Hamstring Workout: 7 Best Hamstring Exercises For Running

Hamstring Workout: 7 Best Hamstring Exercises For Running

We often hear about hamstring injuries to athletes from different sports, specifically among runners. Runners face hamstring troubles more often than athletes in other sports. Therefore, they need to build their hamstring muscles stronger than athletes in other sports.

For the purpose of serving such athletes, here are 7 of the best hamstring exercises that runners should do to stay safe from hamstring injuries.

1. How Do I Strengthen My Hamstrings For Running?

However, the best way to strengthen your overall leg muscles is to get into a proper leg workout routine that will help you to strengthen all muscle groups in your legs. Secondly, working out with the weights and performing hamstrings dumbbell or kettlebell exercises also strengthen your hamstrings and increase your running pace.

2. Do Strong Hamstrings Really Help With Running?

The answer is simply yes!. Perhaps, there are two reasons why hamstrings are important for running: to avoid possible injuries and to become stronger and healthier.

Also Read: Hamstring Gym Workout: Best Hamstring Workouts for Beginners

3. Does Running A Complete Workout For Hamstrings?

Running is a complete lower body workout, as it works the muscles in the lower body like quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Moreover, running also works your core muscles like rectus abdominis and obliques. It is also important to strengthen and stretch the muscles which makes it a complete quads and hamstrings workout.

Moreover, working out into a proper outfit also helps by providing a complete range of motion to your leg muscles and if you are doing a lower body workout to recover from injuries, you should be wearing compression pants while working out.

4. What Are The Best Dumbbell Exercises For Hamstrings?

4.1. Deadlift

This is one of the best dumbbell exercises for hamstrings. Deadlift with dumbbells is beneficial in many ways including it helps increase muscle mass, fixing muscle imbalance, extending the range of motion, boosting grip strength, and improving posture. Moreover, this is a beginner-friendly exercise for hamstrings that also increase stability and can be easily done.

Also Read: 13 Facts Every Athlete Should Know About Working Out

Here's how to execute this exercise correctly:

  • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart while holding a pair of dumbbells.
  • Lower the dumbbells down while sending your hips back to hinge the hips.
  • Lower the dumbbells as far as your flexibility
  • Keep your back flat and neck in a natural position, then push your hips forward to bring the dumbbells back up.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

4.2. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

The dumbbell sumo squat is an effective lower-body exercise. It activates all your lower body muscle groups, including your quadriceps, hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and lower-back muscles.

Also Read: Best Back Workouts to Get Lean and Shredded

Here's how to execute this exercise correctly:

  • Start with standing in a nice wide stance with your toes pointing out.
  • Hold the dumbbell from the top between your legs.
  • Lower down your hips and bend your knees to perform a wide squat.
  • Keep your thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Straight your legs completely to stand up and squeeze your glutes while getting back up.

4.3 Reverse Dumbbell Lunges

Reverse lunges activate your hamstrings, glutes, and core. They provide a bit more stability in your front leg and put less stress on your joints. Moreover, reverse dumbbell lunges are ideal for people who have knee problems, less hip mobility, and difficulty balancing.

Here's how to execute this exercise correctly:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the dumbbells in each of your hands.
  • Keep your arms hanging straight by your sides.
  • Keep your chest out and take a big step backward.
  • Drop your rear knee to the floor as much as possible while keeping your front shin as straight as possible.
  • Get back to the relaxed straight position by using your leg muscles and thrusting your core.
  • Repeat and follow the steps with the other leg.

5. Best Hamstring Strengthening Exercises For Runners

5.1. Single-Leg RDL’s

The single-leg Romanian deadlifts are quite effective for the stance phase of the stride as they load the hamstrings when they shorten. The shortening and lengthening of hamstrings have a critical role in helping runners control their speed and movement. Besides, this exercise is also effective for strengthening hip muscles as it is a single-leg exercise.

Here's how to execute this exercise correctly:

  • Get into a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent knees while raising one leg off the floor. You should also have a dumbbell or kettlebell in your hand while doing so.
  • Keep your back arched naturally and hinge at your hips while lowering your body to almost parallel to the ground, without making any adjustments to your bent knee.
  • Lower your dumbbell/kettlebell-holding hand while keeping your arms straight in this position.
  • Before returning to the starting position, take a brief pause in this position. Squeeze your glutes, press your hips forward, and then elevate your torso to the beginning position.
  • Complete three sets of six to eight reps with a moderate to heavyweight.

5.2. Nordic Hamstring Curls

It has been seen that runners most commonly face hamstring injuries, and to avoid these, Nordic hamstring curls are found effective. This exercise not only stretches the muscles but also improves their strength. However, it should be done cautiously as it can cause soreness.

Here is how you can do this exercise effectively to have maximum gains.

  • To get into the starting position, get on your knees with a cushion or a pad underneath for support, while anchoring your lower legs under any immovable equipment such as a smith machine. You can also use a partner for the same purpose.
  • Keep your ankles and feet in line with your knees, and you should keep your shoulders by your hips with a neutral neck and head position. While doing so, your chin should be tucked throughout the movement.
  • Now place your arms at your sides and pre-tension your hips and shoulders with your pelvis slightly tucked. Engage your core while squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. This is your starting position to perform this exercise.
  • To proceed, slowly lower your body towards the ground while keeping it straight from head to knees.
  • Then gently release and catch yourself using your hands.
  • Then, pull your body back to the starting position by maintaining your body alignment and squeezing your hamstrings.
  • Repeat as many times as you like or as many times as your body allows.

5.3. Eccentric Bridges

After the Nordic hamstring curls, the eccentric bridge is an excellent exercise that runners should do to strengthen the hamstrings as it stretches. This exercise loads the hamstrings in the same way that it happens when a runner picks up the pace and the hamstring produces force by lengthening.

Also Read: Lower Body Workouts for Boxers to Strengthen Their Legs

Here is how you should be doing this exercise effectively:

  • You will start this exercise by laying on your back on mats with your hands resting on your chest.
  • Bring your feet close to your hips in a position where your knees are at 90 degrees to the ground.
  • Now lift your hips up by engaging your core, torso, and hamstrings and move your feet slightly forward.
  • Bring your feet back and lower your hips to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

5.4. Leg Curl With Exercise Ball

The exercise ball leg curls are beneficial in increasing your lower body strength, building muscles, increasing core strength, and also helping with weight loss. Moreover, this exercise conditions your legs primarily the glutes and hamstrings.

Also Read: Best Beginner Ab Workout: How to Build Abs of Steel

Here is how you should be doing this exercise effectively:

  • Lie on the ground with your face up and heels on an exercise ball.
  • Form a straight line from head to knees by lifting your pelvis.
  • Exhale and then roll the ball towards your glutes by using your heels.
  • Roll the ball back and lower your hips as reversing the movement.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Photo credit: ndtv

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