Four of the Best Exercises for Healthy Hamstrings

Train your hammies and get a better butt, too!

Try our 4 best exercises for healthy hamstrings!

We talk about leg day all the time, yet we rarely address the hamstrings specifically. Why is this? Well, when compared to the booty, quads, and calves, they’re just not as noticeable. And, since we tend to focus on the muscles we can see, the hamstrings often get left out. Luckily though, most butt exercises will also work the hamstrings, but it’s a great idea to give them some focus every now and then! This is where the four best exercises for healthy hamstrings come in!

The Importance of Healthy Hamstrings

You use your hamstrings every single day. These back-of-the-thigh muscles are responsible for bending your knees and extending your hips. In other words, tasks like walking, running, and jumping wouldn’t be possible without them! The healthier and stronger your hamstrings are, the easier these crucial, daily movements will be. 

Furthermore, hamstring injuries are also one of the most common activity-related injuries. Conditioning and training these muscles regularly, will not only boost athletic performance, but also help to prevent injury! When your muscles are healthy, your chances of getting injured decrease dramatically!

The Best Exercises for Healthy Hamstrings

Perform these hamstring exercises for strong and healthy legs.

Since some of us are beginners, and others are more advanced, we wanted to give you modified versions of each exercise below. We’ve included instructional videos for both versions of each move to help you understand proper form! 

It’s up to you to decide how you use these hamstring exercises. You can perform each of them in order as their own hamstring-blasting routine! Just follow the instructions for the number of sets and repetitions for each move. Or, you can just incorporate a couple of them into your regular leg day routine!

Exercise 1 – Bridge

Beginner Version: Bridge

Equipment needed: A yoga mat or towel to lay on.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10-15 reps, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 


Advanced Version: Single-Leg Bridge

Equipment needed: A yoga mat or towel to lay on.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10-15 reps per leg, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 

Exercise 2 – Deadlift

Beginner Version: Dumbbell Deadlift

Equipment needed: One set of moderately heavy dumbbells.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10-15 reps, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 


Advanced Version: Single-Leg Deadlift

Equipment needed: A single or one set of moderately heavy dumbbells.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10-15 reps per leg, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 

Exercise 3 – Kettlebell Swing

Beginner Version: Kettlebell Swing

Equipment needed: One moderately heavy kettlebell.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 20 swings, with 30-60 seconds rest in between each set. 


Advanced Version: Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing

Equipment needed: One moderately heavy kettlebell.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 10 swings per arm, with 30-60 seconds rest in between each set. 

Exercise 4 – Box Squats

Beginner Version: Box Squats

Equipment needed: A box, bench, or chair. Added resistance (dumbbells, kettlebell, etc…) is optional.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 8-12 reps, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 


Advanced Version: Single Leg Box Squats

Equipment needed: A box, bench, or chair. Added resistance (dumbbells, kettlebell, etc…) is optional.

Perform 3 to 5 sets of 8-12 reps per leg, with 30 seconds rest in between each set. 


What do you think of our picks for the best exercises for healthy hamstrings? Are any of them already a part of your training routine? Are any of them new to you? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed these hamstring exercises, we think you’d also like to try these awesome leg workouts:

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She’s a Florida girl, currently living in Colorado. Some of her favorite hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. Erin believes that sustainability is the single most important factor to a successful fitness routine. She says, “If you can find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy, there will never be a fitness goal that you can’t achieve!"

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