What are the best exercises for stronger hamstrings?
According to new research published in the American Council on Exercise, a team of researchers in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Cross looked at the most effective exercises to strengthen hamstrings in minimal time.
The results deemed three exercises significantly more effective than the rest:
1. Kettlebell swings
2. Single-arm/single-leg Romanian deadlifts
3. The prone leg curl
The results found that these three exercises stimulate the hamstrings similarly and may be used interchangeably, as part of a strength building workout for runners. Researchers recommended the prone leg curl for average gym goers, as it is the easiest to perform with proper form.
Kettlebell Krusher Says:
The kettlebell swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises. Usually comprised of two variants – The American Kettlebell Swing and the Russian Kettlebell Swing, both are excellent at working out many muscles at the same time. If you’re a long distance runner, you know how important it is to keep your hamstrings and quads healthy. Performing those top 3 exercises is a great way to ensure to do just that.
What I find particularly interesting about this research study is how hamstring specific exercises failed to crack the top 3. I’m referring to the Glute-hamstrings raise with a machine and Glute-hamstrings raise without equipment. How is it possible that an exercise specifically designed to improve hamstring strength isn’t at the top of the list? It’s a head-scratcher for sure.
The American Council on Exercise, who performed the study, recommends the prone leg curl, for beginners due to how easy it is. While this may be true, a machine is still needed to do the prone leg curl. Therefore, you would most likely need to go to a gym, which could be an inconvenience. On the other hand, a kettlebell can be purchased at an affordable cost which you can take with you anywhere. Yes, you’ll need to learn proper technique to do a kettlebell swing, but there are plenty of videos and tutorials online to help with that.