Strengthen Your Hamstrings With this Dynamic Workout

(Image credit: unknown)

The muscles at the rear of your thighs have a key strength-providing role in almost every movement you make, from jumping to simply bending your knees. They also work in tandem with the quads, contracting as they lengthen to steady your forward momentum. Because of this, they need to be strong and supple, which means training them dynamically from different angles with enough intensity to build new muscle. This hamstring-specific workout below will do exactly that.  

One-legged bodyweight deadlift

Fire up the stabilising muscles while warming up the hamstrings.

Target hamstrings

Sets 2  Reps 10 each side

  • Bend at the hips, letting your arms hang straight.
  • Keep the back leg off the floor between reps.

Jumping lunge

This stretches the hamstrings, then explosively contracts to target the fast-twitch muscle fibres.

Target hamstrings, glutes

Sets 2  Reps 10 each side

  • Lower until the rear knee is just off the floor.
  • Explode up and switch legs in mid-air. 

Stiff-legged Romanian deadlift

Reducing the bend in your knees works the hamstrings harder.

Target hamstrings, lower back

Sets 2  Reps 10

  • Bend at the hips and keep your lower back in a neutral position.
  • Don’t let the bar touch down between sets.

Transverse dumbbell lunge


(Image credit: unknown)

Work the muscles on your inner thigh in tandem with your hamstrings

Target adductors

Sets 2  Reps 8 each side

  • Lunge and turn to face the side in a single movement.
  • Keep your rear foot facing forwards.

Reverse dumbbell lunge

This hits your hams from an unusual angle and promotes muscle co-ordination.

Targets hamstrings

Sets 2  Reps 8 each side

  • Keep your foot aligned with your hip as you step back.
  • Keep your shoulders back and level.

Gym ball raise to curl

Target your hip flexors and then call on your hamstrings to bend your legs.

Targets hamstrings, hip flexors

Sets 2  Reps 10

  • Lift your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your neck to your knees.
  • Tense your hamstrings and glutes to roll the ball towards you.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.