It does not matter if you are a sportsman or a normal person. Training your hamstring will help you in preventing injury, improve athletic performance, and gives a strong lower thrust to pull weights. But do you need weights to build your hamstring, absolutely not, the studies show that if you target all hamstring muscles without any weight, you can still build a strong hamstring.
Before directly jumping to exercise. First, let’s see how many muscles us there in hamstrings and we can target them all with hamstring exercises without weights.
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Hamstring contains four muscles starting from the top is semimembranosus, followed by semitendinosus at the middle, and next sitting at side lateral you have bicep femoris this muscle further has two different types i.e long head short head.
Three muscles expect bicep femoris short head are bicir, they cross both hip joint and knee joint, helps in performing hip extension exercises and knee flex exercises like squats.
Basically, these muscles extend the hips and flex the knees. And the one short head only crosses the knee joint helps in the knee flex.
And now we know that our hamstrings have four muscles which can be targeted by performing hip extension exercises and hamstring exercises without weights.
Recommended : Glute Activation Exercises at Home
Hamstring exercises without weights
Seated rowing machine
One of the best exercises to target your hamstrings only. This exercise can be performed at the gym. Seated is best because in this exercise, your hips set extended and knees are flexed when you perform the movement.
How to perform
● Put your both feet on the rowing machine and your upper body relaxed at the floor.
● Perform the movement by decreasing the distance between your lower legs and hamstrings.
● Then extend the legs straight to feel stretch in hamstrings. This exercise is also proved best to activate your glutes because it targets the same muscles of your hips. See extended which helps put tension on glute muscles and when you flex your knees in and out, you basically target your hamstrings.
● Follow 12 rep range for 4 sets, as there no weight you still feel pain and tension in your hamstring.
You can perform this exercise at home or at the gym. For home, you can use the help of other people to hold your legs or simply take any resistance that prevents your legs come up.
If you are at the gym you can simply use lap pulldown machine. This exercise is a great mass builder for your hamstring and you get minimal spine stress, unlike deadlifts which can cause you injuries to your spine.
How to perform
● Simply sit on your knees, making a 90-degree angle.
● Get the support from lap pull-down machine or anything you find at home that keeps your feet and legs at a place like – pole or other person help.
● Now slowly bow down forward towards the floor and get back up by following the same motion. If you are doing it at home, you can always use your hands to save yourself to hit the floor. You basically do a quick push up to push you back up when you do this on the floor.
● The second way to do it is by extending your hips outwards. So that when you perform the exercise your hip and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
This is the easy form yet the effective one as shown by studies, where you only take the upper region of your body down.
The best exercise to target both hamstrings and glutes at the same time. This exercise is easy and you can perform it at home or gym, you just need a medium height bench or chair to perform the movement.
How to perform
● Put your feet on the bench and body sited at the floor.
● Now, push your hips up without letting the shoulders up.
● The high you go, more the flex you get in your knees and more you extend your hips.
● Make sure to squeeze hard when you go up to create more tension on your hamstring muscles.
● Do 10 to 12 rep range for 4 sets to really feel the burn in hamstrings. After doing 2 sets full, you start feeling the real pain or burn in your hamstrings.
Single leg glute-ham curl
This exercise can be performed at home on the floor without weights. To perform this exercise make sure first you get the right muscle mind connection.
How to perform
● Put your one knee or leg down on the floor and one straight up.
● You basically have to make a push-up position where your one knee is down and one leg is up.
● Now perform the leg curl movement with the one leg up. You have to decrease the distance between your lower leg and hamstring by bending your knee full and then stretching it out back slowly(contract and release your hamstring).
● Now, do the same for another hamstring by interchanging the leg positions.
● If you develop a good muscle mind connection you will start feeling the tension in your hamstring in the first set. That said, follow the same 10 to 12 rep range for 3 sets. As this seems easy but hardest to perform.
Hanging hamstring curl
Great way to target your core, hamstring, and hips. As it seems easy but one of the hardest to perform. You can do it at home or at the gym. This exercise is the best combination of knee flex and hip extension. This is one of the best hamstring exercises without weights, targets all muscles of the hamstring.
How to perform
● Take one bar and bench (optional)(, you can also do it without a bench.
● Hang on to the bar with your knee bend making a 90-degree angle.
● Perform the movement by pushing your body forward with hips and hamstring squeezed, make sure not to put tension on your lower back when performing this movement.
● Now, come back to the initial position. you can also do it with one leg which makes it one leg hanging hamstring curl ( while performing this movement make sure your one leg is up parallel to the floor, basically in the air).
If you develop muscle mind connection, then push yourself to one leg hamstring curl, as it will put more tension on one hamstring and makes the movement hard to perform