4 Essential Moves to Grow Your Hamstrings


Do you want to lift heavier, jump higher, and run faster? or maybe you're just look for a hypertrophy workout to shape the best legs of your life? Then consistently and correctly training those hammies is the way to reach those goals and give those muscles the tough love they need. 

So.....what are some of the best moves for strengthening those hamstrings?

First - A Quick Anatomy Lesson:

Your hamstrings are a unique muscle group, located on the back end up your upper leg. They consist of three muscles; the semimembranosus, the semitendinosus, and the biceps femoris. They're connected at two joints, the tibia and the ischial tuberosity. These muscles are highly important for hip extension as well as the bending of the knee.

The biceps femoris are the largest muscles of the hamstrings, helping mainly with flexion of the leg at the knee joint. It is the most lateral of the muscles in the posterior thigh – the common tendon of the two heads can be felt laterally at the posterior knee. 

Sitting next to the biceps femoris is the semitendinosus, the muscle that helps the most with rotation of the leg. This muscle helps flex the leg at the knee joint and extend the thigh at the hip. It medially rotates the thigh at the hip joint and the leg at the knee joint.

Tucked under the semitendinosus is the semimembranosus, the muscle that also functions as a medial rotator of the lower leg on the knee. It greatly helps with stability and supporting the body moving "forward" as you walk.


Quadriceps are an important muscle group to build, but we must also focus on their opposing muscles. While it's common to think of quads as the leg muscles that get you "up and moving", the hamstrings are also a power house as they help you stand and propel you forward as you walk and move. So it pays off to add some moves into your routine that will grow them.

Now that we know how big of a deal the hamstrings are - what are the best moves for packing on lean muscle on the backside of our legs?

Where do I start when it comes to growing the hamstrings?

The Ultimate Hamstring Moves to Burn and Build.

With the hamstrings being such a unique muscle group, it can be hard to know which moves you should try - that's why we came up with a list of the top exercises to include in your routine!

15 Goblet Squats with Elevated Heels at a :03 Tempo

  • To Perform this Move:
    • Start with both heels on the edge of a barbell plate (or a slightly elevated surface) while holding a dumbbell or kettlebell to your chest.
    • Keeping your torso upright and the dumbbell to your chest, sit your hips back as if you were about to sit in a chair.
    • Using your hips to hinge forward, stand back upright while exhaling and using your legs to power you back up to starting position.
    • Repeat!

    100' of 1 Arm Overhead Walking Lunge


    • To Perform this Move:
      • To start, begin with your feet shoulder width apart and one dumbbell in either hand at your side.
      • Inhale and raise the dumbbell above your head, keeping your arm parallel to your ear.
      • Keeping the dumbbell's position next to your ear, exhale as you take a forward step into a lunge position - with your knee on top of your foot and not overextended past it. (Tip: to help check form, see if the weight is mainly in your heel and not your toes.)
      • Inhale as you step back up into starting position, and repeat on other side.

      20 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts with a :02 Pause at Bottom


      • To Perform this Move:
        • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing inward. 
        • Driving back with your hips, lower the weights down as you use your core and hamstrings to keep your back straight.
        • Pause for :02 seconds before exhaling as you reverse the motion, using your hips to power back to starting position.

      15 KB Sumo Deadlift High Pulls 


        • To Perform this Move:
          • Starting with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and at a 45 degree angle, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands at the center.
          • Using your core and hamstrings to help keep you balanced, sink your hips back into a slight squat as you lower the weight in front of you.
          • Pause at the bottom before exhaling as you push your hips forward back to standing position, raising the weight and aiming to keep the shoulders nice a high.
          • Repeat!