What Are Hamstrings

The hamstring muscles are a group of three muscles that run along the back of your thigh from your hip to just below your knee. These muscles make it possible to extend your leg straight behind your body and to bend your knee

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Jackson Sayers, B.Sc. (Kinesiology), discusses Isometric Hamstring Strength Exercises

Quiz: Do You Understand Hamstring Strength Exercise?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Hamstring strength exercises can also support your lower back.

Explanation:
The hamstring muscles run from the back of your thighs to your pelvis. Hamstring exercises can support your lower back and prevent lower back pain.
2

Regular exercise has no impact on your mental health.

Explanation:
Studies show that exercise may help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise releases powerful chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, which improve mood and feelings of well-being. It can lower cortisol (also called the “stress hormone”) levels and support nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps regulate mood.
3

Foods rich in complex carbs can be great pre-workout snacks.

Explanation:
Complex carbs will slowly release energy during and after a workout. Foods with simple sugars will break down quickly, which can result in fatigue. Look for foods such as multigrain bread, beans, bananas, berries and sweet potatoes.
4

Hamstring muscles help to keep the knee joint in place.

Explanation:
The hamstring's tendons cross the knee joint and connect on each side of the tibia (shinbone). The hamstrings help bend the knees, a motion called knee flexion.
5

It's not normal for the quads on the front of the leg to be stronger than the hamstrings.

Explanation:
Hamstring muscles are the quads' opposing muscles. It's normal for the quads on the front of the leg to be stronger than the hamstrings. However, many people have a strength imbalance, so it's important to focus on the hamstrings in addition to the quads.
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Isometric Hamstring Strength Exercise

This is a variation of the low back actually involves the hamstrings.

Ironically, the hamstrings are connected to the large gluteal muscles of the bum, and the bum connects to the low back. I think we’ve all heard that song! What we really want to be thinking about is how do we get our hamstring engaged, and this is a very good exercise for it.

Simply put the Swiss ball between your legs and fire up your stomach muscles. You squeeze your bum, then take your hamstring and you use your hamstring to lift the ball up slightly. What you’re going to find is be very aware that the hamstring might cramp. So if the hamstring cramps, just go down right away. Local Personal Trainer

And If you slowly start to work on just bringing the ball up, and slowly taking it up, you’ll find that over time (three weeks, six weeks, three months), you’ll be able to sit there in a nice position where your stomach is contracted, your ass is fired up, and you’ve got that ball into a nice hamstring position where it’s just up, sitting there nice and gentle. It’s a very good hamstring exercise. Local Athletic Therapist 

Presenter: Mr. Jackson Sayers, Kinesiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Kinesiologist

Hamstring Stability Exercise

The advanced leg strengthening exercise for the hamstrings with the Swiss ball involves using only one leg.

In the same setup position with your neck supported you bring your bum up off the ground. From here you simply leave one leg on the ball and you straighten the other leg up into a 90 degree angle with the foot down. Local Athletic Therapist 

From here you simply go in and out with that one leg. I suggest doing repetitions of 10 to 15. I suggest keeping your stomach in a nice contracted position.

It’ll really help work that core a lot more and just keep that leg going in and out – 10 to 15 reps each leg, repeat with the other leg.

Presenter: Mr. Jackson Sayers, Kinesiologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Kinesiologist

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