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.
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, specific hamstrings exercises for women are essential to developing strong hamstrings. Just a few simple exercises will go a long way in creating an effective hamstrings workout.
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 and always at the end of your hamstrings workout.
Trainer Tip: Stretching your toned 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 for sculpting toned hamstrings. 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 one of our favorite hamstring exercises for women 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 when doing these good hamstrings workouts.
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.
1. Alice Matoss
Brazilian fitness model and journalist, Alice Matoss, works hard for her incredible toned hamstrings.
2. Jenna Renee Web
Country girl Jenna Renee Webb stays fit by lifting weights and hay bales for her barrel horses.
3. Tana Ashlee
Tana Ashlee, a fitness model, can lift some serious weight at the gym. She’s also a trainer who can program a serious hamstrings workout and incorporate strict diets like the military diet.
4. Cally Clarice
This tiny Southern Belle isn’t into frilly dresses and sweet tea. She can probably bench press more than your boyfriend and knows all of the hamstring exercises for women.
5. Paige Hathaway
This fitness cover model and competitor will show you how to get the best shape of your life with her own training plans.
6. Jessica Arevalo
This fitness model and trainer is also the CEO of her own clothing line. Follow her YouTube channel for great exercise tips.
7. Taylor Swift
We all know Ms. Swift has a rocking pair of legs, including her hamstrings.
8. Jennifer Lopez
J. Lo might have the butt that every girl wants, but she has a pair of legs to match.
9. Carrie Underwood
The American Idol winner definitely has some glam gams and knows good hamstring workouts when she sees them.
10. Linn Lowes
This gym junkie and cancer survivor has a couple favorite hamstring exercises for women — she recommends the hamstring curl to work those hammies and glutes.
11. Kyrss DeSandre
NutraBio athlete and gym rat loves leg days. We love her toned hamstrings.
12. Cecilia Krooglik
Three-time NQ NPC Bikini Master, Pilates instructor, and mom of three loves her good hamstring workouts and workouts like the 30 day thigh challenge.
Beyonce is no stranger to wearing revealing clothes on stage, but with legs like hers, why hide them?
Singer and model, Ciara, has incredible legs front to back. The whole30 diet helps keep her looking fit.
15. Anja Rubik
Anja’s legs just go on forever.
16. Heidi Klum
There is no hiding this supermodel and business woman has perfectly toned hamstrings. I mean, everyone wants to be her!
17. Tyra Banks
Tyra is one fierce business woman and model. And, she’s sharing her secrets with all the girls on America’s Next Top Model.
18. Kerri Hayes
Paralegal by day and Bikini Pro by night. Kerri Hayes has some serious gams and some seriously good hamstring workouts!
People often have tight hamstrings so don’t forget to stretch. Yoga is a great way to stretch your hamstrings and whole body.
20. Natasha Oakley
The hamstrings are a group of three muscles: the Biceps Femoris, the Semitendinosus, and the Semimembranosus. Combined these muscles are primarily responsible for bending your knee.
21. Troian Bellisario
Pretty Little Liars star has some nicely toned long legs. She has no problems hitting the weights hard.
22. Chrissy Teigen
Former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model has no problems showing off her long legs.
23. Miley Cyrus
This goofy and fun-loving singer and actress stays fit through yoga. Preferably with her pup.
24. Jasmine Tookes
Victoria’s Secret model, Jasmine Tookes, knows how to strut her way across a catwalk with her long legs.
25. Kelly Rowland
When your BFFs with Beyonce, you know you’ll have rockin’ legs, too.
26. Blake Lively
This blonde bombshell knows how to rock a swimsuit on set. But this seagull might disagree.
27. Stacy Keibler
Stacy Keibler earned the nickname “The Weapon of Mass Seduction” by a judge on Dancing with the Stars. There is no denying that she has one of the best pairs of legs in Hollywood, even with a precious baby bump.
28. Nina Dobrev
The Vampire Diaries’ actress was once a gymnast, but today she loves to surf, spin, and do hot yoga.
29. Sarah Stage
This model and mama works hard for her body and perfect legs.
Strong hamstrings don’t happen overnight. Work hard, recover, and eat healthy (like the ketogenic diet) and you’ll be rocking perfectly toned hamstrings in no time.