Like most people, you probably wonder whether you can do an effective hamstring workout at home.
After all, it seems that the best exercises require special gym machines, so what would the alternatives be if you don’t have access to those?
Fortunately, training the hamstrings at home is possible with the right exercises and a can-do attitude.
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Can You Do a Hamstring Workout at Home?
Prevailing wisdom suggests that training the hamstrings at home is impossible, or close to that, because:
a) There aren’t any exercises to do at home
b) It’s impossible to overload the muscles for ongoing growth
Fortunately, that’s not true. Sure, it’s somewhat more challenging to train the hamstrings at home, but there are effective exercises you can do and ways to create the necessary overload.
As with any muscle, it all comes down to understanding how the hamstrings work to find the best ways to train them.
The hamstrings, which make up the back of the thighs, are involved in hip extension (driving the hips forward as you stand up, such as during deadlifts) and knee flexion (bending your legs, such as during lying leg curls).
Some effective hamstring exercises you could do at home for both movement patterns include:
- Nordic hamstring curls
- Slick floor hamstring curls
- Romanian deadlift and single-leg Romanian deadlift
- Reverse lunges
- Glute bridge and single-leg glute bridge
You can learn more about some of these exercises and how to perform them here.
Without further ado, let’s dive into two effective hamstring workouts you can do at home.
Hamstring Workout at Home: 2 Options
Workout 1: Beginner-Intermediate
|Romanian Deadlift||3||10-12||1.5-2 minutes|
|Glute Bridge||2||20-25||1-1.5 minutes|
As you can see, this workout doesn’t have a ton of training volume because it’s generally not necessary to see results at this stage.
That said, you can add an optional third exercise, such as Nordic hamstring curls or reverse lunges, once you become an intermediate. Alternatively, do one or two extra sets on the two existing exercises for more volume. (1)
Workout 2: Advanced
|Nordic Hamstring Curl||3-4||Close to failure||1.5-2.5 minutes|
|Slick Floor Hamstring Curl||3-4||Close to failure||1.5-2 minutes|
|Romanian Deadlift||3||12-15||1.5-2 minutes|
There are three notable differences between this workout and the previous one:
- There are more exercises.
- The overall volume (sets) is higher.
- It’s recommended to take your sets close to failure on two of the exercises.
This is necessary for more advanced people to continue growing and getting stronger.
Tips to Make Any Hamstring Workout at Home More Effective
1. Get a Pair of Dumbbells
Having even one pair of fixed-weight dumbbells at home allows you to do more exercises. A couple of pairs is even better because you can adjust the difficulty as you see fit.
For instance, start with the lighter pair for Romanian deadlifts and move on to the heavier ones as you get stronger. (2)
For even more flexibility, get a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
2. Do Slow and Controlled Reps
The hamstrings are somewhat challenging to target. One reason could be that we generally don’t see the muscle and must train by feeling, which requires experience.
One effective way to target the hamstrings better is to slow down and train at an even tempo of 2:2:2: extend your knees for two seconds, pause for two seconds, and flex them for two seconds.
For Romanian deadlifts, lower the weights for two seconds, pause at the bottom to feel the stretch, and stand up for two seconds.
3. Aim for Gradual Progression
Regardless of where you are now, you must try to do slightly better each week or from month to month. This means doing more reps, lifting more weight, resting less between sets, training the hamstrings more often, or, like in most cases, doing some combination of these things.
Doing so forces your body to continue adapting to the gradually increasing stress, allowing you to keep building muscle and getting stronger.
Click to return to home workout routines.
- Nordic hamstring curl exercise. Physiopedia. (n.d.).
Ayuda, T. (2023, August 22). This move will work your glutes, legs, and ABS-all at once. Health.