Are you ready to rock your favorite pair of skinny jeans? Or maybe it’s a little black dress and a killer pair of heels? Whatever your favorite outfit is, it will probably look even better with beautifully toned hamstrings.
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Strong hamstrings and legs not only look amazing in yoga pants, but help you do all your favorite activities like running, hiking, skiing, and swimming.
Most women have strong legs in general, but their quads are often stronger than their hamstrings. When you have an imbalance of strength between the quads and hammies, it can lead to knee injuries.
Obviously, you don’t want that. Let’s look at how you can strengthen your hamstrings and turn them into the perfectly sculpted legs you have always wanted.
Perfect Female Hamstrings: Exercise Motivation and Inspiration
Women are naturally at a higher risk of knee injuries than men. Due to our wider hips, increased joint laxity, and higher estrogen levels, knee injuries are more likely to happen to us and if you’ve ever had a knee injury, you know it’s not fun.
But, lucky for you, you can reduce your chances of injury by training your hamstrings. The hamstrings help stabilize your knee joint so by focusing on training them during your workouts will save you knee pain in the future. Not only will you reduce your chance of injury, but you will build more defined legs and a nice round booty.
Best Workouts for Women: Good Routines, Great Results
Unfortunately, many women think that lunges and squats work their whole legs including their hamstrings. While some lunges do target the hamstrings, hamstring-specific exercises are essential to developing strong hamstrings. Just a few simple exercises will go a long way.
How to Get the Perfect Hamstrings
Weak hamstrings aren’t the only problem many women face. Tight hamstrings are extremely common due to desk jobs. Sitting all day is not good for your body. If you have the option, ask your employer for a standup desk option to help alleviate some of the lower back pain you might have.
One of the leading causes of lower back pain, other than injury, is tight hamstrings. Tight hamstrings often contribute to lower back and knee pain so it’s important to stretch your hamstrings daily.
Trainer Tip: Stretching your hamstrings will probably be uncomfortable, but it’s important. To get a good stretch, lay on the floor next to the wall. Lift your legs to a ninety-degree angle on the wall and scoot your butt so it’s touching the wall. Try to straighten your knees as much as you can. You’ll feel a good stretch in the hamstrings. Hang out here for three to five minutes.
Exercises to Get Beautiful, Toned Hamstrings
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Be prepared for hamstring cramps. Hamstring curls, especially when done with a stability ball, are tough, but they are effective. Lie on the floor on your back with your feet on top of the stability ball. Aim to have your ankles on top of the ball when your legs are extended. This is the start position. Raise your hips off the floor with your weight resting in your shoulder blades and feet. Bend the knees and pull the ball as close to your butt as possible. Pause briefly and return to the starting position.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Deadlift
The single-leg dumbbell deadlift is an excellent hamstring exercises that also works your core and improves your balance. There are several alternatives to this exercises. If your balance is not good and the single-leg deadlift is new to you, start by placing the weight in your left hand. Stand on your left leg. Keep your knee slightly bent and bend at the hip. Extend you right leg behind you and lower the dumbbell towards the ground until you are parallel to the floor. For a more challenging alternative, hold the weight in your left hand and stand on your right leg. Having the weight on the same side as the leg going back will challenge your balance.
Kettlebell swings work the whole body including the cardiovascular system. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this exercises. While kettlebell swings don’t specifically target the hamstrings, they still work the hamstrings when done correctly. Make sure you really “snap” your hips at the top of the swing and focus on speed. It’s good to go heavy on this exercises.
Start by doing two sets of 8-10 repetitions of each exercises twice a week. As your progress, you can build up to four to six reps.