The Best Hamstring Exercises for Track Athletes

November 15, 2012 | Dr. Raymond Tucker

Must See Track & Field Videos

From sprinting to jumping, the hamstrings are among the most powerful muscles you have as a track athlete. They are responsible for transferring power between the knees and the hips, propelling your forward momentum and controlling your athletic performance. (See also Get Faster and Prevent Injury With 3 Hamstring Exercises.)

However, the hamstring muscles are susceptible to a number of common problems, such as being stretched too far after an improper warm-up and muscular imbalances in relation to the quadriceps.

These factors make it important to select hamstring exercises that offer strengthening in hip extension and knee flexion. The following two hamstring exercises do the trick. Try performing them and watch your numbers on the track improve.

Glute Hamstring Raise

This hamstring exercise calls for a partner, but it can be performed without one by positioning your heels under a bar or brace and placing a Bosu ball in front of your knees to assist with the concentric phase. (See it in action: Exercise of the Week: Glute Ham Raise.)

Using a slow progression, go down as far as you can and return to the starting position. Work up to three sets of eight reps.

  • Kneel on mat or piece of foam
  • Partner behind you holds your feet down
  • Keep back straight and arms at sides
  • Keeping back extended and knees on mat, move torso forward slowly
  • Try to touch your chest to the ground (eccentric)
  • Use arms to push yourself  back up (concentric)

Stability Ball Hamstring Curls

Perform Glute Hamstring Raises in one of your lower-body workouts and Stability Ball Hamstring Curls on your next lower-body day—or select one and perform it once a week. (See it in Action: Pitcher Strength and Speed Training With Craig Kimbrel.)

Using a slow progression, curl the ball as far as you can and return to the starting position. Work up to three sets of eight reps.

  • Lie on ground with arms out to sides and palms down
  • Place ball under heels with legs extended
  • Head, shoulders and arms should be on ground; hips should be up in the air
  • Maintain good posture with no sag in hips
  • Flex knees by using heels in a curling motion to roll ball as far back as possible, keeping hips high
  • Return to starting position by extending knees

Looking for more hamstring exercises? Check out STACK's Lower-Body Workout Guide.

Must See
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 4,426,763
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,742
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 84,942

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,738
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 8,003
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 131,367
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,758
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,255
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,651
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,761
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,460

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Simple Steps to Get Quick

Often over complicated and made to look more confusing and good looking than it really is. What am I talking about, Speed and agility training. I may...

Todd Durkin's 5 Drills for Faster Sprints

6 Essential Multi-Directional Speed Drills

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

Supreme Speed: 6 Training Tips from Football's Fastest Man

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

4 Speed Training Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

Deceleration: The Missing Link for Hockey Speed Training

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Run Faster and Longer

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

Sprinting Technique Errors and How to Fix Them

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

3 Acceleration Drills for a Faster First Step