11 Best Hamstring and Glute Exercises (Workouts For Hamstring)DaniëlNovember 15, 20224 mins read
It is that time of the week: leg day. A lot of people focus on becoming bigger by training the arms, shoulders, chest, and back. However, if you want a balanced physique, leg day is just as important for you.
Today, we are highlighting the best hamstring and glute exercises. You can use these exercises in your next workout.
The hamstrings are a muscle group located in the lower body. It has two functions: flexing for bending your knee and extension for pushing the hips forward. Flexing and extension are really important for good general movements, so you must train your hamstrings weekly.
The glutes are used every day, for walking, sitting, and standing. The glutes are located in your posterior chain. This muscle group helps you to prevent injuries. Also, it helps for a better posture.
To make both muscle groups stronger, we recommend that you train the muscles at least once a week. 2 times per week is optimal for muscle growth. Here are some moves you can use in your next workout.
Best Hamstring and Glute Exercises
- Glute bridge
- Bulgarian split squat
- Walking lunge
- Cable glute kickback
- Smith machine lunge
- Good mornings
- Glute ham raise
- Lying leg curl
- Glute-focused dumbbell RDL
The deadlift is an extremely popular exercise because it targets a lot of muscles while doing the movement. It strengthens all the muscles around your ankles, knees, and hips. The focus is on the hip extension. The movement can be used when you train your back or legs.
This exercise targets all muscles of your legs, especially the glutes. Just like the deadlift, it is a really popular exercise. It also strengthens your core and postural muscles.
As the name indicates, this exercise is great for your glutes. The glute bridge looks like doing hip thrusts, but there is a difference in the range of motion. When you do the glute bridge, the range of motion is shorter. This leads to a higher muscular tension on the glutes. The great thing about the glute bridge is that you can focus on the glutes without loading your spine. This protects your lower back.
Bulgarian split squat
This exercise targets one leg at a time. This prevents one leg from becoming weaker. Your rear foot will be elevated, which helps you to flex your hips even more and it will strengthen your glutes enormously.
This exercise helps you to improve coordination and balance, as well as increasing strength for the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The exercise is beginner-friendly because you can perform it with your body weight. If you want to do it heavier, you can use free weights, like dumbbells or a sandbag.
Cable Glute Kickback
Another exercise for the glutes. You need an ankle strap and a cable for the exercise. The exercise is beginner-friendly, and you can make it as heavy as you want. This exercise is training the glutes a bit more in isolation, compared to exercises with free weight.
Smith Machine Lunge
This variation of the lunge is very stable. It allows you to add more weight to the movement, so you can become stronger fast. It is a beginner-friendly exercise, but also a great option for advanced trainees.
Good mornings are great for reinforcing your hip hinge. It strengthens the glutes and hamstrings. For this movement, we recommend that you use low weights. Focus on the movement and the correct form.
Glute ham raise
This exercise strengthens the hamstrings a lot, but also the glutes and back. You need a glute-ham bench for the movement. When you are at home or when the gym doesn’t have the equipment, you can ask a friend to hold your feet or you can place your feet beneath a barbell.
Lying Leg Curl
When you perform this exercise correctly, it strengthens the hamstrings and calf muscles a lot. The hips and upper body need to be in a steady position so that you can focus on the movement of your hamstrings.
Glute-Focused Dumbbell RDL
RDL stands for Romanian deadlift, and the glute-focused dumbbell variation allows you to strengthen your glutes (and hamstrings) even more.
Sets and Reps
We recommend that you perform 3 sets with 8-12 reps for every exercise. Also, perform 12-16 sets per week for the glutes and also 12-16 sets for the hamstrings. This means that you need to do 4-5 exercises per week for both the glutes and the hamstrings.
Be aware of the difference between flexion and extension. Find a balance between the different movements and implement them evenly into your workout.
The order of exercises
It is really important to keep in mind what order you perform the best hamstring and glute exercises. There are some compound exercises on our list (deadlift, squat), and we recommend that you always start with those compound movements. This is even more important when you are a beginner. Why? Because during your training, you will become fatigued and your technique and form will be worse. This will increase the risk of an injury.
Do some exercises for mobility before you start your workout. Perform them slowly and steadily. The best warm-up is, in our opinion, the exercise in a very lightweight way so that you can perform a lot of reps. You can increase the intensity when you feel comfortable and warmed up.