Top 10 Best Bodyweight Hamstring Exercises

Dynamic hamstring exercises are designed to mirror the motions of daily life.

That’s especially crucial these days since our modern cubicle world causes us to have tight hamstrings because we sit on our glutes all day, which causes us to have tight hamstrings.

While pressing up against a tree or grasping their ankles, the majority of people stretch their hamstring muscle.

Take, for example, the people who are limbering up a leg curl before a marathon race for there leg muscle.

There’s nothing wrong with so-called static stretching, but your hamstring muscle are considerably more responsive to static stretching after an exercise, similar to how a heated rubber band makes your hamstrings feel.

Muscle group that are below or is in lower body are also considered as core muscles like the abdominal muscles.

Work these 10 bodyweight hamstring exercises into your regular workout regiment to keep your hamstrings in good shape and prevent hamstring injury.

Hamstring injuries can be fatal to your body like hamstring strains and yet may result into weak hamstrings.

They’ll increase your hamstring flexibility or knee flexion while also challenging your stability, which will provide you with an additional benefit.

Top 10 Best Bodyweight Hamstring Exercises
Top 10 Best Bodyweight Hamstring Exercises

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Best Bodyweight Exercises/Hamstring Workout

1. Hugs on the Knees


For what it’s worth, this easy technique stretches the hamstring and gluteus muscles in your front leg as well as the hip flexor muscles in your back leg.

The way to do it:

Hugs on the Knees

Bring your right knee up to your chest and grab beneath the knee with your hands.

Grasp your right knee and squeeze your left glute while pulling your right knee to your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat the process on the other side of the body.

Continue to alternate the sides for the rest of the game.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

2. Handwalk


This exercise not only helps to lengthen your hamstrings and lower-back muscles, but it also helps to strengthen your shoulders and core.

The way to do it:


Start by keeping your legs straight and your hands on the floor.

Walking your hands out while keeping your legs straight is a good technique.

Then, while maintaining your legs straight, walk your feet back up to your hands and repeat the process.

Take little, tiny steps, solely using your ankles.

Avoid engaging your hips, knees, and quadriceps during your workout.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second break in between each set

3. Inverted Hamstring


Not only does this exercise target your hamstrings, but it also challenges your balance and core strength.

The way to do it:

Inverted Hamstring

Maintain your balance on your right foot while maintaining your belly firm and your shoulders back and forward.

Lie down on your left side with your hands out to the sides and extend your left leg back as you fire your left glute muscle.

Your shoulder and heel should move in unison, making a straight line at the end of the movement. Return to the starting position and switch the legs once again.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

4. Squat-to-Stand Sumo


This increases the flexibility of your hamstrings and serves as an excellent measure of how much space you have to develop, which for most of us is quite a bit of improvement.

The way to do it:

Squat-to-Stand Sumo

Bend at the waist and grab the soles of your big toes.

Pull your hips down till they’re between your ankles while keeping your arms straight inside your knees.

Then elevate your chest off the ground.

Maintain a slight chin tuck while attempting to straighten your legs, gripping onto your toes as you straighten your hip and knee joints.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second break in between each set

5. Unweighted Romanian Deadlift


This famous hamstring workout improves strength in your hamstrings and lower back even when performed without weights.

The way to do it:

Unweighted Romanian Deadlift

Hinge your hips. Instead of bending forward, imagine of the exercise as sitting back with your torso going forward rather than remaining erect..

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second break in between each set

6. Elbow to Instep Lunge


This full-body stretch, dubbed the “world’s biggest stretch” by renowned trainer and author Mark Verstegen, targets your groin, hip flexors, glutes, and most importantly your hamstrings.

How to do it:

Elbow to Instep Lunge

Begin by stepping forward with your left foot into a lunge position.

Placing your right forearm on the ground and your left elbow against the inside of your left foot will help you to balance better.

For two seconds, maintain the stretch.

Then, using your left hand outside your foot, push your hips up, being sure to lift your front toes as you do so. Repeat on the other side.

Step out with your right foot to return to standing posture and repeat the same with your left foot. Continue to alternate the sides for the rest of the game.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

7. Lateral Lunges


Lateral mobility is important in sports and in the motions of everyday life, yet it is overlooked too often in the gym. The lateral lunge works the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, among other muscles.

How to do it:

Lateral Lunges

Take a step to the right, keeping your toes pointed straight ahead and your feet flat on the ground. Squat down as low as you possibly can on your right leg, keeping your left leg as straight as possible.

Maintaining the position for a total of two seconds.

Replace yourself in your starting position and repeat the process for a total of ten times.

Alternate sides.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

8. Sliding Legs


This motion works your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

The way to do it:

Sliding Legs

Lie down face-up on the floor with your arms at your sides, legs straight, and heels resting on the towel on a slick surface (or while in socks on a smooth surface).

Lift your hips off the ground, maintaining a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders, and sliding your heels closer to your body as you go.

Return to the location where you started.

Specified Repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps with a 30 second break in between each set

9. Bound Laterally


Compared to standard stretching exercises, this one helps you develop side-to-side power in your legs while also challenging your hamstrings.

How to do it:

Bound Laterally

Position yourself on your right leg, with your left foot lifted off the floor.

Squat slightly on your right leg and hop laterally with your leg and glutes using your right leg (to the left).

Maintain your balance by landing on the opposing leg.

Make certain that you land gently. Hold for a total of three seconds.

Repeat the process on the other side.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

10. Straight-leg skipping


This workout strengthens your hamstrings while also testing your coordination.

How to do it:

Straight-leg skipping

Lift one leg straight in front of you while simultaneously swinging the opposing arm forward, starting from a standing position. Pulling your heel down to the ground while the other arm and leg swing forward is an excellent technique. As you bring your heel down, make sure you feel the contraction of your hamstrings. Repeat for a total of ten times.

Specified repetitions:

2 sets of 10 reps (per side), with a 30 second rest period between sets.

Is it necessary to do direct bodyweight leg exercises on the hamstrings?

The fact that hamstring activation is minimal during compound lower-body exercises is supported by scientific evidence.

The solution is straightforward for your hamstring strength.

Perform single-joint hamstring exercise or best exercise like donkey kick for hip extension that target them directly.

Bodyweight exercises require the use of additional equipment.

While you may complete all of the exercises listed in this guide without the use of any gym machines or other additional equipment, you may want to consider adding a couple of the following items for added comfort or a more challenging workout.

Bands of Resistance

Exercise using a band is an excellent approach to keep your muscles under tension during an exercise session.

Some common strength training routines that make use of weights only work your muscles in the second and third thirds of a move are referred to as “second two-thirds” moves.

Resistance bands can be used to increase the difficulty of workouts such as the bench press and dumbbell flye by adding resistance to them.

The same can be said for the ten bodyweight hamstring exercises included in this guide to strengthening your hamstrings.

Find a resistance band that will wrap around your thighs or that can be attached to an anchor point to increase the amount of strain placed on your hamstrings for the most intense hamstring workout possible.

Yoga/Exercise Mat (optional)

Most of the time, when doing bodyweight exercises, it’s just you and the ground.

When performing some of these exercises, you may not be in a standing position at all, and even those that are may have a negative influence on your ankles if you are standing on firm ground for an extended period of time.

A soft exercise mat is an excellent method to create a barrier of protection between your body and the ground.

If you’re in a gym, it might be for sanitation reasons, it could be for temperature reasons on hard floors like concrete, or it could simply be for personal choice once you’ve become used to using it.

Ball for Physical Activity

Exercise balls can be used in a variety of ways, contrary to popular belief. In addition to being a tool for developing core strength while sitting at your desk, they also have other uses.

Exercise balls can be used in a variety of exercises such as the hamstring curl and the leg bridge. Additionally, an exercise ball can be used as a platform for single-leg exercise such as the Bulgarian split squat.

Ankle Weights

Additional weight, whether in the form of free weights, kettlebells, or other portable weights, can make bodyweight exercises more strenuous for your hamstrings, while they are by no means needed for them to be effective.

By gripping weights while performing some of the hamstring exercises listed below, you may also give your upper body a good work out as well.


Among the most commonly used muscle groups in the human body, the hamstrings are among the most prominent.

Strong hamstrings will aid in the development of more functional strength and the prevention of injury in one of the most vulnerable areas of the body.

Incorporate some of the hamstring movements described in this tutorial into your next leg training regimen to add significant bulk and strength to your hamstrings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do bodyweight squats work hamstrings?

According to a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the squat is not a very effective strategy to strengthen your hamstrings.
The leg press, which is a similar exercise to the squat but allows for more consistent form than the real activity, was used to measure how much the hamstrings were stimulated by the participants.

Does deadlift work hamstrings?

Deadlifts. “A deadlift is a fundamental full-body movement that primarily works the hamstrings and glutes, which are muscles of strength and stability,” says Kenny Santucci, certified personal trainer and owner of Strong New York. “A deadlift is a fundamental full-body movement that primarily works the hamstrings and glutes, which are muscles of strength and stability.”
During any stage of the movement, rounding the back is permissible.

Do Bridges work hamstrings?

When it comes to glute bridge exercises, they are flexible, difficult, and quite effective. You can include it into any training plan, regardless of your age or fitness level, and get significant results.
The posterior chain, or the rear of your legs, is targeted during this training routine. Your hamstrings and glutes are two of the most important muscles in your posterior chain.