If you have weak hamstrings, then there’s a strong chance that you are not doing the best suitable exercises. The hamstring muscles play an important role in most leg movements. This group of muscles balances the actions of the quadriceps and keeps your pelvis and spine neutral when you move your hips and legs. So it is important to focus on your hamstrings and do the necessary exercises for their strengthening and mass gaining.
Table of Contents
- 1. What Are the Best Hamstring Exercises for Mass?
- 1.1. Kettlebell Swings
- 1.2. Barbell Back Squat
- 1.3. Bulgarian Split Squat
- 1.4. Lying Leg Curls
- 1.5. Clean Deadlift
- 1.6. Romanian Deadlift
- 1.7. Below Parallel Squats
- 1.8. Kettlebell One-Legged Deadlift
- 1.9. Power Clean
- 1.10. Sumo Deadlift
- 1.11. Power Snatch
- 1.12. Power Clean From Blocks
- 1.13. Hang Snatch
- 2. Takeaway
1. What are the Best Hamstring Exercises for Mass?
It is vital to work on muscle gain if you want to have strong hamstrings. Here are some of the best exercises that can help you gain mass in your hamstring muscles so you can look fabulous in your gym wear.
1.1. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are an outstanding movement for developing stronger, more powerful, and bulkier hamstrings.
Follow the below guidelines to perform this exercise effectively to maximize your gains.
- You will start this exercise in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in front of you while keeping your chest up.
- Now squat down while keeping your spine neutral and gripping the kettlebell handle with both hands.
- Now stand tall and shift your weight to your heels while pushing your bum backward.
- Drive through your heels and power your hips forward and swing the weight upwards.
- Keep the movement controlled and ensure that you are driving from your lower body without pulling from your upper body.
1.2. Barbell Back Squat
Back squats are another excellent movement that not only improves your quads but also helps you gain mass in your hamstrings. The deeper you make your squats, the more effectively you can engage your hamstrings.
To perform it correctly, here are some easy steps to follow.
- Pick up a barbell and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With a full grip on the bar, place it on your upper back and bring your hands a little outside of your shoulders. While doing so, keep your elbows pointed out.
- Now engage your core and squat down by pushing your hips backward and keeping your spine neutral.
- While squatting down, your heels must be down and your knees should be in line with your toes.
- Stay there for a moment and then, using your glutes and hamstrings, push yourself upwards to the starting position.
1.3. Bulgarian Split Squat
Bulgarian split squats are an amazing exercise for those who want to build their leg muscles, including hamstrings. To perform this exercise, you need a bench and a pair of dumbbells.
Here is how you can perform this extraordinary exercise to gain mass in your hamstrings.
- To perform Bulgarian split squats, stand two to three feet in front of a bench at knee height. Extend one of your legs back to rest on your toes on the bench. Now square your hips and shoulders.
- By keeping your chest up, slowly lower your right knee to the floor and make a 90-degree angle with your front knee.
- Reverse the previous move and get into the starting position.
1.4. Lying Leg Curls
Another effective exercise that you should do to gain mass for your hamstrings is lying leg curls, which is not as easy as it may seem. This exercise mainly targets hamstring muscles. To perform this exercise, you will need a hamstring curl machine that you can easily find at any gym around you.
Here is how you should be performing it appropriately.
- Start by lying down on a leg curl machine with keeping pads on the backside of your legs. Make sure the pads are positioned a few inches under your calves.
- Now stretch out your legs fully and hold the side handles of the hamstring curl machine while keeping your torso flat on the bench.
- Now curl your lower legs up as much as you can and keep your upper legs on the pads while doing so. When you get your legs fully contracted, stay there for a moment.
- In the meantime, bring your legs back to the initial position and inhale.
1.5. Clean deadlift
This would be terrible if you skipped and didn’t include the clean deadlift exercise in this list for bulking up your hamstrings. The clean deadlift exercise is slightly different from other conventional deadlift exercises. It gives more intensity to your hammies instead of your lower back.
Here we have instructions to perform it for absolute results:
- Start by slightly moving your feet out and setting the barbell a little closer to your shins.
- Now grab the bar with a double overhand grip at shoulder-width apart. And get closer to the bar while squatting.
- Keep your back as straight as you can and make sure that your shoulders are angled in front of the barbell.
- Now keep your spine extended, assume an upright position and start lifting the bar while keeping your abs engaged.
- To avoid touching the bar, keep your knees out to the side.
- Finish the movement when the bar is up to your knees. Now move your hips closer to the bar till your knees and hips are stretched out.
1.5.1. What is an Overhand grip?
When your palms face away from you while gripping the bar, this grip is called an overhand grip. It is also called “pronated grip.”
1.6. Romanian deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is the key to bigger and stronger legs. This is an excellent workout to strengthen the muscles that make up the back of your body. It mainly targets the glutes, hamstrings, and core.
Here we have an in-depth step-by-step breakdown of how to perform this exercise optimally:
- Start this exercise by placing a barbell in front of you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
- Now hinge forward at the hips, keeping your spine extended and straight as your body reaches towards the floor.
- Grip the barbell with both hands, shoulder-width apart. Look down and a bit forward to adjust your neck with the rest of your back and also avoid hyperextension.
- Stretch your glutes and hamstrings and push your feet into the ground to stand up straight and aligned.
- Now start lifting weights to just above your upper thighs and lock your hips at the top.
- Repeat the movement depending on your flexibility and stamina, while maintaining a flat back and a slight bend in your knees.
1.7. Below parallel squats
Below, parallel squats are the most common exercise for the hamstrings. It is a very simple exercise in which you simply lower your hips until the top of your thighs is parallel with the floor. But, if your form and posture are not correct, you may face severe issues with your knees and back. So here we have detailed instructions to perform it correctly.
Steps to follow:
- Start your exercise and take a position by supporting a barbell on your shoulders. Your head should face straight ahead while your chest should be up. Place your feet hip-width apart.
- Now move in the lower direction by dropping your knees rather than moving your hips back.
- While moving your knees forward, make sure that you are aligned with your feet.
- Keep repeating your move in a disciplined manner till your upper legs touch your lower legs. Make a note to keep the weight on the front of the feet.
- Once you complete the move, reverse the body motion and push yourself back to the initial position.
1.8. Kettlebell one-legged deadlift
The one-legged deadlift with a kettlebell is the most basic and effective hamstring exercise for mass gain. This exercise specifically targets your butt muscles and improves your strength while toning your body simultaneously.
How to do a kettlebell one-legged deadlift?
- To start this exercise, hold a kettlebell in your right hand and lift your left foot moderately off the ground.
- Keep your back straight and lean your upper body forward while lifting your left leg, which should stay aligned with your body.
- With your back straight, slowly return your upper body to its starting position. This move will complete one rep.
- Repeat this sequence and do 12 reps on each leg.
1.9. Power Clean
Power clean is a dynamic exercise that works the glutes and hamstrings. Power clean can blast those extra calories which restrict the muscles’ ability to gain mass. This exercise is adapted to a variety of sports to improve coordination and strength. This dynamic exercise trains almost every major muscle in your body.
Here we have instructions below to perform the power clean exercise
- Start this exercise with a bar placed on the floor. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Grip the bar by reaching down with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Drag the bar off the floor by extending your legs powerfully. Keep your back flat and your chest up.
- The bar should be pulled vertically in a straight line, not towards you like during a deadlift.
- When the bar is above your knees, shift your torso to a standing position and slightly bend your knees.
- Now it is time for the second pull and the most powerful portion of this exercise. Initiate the second pull by furiously jumping straight up, extending your hips, knees, and ankles, while bouncing the bar with your shoulders.
- Try to keep the bar closest to your body. Gently move into a quarter squat position with your back straight. Then slightly bend your knees and hips.
- Move your elbows forward to rotate them around and grip the bar in the racked position with your fingertips under the bar.
- After this move, you are in a standing position. From this position, drop the bar to the ground in front of you.
1.10. Sumo deadlift
The sumo deadlift is another great exercise. One of the main benefits of sumo deadlifts is that they recruit musculature throughout your total body. It mainly focuses on the hips, glutes, back, and core. This exercise allows you to drive more from the legs because of the wider stance, which reduces the load on the lower back. These moves make this exercise safer for beginners.
Here we have a guide on how to properly sumo deadlift.
- Start the exercise by standing with your feet wider than your hips. Turn your feet out, about 45 degrees. Your legs should be straight.
- Now bend at the hips and move your body down to grab the bar. Your hands should be in between your thighs and straightly aligned with your shoulders.
- You can use an overhand grip or a mixed (one underhand, one overhand) grip. Now stretch your shoulder back by maintaining your flat back.
- Now it is time to pull, but make sure that the bar is as close to your shins as possible.
- Drive your feet into the ground, inhale and exhale, and start pulling up on the bar. Expand your hips and legs at the top of the lift.
- Move back to the starting position while keeping the core engaged.
1.11. Power snatch
The power snatch is one of the best exercises that can be performed to enhance your full-body power. This exercise mainly focuses on building absolute strength. It is also a good exercise for developing the mass in the hamstrings. Power snatch suits you perfectly by providing enough load to stimulate strength gains while enhancing your ability to apply the force rapidly.
Jump down to read step-by-step instructions for how to power snatch.
- Place a bar about over the middle of your feet.
- Now bend forward to grip the bar with a wide overhand grip.
- Now lower your hips close to the ground, hold your breath, and slowly brace your core.
- Now lift the bar smoothly but quickly in motion.
- While lifting, extend your legs and knees together.
- Lift the bar at maximum speed, bend your knees slowly and support the bar with straight arms over your head.
- Stand up straight, and then lower the bar in a drop position in front of you.
1.12. Power clean from blocks
The power clean from blocks is a variation of the power clean exercise. It is also a full-body exercise that strengthens your core, back, and hamstrings. This exercise is different in that you perform this exercise with the weight elevated by blocks.
Perform power clean from blocks exercise by following the steps:
- First, place a bar on blocks, slightly above your knees.
- Stand on your feet with shoulders width apart, turn your toes a little out, and hold your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Lean forward from your hip and move your chest up while looking straight.
- Now shrug the bar forcefully while jumping straight.
- When the bar passes over your shoulders, move your elbows around the bar in a forward-facing direction.
- Get back into a quarter squat position while dropping the bar and placing the bar clean on the blocks, keeping your hands outside of your shoulders.
- Reverse the movement by moving your elbows around the bar and bringing the bar back to its starting position.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps.
1.13. Hang Snatch
Hang snatch is another effective exercise that activates muscle groups across your body, which mainly includes hamstrings, triceps, and glutes. This exercise is a great moderate move for all those who want to strengthen and gain mass in their hamstrings.
Read the steps to perform the hang snatch exercise:
- Stand on your feet shoulder-width apart with a wide overhand grip on the barbell.
- Start your exercise by bending your knees and lowering your hips, allowing the barbell to slide down your upper thighs.
- Now stand up and flip the bar up and take it overhead in the semi-squat position.
- Keep squatting down until your thighs become parallel.
- Come up out of the squat to your initial position.
- Drop the bar in front of you or lower it into a hang position.
You might be here to find the best exercises for hamstrings to gain muscle mass. Above are the best hamstring exercises for you to upgrade your leg workout. These exercises are appropriate for all skill levels, from beginner to athlete. Select the best one that suits your needs and comfort. Every workout should produce absolute results when it should be done on the appropriate platform and in the perfect workout outfit.