Hey everybody, it’s Dr. Jo! Today I am going
to show you some hamstring strengthening exercises. Now I’ve already showed you a whole lot of
stretching exercises for your hamstrings, so you can check those out on my other video.
Once you’ve gotten everything stretched out, you can come here and we’ll do some strengthening.
So we’re going to start off on our backs. Here we go. The first exercise we’re gonna
do is called bridging. So you want to have your feet about shoulder width apart. You
want your neck to be nice and relaxed, you don’t want to strain your neck, and what you’re
gonna do is you’re gonna go straight up. Now you want to keep yourself in a line. You don’t
want to hyper extend your back and arch it, and you don’t want to be slumped down either.
You want to come where you are in a straight line, and you are just going to pause, and
slowly come back down. That’s working those hamstring muscles back there. Do about 10-15
until you feel that burn, and if you get to 20-25 and it’s really easy, then you can switch
to one leg. You’re still coming straight up, and you want to be in a straight line. You
don’t want to be arched, and you don’t want to be down low. If you are down low, if you
can’t get straight, then that means you probably not ready for a single leg. Slowly coming
down, slowly coming back up. So that’s the single leg bridging. Then the next one, I’m
going to have you roll over onto your tummy. This would be a good one if you have some
ankle weights or some kind of weight you can put around your ankle. You will probably eventually
want to use ankle weights. Otherwise, just try it without it, and see how it feels. It
depends on what kind of injury you have to your hamstring. What you are going to do is
just bring your heel back as far as you can to your bottom. Now my back is probably arched
a little bit because I am up on my elbows. You don’t have to be up on your elbows. Make
sure you are comfortable. If you want to lie all the way down like this you can, but you
really want to go nice and controlled, all the way back as far as you can. Slowly come
back down. So the next exercise we’re gonna do is going to be standing up. Okay, so the
next hamstring strengthening exercise is going to be standing. With your standing exercises
hold onto something to start off with, you can even just get a chair and hold onto the
chair, but you want to make sure that you’re stable, so you are doing the correct form.
If you’re not doing the correct form, then you are not really getting good exercise.
So the key with this one is the top part of your leg, you want it to stay flat and even
with the other leg. So I’m going to show you what I am talking about. You wanna curl your
leg back, a hamstring curl, and keep this part in the same spot. So your hip is not
flexing. If you’re coming up like this, that’s not the exercise that we are looking for,
so see if you can keep your hip straight, and just bend at your knee. So you are curling
back. This is another one that if you can do this 20-25 times, and you’re not having
any pain, then you can get some ankle weights, and start building yourself up to get more
resistance for that hamstring curl. The last two exercises I’m going to show you, I’m going
to briefly go over them because I did show you them in the knee strengthening exercise
video. So you can go check that one out to have a little more detail. So the last two
are squats and lunges. So the next key component with the squat is, remember how we talked
about, you don’t want your knees going in front of your toes. So in the other video,
I had you actually sit down onto something like a chair or a couch, but I’m just going
to show you without anything behind me, and this is the higher level where you know you
can squat down and come back up without falling. You want your feet about shoulder width apart
and you want to make sure those knees do not go in front of the toes. If you are squatting
down like this, that is not what we are looking for. Stick your bottom back like you are going
to find a chair. So you’re squatting down. You’re keeping equal weight through your feet.
I’m not back on my heels, and I’m not up on my toes, but there’s equal weight through
out my feet. I’m squatting down and coming back up. Use your arms as a balancer, bring
your hips forward, your center of balance, make sure it’s not too far forward, and not
too far back. If I’m trying to sit, and put my bottom straight down, I’m not going to
be able to do that without my knees going in front of my toes. Squatting down, and coming
back up. So that’s the squat. The last one is a lunge. So in the other video, I showed
some books on the ground that you could use as a target. Now this is the step up where
you don’t have a target, but same kind of thing, you want to get in your lunge position,
but you don’t want that knee going in front of the toes. You want your toes pointed forward.
Toes pointed forward in the back as well. You’re going to go straight down to the ground
and come back up. You can either stay in one spot, as long as your knee stays behind your
toes, or when you lunge down, you can step back, and that’s going to give you that extra
push on those hamstrings. So you can start off in one spot, do about 10-15 of those.
Then make sure you switch sides, or you can lunge down and come back up. Alright, so there
you have it, those are your hamstring strengthening exercises. And remember if you want to see
the modified versions of the squats and lunges, go check out the knee strengthening exercises
at askdoctorjo.com And remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon!

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Methew Wade

41 thoughts on “Hamstring Strengthening Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. You can, but I don't think it is necessary. When I work with my patients, I take off all bracing unless it is too hard to do or too painful without them. Good luck!!

  2. Thanks! Proper technique is the key! Exercises and stretches can sometimes even make things worse if they are not done correctly!! Good luck!!

  3. I have a question: I had surgery on my right knee a few years ago and they used one of my hamstrings….ever since ( the doctors warned me) every time I put some muscle on ( especially on my thighs) I end up pulling my hamstring ( the ones I have left in my right leg) playing soccer….do you think those exercises are adequate for me?….I have done a few of the exercises from your video in the past with weight ( 10 lbs) but not as often as the thighs exercises….Thank you for your time!

  4. I do think these will help!! If you can get your hamstrings stronger without pulling or tearing them, then you should be okay! It is very common to use a hamstring graft for knee surgery, and once you get the hamstring stronger, people tend to do pretty well!! You might want to check out my knee strengthening video as well. It might help too!! Good luck!!

  5. Hello Doctor, when I lift my leg straight and twist on left side it hurts a lot. I feel sharp pain back side of thigh and i cant find actual position of pain.. is that Hamstring. i can walk, little run, work without pain but when lift and twist leg then I got pain…please any solution?

  6. That sounds more like a hip joint problem. I would focus on hip strengthening. I have some videos for that if you want to check those out!! Good luck!!

  7. hmmm Doctor Jo — In doing the bridge — I guess I am not strong enough yet to do a single leg raise since my hamstring knots up in a cramp. ouch. I see now that my hamstrings need more stretching and more strengthening and that should help my knees too! yahoo.. I have hope! 🙂 thank you!

  8. You're welcome!! Yes, the hamstrings definitely let you know when they are not ready for something!! They are the most cramping muscles I have seen 🙂

  9. It does sound like your hamstrings. The hamstrings can be pretty "delicate" and can get strained pretty easily. So with the running and other exercises you are doing, it is definitely possible you just irritated them. I have a hamstring stretching video with a whole bunch of different ways to stretch them if you want to try some other ways and see if you can feel the stretch a little more. I hope they help! Good luck!

  10. I got injuyed about 1 month ago. I have a lot of pain in my right hamstring. Will these exercises help? I'm a footballer so these exercises are quite easy for me. I'm using horse oitment but it still doesn't help. My doctor said that I need rest but after 1 month the situation is still the same. Can you help me?

  11. Where can I find your stretch exercises for very tight hamstrings? Can you provide the link to the video?  I am not supposed to squat or lunge anymore because of hip cartilage wear and spacing. This hip issue is affecting my IT band, knee and hamstring muscle on one side. I probably aggravate it weekly it with advanced ballroom salsa but I refuse to stop dancing.

  12. i just had a ACL reconstruction surgery about 3 weeks ago.  can i start doing this exercises to help me gain strength in the quads. Thank you. 

  13. I had ACL reconstruction and they used my hamstring tendons for the graft. Would these exercises be useful in order to get my hamstring back to full strength? Also, could you make a video using resistance bands? Thanks

  14. When doing the squats should your toes be facing straight forward or can they be pointed out to the side a bit?

  15. Question. My hip pops when I do the one leg bridge (this also happens during lying leg extensions for abs). Can you suggest exercises/stretches or a video that may help? Thank you for all the great videos.

  16. Hey there,I had a hamstring problem for about a year.I stopped playing football,went to physio and did everything they told me to do.I soon started running and slowly build up,I then brought sprinting etc into the equation.This was all fine I felt no pain and it seemed things were getting better after alot of hard work.Then it was time to kick a ball,I practised for 20mins one day,was feeling sharper fitness better etc and was ready to go back training.But the next day my pain was back 🙁

  17. hello doctor
    i want to ask if i am allowed to do that exercise after knee arthroscopy for torn post meniscus

  18. Hi, I am fitness instructor,I teach body conditioning class and some of my ladies find they will ' cramp' in there hamstring when doing the one leg bridge position. What can I do to help them do it without them hurting or having that ' cramping ' felling? Thank you for any suggestion

  19. You are awesome. I have reoccurring pain after falling backwards skating and my ACL reconstruction was 3 years ago and I forgot all the post surgery exercises. Thank you doctor.

  20. Nice video. It's been 9 days since I suffered a small hamstring tear from rugby, how much longer should I rest before playing rugby again?

  21. Thank you DoctorJo for this video. I injured both hamstrings in a yoga practice. My hamstrings are getting better, but I was stretching my hamstrings too much….glad I found this strengthening hamstring video. How many times a day should I do these exercises? I am not going to do the last two exercises yet…squats and lunges until my hamstrings are stronger.

  22. Hi Jojo in your video you said "once you have everything stretch out then you do your strengthening." I always wonder when is the best time to stretch. Is it b4 or after a workout?

  23. hi doctor Jo ..I have mild knee joint effusion.acl grade 2tear … doctor advise me for hamstring strengthening exercises without surgery .. is this exercise fit for me…

  24. When I lunge I have trouble with my back foot. Usually my back heel tips inward. I have trouble feeling stabile on the ball of my back foot. What do I need to strengthen to keep my back heel pointing up instead of inward?

  25. Hi doctor I had my ACL surgery 10 months before. I did exercise only 3 months.now I feel my right knee is very weak. Can you tell me what kind of exercise should I do more. Plzzzz

  26. i still cant do it the last part you did the lunges with knee hitting on the floor, i have knee surgery) Allograft cadaver surgery in knee plus meniscu repair 11mm) last year july 25,2018 its been six months post op and still doing quad exercise although my orthopedic doc advice me i could go back to physical work that i am, alarm technician most of the time 6,8,12 feet ladder is my weapon to do the work what do you think doc?

  27. Thanks for the helpful exercises! Quick question; I noticed for some you didn't mention the amount of sets and reps for all of the exercises. So if you could let me know, I would really appreciate it!

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