4 Bodyweight Exercises to Strengthen Hamstrings | STACK

4 Bodyweight Exercises to Strengthen Hamstrings

September 13, 2012 | John M. Cissik

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

Strong hamstrings are critical if you want to sprint fast, jump high and be agile. Also, strong hamstrings reduce the risk of strains and tears—both common injuries among athletes.

For these reasons, most strength training programs include a great deal of hamstring work. However, traditional hamstring exercises don't always transfer well to the playing field. Below are four hamstring exercises that mimic athletic movements and can be performed without equipment.

Exercises to Strengthen Hamstrings


For this drill, you need a 10- to 20-yard course. Begin at one end facing the course. To perform the drill:

  • Assume push-up position
  • Walk feet towards hands until stretch is felt in back of legs; keep legs straight
  • Walk hands forward to return to push-up position; keep legs straight
  • Continue for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 2-3x10-20 yards

Crab Walks

  • Sit on ground with back to course
  • Place hands on ground under shoulders and feet on ground under knees
  • Extend arms and lift hips toward sky
  • Walk backward for specified distance

Sets/Distance: 2-3x10-20 yards

Partner Sprinting

For this drill you need a five- to ten-yard course and a partner who is close to you in size. Begin at one end facing the course. Partner stands in front of you. To perform the drill:

  • Assume starting stance facing partner with partner's hands on your shoulders
  • Sprint forward for specified distance with partner providing resistance
  • Switch roles and repeat

Sets/Distance: 2-3x5-10 yards

Eccentric Hamstring Curls

This is an advanced exercise and should be done only when you are thoroughly warmed up.

  • Kneel on ground with knees, hips and upper body in straight line
  • Have partner hold ankles to ground
  • Slowly lean forward taking as long as possible to reach ground; keep body in straight line
  • Catch body with hands during descent
  • Push body up to starting position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 2-3x3-5

Photo: Gabbyandlaird.com

John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
John Cissik
- John M. Cissik is the president of Human Performance Services, LLC, which helps athletes solve their strength and conditioning problems. He has worked with athletes...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

That Nagging Hamstring isn't the Problem - 3 Things that are Contributing to Your Recurring Hamstring Injuries hamstring injury pelvic positioning...

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Maintaining Your Lower-Body Strength After Tommy John Surgery

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

Why Your Shin Splints Aren't Really Shin Splints

Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries?

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Should Pitchers Ice After Throwing to Prevent Shoulder Injuries?

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

Tommy John Surgery 10 Times More Common Than a Decade Ago

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

The New Rules for Cryotherapy: Why You're Icing Wrong

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

How to Train With Shin Splints

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

4 Exercises to Fix Bad Posture and Help You Move Better

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury