It’s no secret here that I love leg day. I think a lot of females love working legs (although males shouldn’t forget them either, cough cough!). Yes, glutes are probably the most fun because who doesn’t love growing their booty, even if it’s only for your own viewing pleasure. I’ll admit, I check my own butt out in the mirror. No shame! 🙂
But hamstrings and quads are equally as important not only for looks, but to improve strength for deadlifts, squats and just, ya know, your general health and mobility in life! Today we’re talking about my favorite exercises to target your hamstrings.
Next time, we’ll cover quads 🙂
A lot of exercises, such as squats, target your whole leg (not just your hamstrings) but today I really wanted to focus on exercises where you mostly felt the burn in your hamstrings. Squats are, of course, a great hamstring exercise (and all over exercise) but you all probably know that already.
Let’s talk about some you may not have tried already, why don’t we?
1. Romanian Deadlift from Deficit
I love these because you really get a good stretch in your hamstrings and unlike traditional deadlifts, you will feel more tension right in those hamstrings. Adding a bit of a deficit to these by standing on a box or stacked plates adds to the stretch and difficulty.
Here’s how to do it. As you can see above, I didn’t include photo of myself this time around like I do with most of these posts. With just a few weeks to go in my pregnancy I’m really becoming limited on exercises that feel comfortable, not saying that all pregnant woman wouldn’t be able to do it!
2. Seated Leg Curl
The hamstring curl machine is such an obvious, easy one. Nothing complicated about this machine, but I couldn’t NOT include it. It’s a go-to, must do when targeting hamstrings. In case you don’t know which machine I’m referring to, this is it.
My favorite way to use it is either by burning out with as many as I can do at the end of my workout or doing a drop set. This means, whenever I reach failure, I quickly lower the weight and continue on with the set. I usually reduce the weight two or three times in a drop set, then go until failure.
3. Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
I just recently started working with kettlebells as I hadn’t previously realized how great they are. This one takes some balance and core strength, but aside from that you should really feel it in your hamstrings. They also help with hip mobility! Definitely something I need!
And here is another handy-dandy video, as always!