There are numerous routines that are present all over the internet that provides you with ways to strengthen your hamstrings.

However, most of the time the problem is not with the strength of the hamstrings, it is how you are doing it.

In this post, I’m covering the mistakes that you may be making while strengthening your hamstrings.

Mistakes While Strengthening Hamstrings

Muscles that make up the hamstring…

Before we dive into the mistakes of strengthening your hamstrings, we need to know the structure of your hamstrings.

The hamstring is not formed with one muscle…but is actually a group of muscles that work together to help you with all the complex movements relating to walking, running, bending, etc.

Hamstring muscles

Hamstring muscles (Image curtsy: OrthoInfo)

If you have stiffness in any of the muscles of the hamstring then you will have a problem with movement or exercise.

Also, you may have pain in the knees due to instability.

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One of the main mistakes while strengthening hamstrings is that most people skip the stretching routine.

If you don’t stretch before the strengthening, the muscles will remain stiff. When you try to workout with these stiff muscles you may end up having an injury.

Also, if you don’t do stretching properly before strengthening exercises, the overall volume and strength of the muscles will not improve.

Stretching and mobility exercise routine

Here is a simple stretching and mobility exercise routine that will help you prep your hamstrings for the upcoming strength training routine.

Standing forward bend

This is one of the best exercises to stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles. It will stretch all the muscles of your hamstrings properly and will eliminate any stiffness. Steps
  • Stand with your legs slightly apart.
  • Raise your hands above your head.
  • Now fold forward and try to go down as much as possible.
  • Once you are into forwarding bend with each exhale and try to go slightly more down.
  • Hold this pose for 30 secs and 3 sets.
 

Side Leg Lift Pose

Steps

  • Lie down on your side with your body and leg in almost a straight line.
  • Lift the top leg as high as possible.
  • Then bring it down without touching the leg which is below.
  • Do this for 20 rounds and 3 sets.

 

Seated forward bend

This forward bending is as effective as its standing counterpart. Also, there are some more variations that you can do with the hand which can deepen the pose. Steps
  • Sit on the floor with your back straight.
  • Lift both your hands above the head.
  • Lengthen your torso as much as possible.
  • Now with an exhale fold forward.
  • When you are in the pose, try to deepen the pose with each exhale.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs and for 3 sets.
 

Half moon

This is a pose that not only stretches your hamstrings but also improves your focus. Steps
  • Stand on the floor with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Now bend down until your back is parallel to the floor.
  • Touch the ground with both of your hands.
  • Now with an exhale lift your left leg up until it is in a straight line with your body.
  • Your right leg is firmly planted on the floor.
  • Now rotate your body so that your body the leg are facing the front wall.
  • Raise your left arm up while holding your gaze at the tip of the left arm.
  • Hold this pose for 30 secs and for 3 sets.
 

Half split

Steps
  • Stand on the floor with your knees.
  • The knees should be hip-width apart.
  • Bring the left leg to the front while not moving the right one.
  • Fold forward slightly with both of your arms placed on either side of the leg.
  • Now deepen the pose, until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
  • Hold this pose for 30 secs and for 3 sets.
 

Downward Dog

Steps
  • Come on all floors.
  • Now raise your hips while keeping the palms and the feet on the ground until your body is an inverted V.
  • Try to keep the heels on the floor.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs, for 3 sets.
 

Strengthening Exercises For Hamstrings

Once you have stretched the hamstrings follow the below exercise routine to strengthen your hamstrings.

Lying Leg Curl

Steps

  • Lie down on your abs.
  • Hold a weight that is comfortable for you between your feet.
  • Now using your hamstrings bring the heels to your glute.
  • Now take the heels back until it is around 60 degrees above the ground.
  • Do this for 20 reps, 3 sets.

Precaution: Don’t use a weight that is too heavy for you. This will get your hip raised from the floor. This will increase the chances of your lower back injuries.

Stiff Leg Dead Lift

Steps
  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell in your hand with a weight that is comfortable for you.
  • Now lower down gradually by pushing your hip backward.
  • Don’t move your arm at all.
  • Go down until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Now slowly come back to the standing position.
  • Do this 20 times, 3 sets.
Precaution: Don’t use a weight that is too heavy for you. Also, don’t do this exercise, if you have glutes or lower back mobility issues. If so, improve their mobility first, before trying this exercise.

Single Leg Dead Lift

Steps
  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell in one of your hands. You can use a barbell also once you progress.
  • Now keep the arm where it is and raise your left leg until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • In this position, your hand will be hanging just above the ground.
  • Go down until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Now slowly come back to the standing position.
  • Do this 20 times, 3 sets.
Precaution: Don’t use a weight that is too heavy for you. Don’t use a barbell at the start as you may not be able to get the hang of the movement. Also, do not try this exercise if you have weak glutes or a weak lower back.
Hamstring Strengthening mistakes to avoid
Madhusree Basu

Madhusree Basu

Author, Admin

Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.

Sourav Sarkar

Sourav Sarkar

Reviewer, Certified Fitness Instructor

Certified fitness trainer and an ex-professional bodybuilder, he has trained more than 500 fitness enthusiasts and has more than 15 years of on-the-job experience.