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Hamstring Running Exercises

A Complete Guide To Hamstring Running Exercises

Hamstring running exercises are a great way to improve your speed and endurance. The hamstring muscles are located at the back of the thigh, and they help you bend your knee and extend your hip. They also play an important role in powering you forward and keeping your body in a neutral position (straight line with a slight lean forward) when running.

By implementing regular hamstring running exercises into your training, you can develop muscles that can help you run faster and longer.

While many different hamstring running exercises exist, this article focuses on the best hamstring exercises for runners. We even include ones you can do with or without weights.

 

Should Runners Strengthen Hamstrings?

There’s no doubt that strong hamstrings are important for runners. After all, they help power your strides and keep you moving forward. But are hamstring strengthening exercises really necessary?

The answer is yes, and it doesn’t matter what type of runner you are. For a sprinter, hamstring exercises can build up your muscles to improve your explosive speed. On the other hand, if you’re a long-distance runner, they may help you become more resilient to injuries and help you will better your running form and efficiency.

Of course, there’s no harm in doing some hamstring strengthening exercises even if you don’t think you need them. Hamstring exercises can help improve your running stride, prevent muscle fatigue, and reduce your chances of injury. Many studies prove this.

Best Hamstring Strengthening Exercises For Runners

1. Hamstring Curl with Resistance Band

Lie flat on your back and anchor the resistance band around something sturdy, and then hook the resistance band around your ankles. Curl your legs up towards your glutes, and squeeze your hamstrings at the top of the curl. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower back down. To increase the load, move further away from the anchor point, this will increase the tension on the resistance band. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

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2. Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

Position a Swiss ball at your feet before lying down on your back with your palms flat on the floor. Place your heels on top of the ball, then press your hips and glutes off the floor. Dig your heels into the ball as you curl it toward your glutes. Reverse the motion, and press the Swiss ball away from your glutes to return to the starting position.
Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

3. Hamstring Curl with Dumbbell

Lie facing down on a bench with a dumbbell between your feet. Place your hands on either side of the bench for support.
While keeping your core engaged, lift your left legs towards your buttocks and curl the dumbbell toward your glutes. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the curl, then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

4. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands and stand on your left foot, keeping your left leg slightly bent.
Hinge at your hip to lower your torso and the dumbbell toward the floor, allowing your right leg to raise behind you until both legs are parallel to the floor.
Keeping your core engaged, press through your left heel to return to standing. Do two to three sets of 10-12 reps.

 

Hamstring Exercises No Equipment

1. Walking Lunge

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, then take a large step forward with your left foot, lowering your body until both legs form 90-degree angles.
Your front knee should be directly above your ankle, and your back knee should be hovering just off the floor.
Keeping your core engaged, press off your front foot to return to standing, then bring your back foot forward to meet your left.
Do 10-12 reps before switching sides and repeating with your right leg leading.

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2. Clamshell

While this exercise mainly focuses on the Glutes, it can still be beneficial in strengthening the connective muscles to the hamstrings.
Lie on your right side with both legs bent to 90 degrees and feet together, propped up on your forearm.
Keeping your feet touching, lift your left leg toward the ceiling without moving your pelvis or torso.
Pause for two seconds at the top of the lift, then slowly lower your leg back to the starting position.
Do 10-12 reps before switching sides and repeating with your right leg lifted.

3. Single Leg Glute Bridge Hold

Lie flat on your back with your palms facing down on the ground. Extend your legs so they create a 45-degree bend.
Drive your heels into the ground and lift one leg out in front of you, extending your hips until your thighs and torso are in line. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge.
Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower your leg back to the starting position. Alternate between legs and perform three sets of 10-12 reps.

4. Double-leg Hip Thrust

Sit on the floor with a Resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
Lie back on the floor and place your feet flat on the ground with your legs bent to 90 degrees.
Drive your heels into the ground and use your glutes to lift your hips off the floor until your thighs and torso are in line with each other.
Squeeze your glutes at the top of the thrust, then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

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5. Bulgarian Split Squat

Stand in a lunge position with your right foot forward and left foot back, left ankle on top of a bench behind you.
Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
Press through your right heel to return to the starting position.
Do 10-12 reps before switching sides and repeating with your left leg forward. To place more emphasis on the hamstrings, place a dumbbell in each hand.

6. Walking Lunge

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, then take a large step forward with your left foot, lowering your body until both legs form 90-degree angles.
Your front knee should be directly above your ankle, and your back knee should be hovering just off the floor.
Keeping your core engaged, press off your front foot to return to standing, then bring your back foot forward to meet your left.
Do 10-12 reps before switching sides and repeating with your right leg leading.

 

Hamstring Running Exercises – Final Words

By including these hamstring strengthening exercises in your workout routine, you can help prevent injuries and improve your running performance.

Build up slowly, adding a set or two each week until you’re doing three sets of each exercise twice a week.

Remember to focus on quality over quantity—it’s better to do 10 perfect reps than 20 half-hearted ones.

And as always, listen to your body; if an exercise feels too difficult or causes pain, stop and try something else.

With consistency and patience, you’ll be rewarded with stronger hamstrings that can help you run faster, longer, and injury-free.