift – according to a study published by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2Gluteus Maximus Activation during Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review on National Institute of Health Website

To get the maximum result, you can do a weighted step-up, holding the dumbbells in your hand.

Here are the steps to perform:

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, stand in front of the higher object, such as a flat bench or a box with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms are facing inwards.
  3. Step up your right foot on the bench so your knees are bent at 90-degrees.
  4. Pressing down through your right foot, bring your left foot on the bench to meet your right foot. Now, you’re in the standing position and that’s your one rep.
  5. Bend your right knee and return your left foot on the ground and followed by the right foot and repeat for the required number of times.
  6. Complete two to three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each (with your both foot) with 1 to 2 minutes interval between sets.

You may also like: A Complete Guide To the HIIT Lower Body Workout

5. Barbell Hip Thrust

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

The barbell hip thrust is one of the best exercises to build stronger hamstring and glute and you can incorporate it in your bodybuilding workout.

It will help you improve your squatting, deadlifting and sprinting performance.

Barbell hip thrust and its variations elicit higher muscle activation in gluteus maximus, erector spine, and hamstrings – according to a systematic review published on the National Institute of Health Website.3 Barbell Hip Thrust, Muscular Activation and Performance: A Systematic Review – Journal of Sports Medicine

How to do barbell hip thrust on a smith machine

hamstring and glute strengthening exercises
  1. Set the smith machine bar to bar to an appropriate height.
  2. Attach a thick squat sponge to the middle of the bar so it can help you perform safely.
  3. Place a bench on the floor a few inches backward of the bar.
  4. Put your upper back on the bench with your feet firmly on the floor and knees bent to 90 degree so your chest and knees are in line. You can use balance pad on your hip for more safety.
  5. Let the bar rest on your thighs. You can also hold the bar with your hands (besides your hips).
  6. Brace your abdominal muscles, inhale and push your hips upward as high and fast as you can.
  7. Squeezing your glutes, hamstrings and hips, hold for a couple of seconds in the upward position and then return to the start. This is your one repetition.
  8. Depending on your strength, use weight and do the specific number of sets and reps.
Also Read: The Top 6 Dumbbell Quad Exercises Of All Time

6. Weighted Glute Bridge

best hamstring and glutes workout
Glute Bridge (Photo credit serhii_bobyk on freepik)

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

You can weighted glute bridge exercise to strengthen and build bigger glutes.

The weighted glute bridge also works on hamstrings and hips and helps you improve strength, balance, and mobility. 

How to do the weighted glute bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees are bent to 90-degrees and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Grab a weight plate or a dumbbell and place it on your hips.
  3. Brace your abdominal muscle, inhale and press your hips upward as high as you can.
  4. Squeezing your gluteus and hamstrings, hold for a moment at the top, and then return your hips on the ground. That’s one rep.
  5. Do as many reps and sets as needed.
You may like: 1 Hour Gym Workout For Beginners To Build Muscle

7. Cable Pull Through Workout for Hamstring and Glutes

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Not known to many, cable pull-through is a highly effective hamstring and glute workout for mass.

The cable pull-through is an efficient workout for increasing time under tension, eccentric muscle damage, and overall muscular activation of the glutes and hamstrings -an article published on Barbend.com suggested.

How to do cable pull through

best hamstring and glute workout
  1. Attach the rope to the lowest section of the cable pulley machine.
  2. Stand straight (one step forward) in the shoulder-width stance with your back facing the cable pulley machine.
  3. Keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips and slightly bend your knees to grab the rope firmly between your legs.
  4. Engaging your lower body, push your feet into the floor as your extend your hips forward and stand straight. That’s one rep!
  5. Your core should be engaged during the movement.
  6. You’ll feel the contraction in your glutes and hamstrings.
  7. Depending on your strength, use weight and do the required number of sets and reps.

8. Belt Squat Workout For Bigger Hamstring and Glute

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

It is possible you haven’t heard about this move “belt squat” before. However, it can be used as one of the alternatives to the barbell back squat.

 It works differently when it comes to targeting gluteus Maximus, showed in findings published by the Journal Strength and Conditioning Research.4 Comparison of Muscle Activation Between Back Squats and Belt Squats – Journal Strength and Conditioning Research

 You can include this exercise in your workout plan to build bigger glutes and hamstrings.

How to do:

  1. Wear the gym belt around your waist. A belt that has option to attach connecter.
  2. Stand straight in the shoulder-width stance (in front of the belt squat machine) with your feet slightly pointing outward.
  3. Put the appropriate weight into the machine.
  4. Bend at your hips and knees to connect the belt to the machine.
  5. Place your hands on the bar in front of you for support.
  6. Keep your core engaged, take a deep breath and pushing through your feet downward stand straight until your hips and knees are fully extended. This is your one repetition.
  7.  You’ll feel the contraction in your entire lower body included hamstrings and glutes during the movement.
  8. Depending on your strength, use weight and do the required number of sets and reps.
Also, See: Different Types Of Squat Variations And Benefits

9. Weighted Split Squat / In Line Lunges

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Split squat and lunges both seem similar. However, they’re slightly different from each other.

To know the difference between them, you can see this well-written article on Livestrong.com.

For hamstring and glutes, a weighted split squat workout is slightly effective than in-line lunges. However, doing one of them can be okay.

How to weighted split squat:

  1. Set appropriate weight into the bar.
  2. Unrack the bar from the machine, place it on back of your shoulder and stand straight with your feet together.
  3. Bring your left leg backward as you squat down on your right leg. You can go as lower as you can in the squat position.
  4. Squeezing your front leg, press your feet into the floor and extend your knees to return to the standing position. You can also stand in the split stance during the entire movement.
  5. Depending on your strength, use weight and do the specific number of sets and reps on both sides.

You can also use a dumbbell or smith machine for performing more safely.

If you don’t feel the stretch in your hamstring and glutes, you can do weighted lunges.

Also, Check out: Best Calf Raises Exercises

10. Hex Bar Deadlift

Difficulty: Beginner

The hex bar deadlift is one of the safest deadlift variations.

It is suitable for beginners as it allows them to lift the load efficiently.

It works on several muscles at once, including the hamstring and glutes.

You can include this workout in your glutes and hamstring workout routine to boost up lower body strength.

How to do trap or hex bar deadlift

  1. Set the appropriate weight to the hex bar and stand upright in the middle of it, with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Drive your hips backward, and slightly bend your knees to grab the handles of the trap bar.
  3. Keep your core tight, chest up, back straight, and shoulder blades down. This is your starting position.
  4. Inhale and pushing through your heels into the ground, slowly lift the bar with your full strength until your hips are fully extended.
  5. Squeeze your hamstrings and glute for a couple of seconds and then slowly lower the bar on the floor. This is your one repetition.

Depending on your fitness level, use weight and do a specific number of sets and reps.

Related: Sumo Deadlift: Form, How-To, Benefits & More

6 Best Glute and Hamstring Exercises To do At Home

1. Nordic Hamstring Curl

Difficulty: Intermediate

How to:

hamstring and glute workout
  1. Sit on your knees with your upper body fully straight and keep your feet behind you.
  2. Keep your arms cross on your chest and ask your partner to hold your feet firmly.
  3. With your hips extended, slowly lower your torso toward the ground until you can’t longer go down.
  4. When you can’t hold your body, put your hands out in front of you on the floor.
  5. Hold for a moment, and then return your torso to the start. That’s your one rep.
  6. Keep your back straight and core engaged during the entire movement.
  7. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstrings when you lower your trunk.

2. Lying Leg Curl

Difficulty: Beginner

How to:

  1. Lie down on your stomach with your arms comfortably on the floor underneath your chest.
  2. Keeping your hamstring and glute engaged, flex your knees until you feel the contraction.
  3. Pause for a moment, and then extend your legs fully behind you. That’s one repetition.
  4. Do two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps each.

You can use a dumbbell, resistance band, or a water bottle for resistance.

3. Standing Leg Kickback Workout for Hamstrings and Glutes

Difficulty: Beginner

How to:

glute and hamstring workout
  1. Stand upright with your feet together and arms are straight at your sides.
  2. Lift your one leg off the floor and kick behind you until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
  3. Pause for a second and then return your feet on the ground.
  4. Keep doing it for 10 to 15 reps and complete 2 sets each side.

4. Glute to Hamstring Bridge Workout

Difficulty: Beginner

  1. Lie down on your back on the mat with your knees are bent in front of you.
  2. Keep your core tight and arms straight at your sides.
  3. Lift your hips off the ground as high as possible and then raise your one leg straight in front of you until your knee, hip, and shoulder form a straight line.
  4. Hold in that position for a couple of seconds and then return your feet on the floor and raise your another leg.
  5. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstring and glutes muscle during the exercise.
  6. Do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each (with your both foot) with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets.

5. Slide Leg Exercise

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

  1. Lie on your back with your knees are bent to 90-degree and right heel on the slider (you can use anything that can easily slide on the floor).
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides and lift your left leg off the floor until your knee and hip are in a horizontal line and foot facing forward.
  3. Engaging your glutes and hamstring, slide your left feet forward in a slow and controlled manner until it is straight, and then reverse the move to complete one rep.
  4. Do three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each (with your both foot) with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets.

6. Glute Leg Kickback

Difficulty: Beginner

How to:

  1. Sit on your all fours with your arms are straight underneath your shoulders and hips are in line with your knees.
  2. Lift your knee off the floor and kick your feet upward so your heels facing the ceiling.
  3. Squeeze your hamstring and glutes at the top, pause for a couple of seconds and then return your knees on the ground. This is your one rep.
  4. Keep doing it for 10 to 15 reps and complete 2 sets each side.

Hamstring and Glute Workout Routine

4-Week Gym Workout Routine for Developing Powerful Hamstrings and Glutes

Week 1 and 3

  1. Weighted Step up – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  2. Barbell Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 repetitions
  3. Hamstring Curl – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  4. Weighted Glute Bridgle – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  5. Barbell Hip Thrust – 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps

Week 2 and 4

  1. Split Squat / Lunges – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps
  2. Hex Bar Deadlift – 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 repetitions
  3. Barbell Good Morning – 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps
  4. Cable Pull Through – 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 reps
  5. Belt Squat / Hamstring Curl – 3 sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps

References

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