What exercises will tone my hamstrings?

Donkey Leg Lifts
  1. Get into the kneeling position.
  2. Lift one leg out the back and keep it straight.
  3. Lift the straight leg as high as you can without skewing your hips.
  4. Squeeze your hamstring and butt at the top.
  5. Lower your leg again but don't let it touch the ground.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Change sides.
Good Mornings

Be very careful when doing these exercises. Make sure you keep your back straight. Don't over do the weight. Start off lightly and work your way up.

  1. Hold a weight with both hands.
  2. Stand up straight with you butt squeezed.
  3. Bend at the hips
  4. In a controlled movement lower the weight to the floor.
  5. Make sure that you keep your back straight.
  6. Lift to the start position in a controlled movement.
  7. Repeat.
Swiss Ball Glutes and Hamstring Curls
  1. Lie on the ground with your feet up on a Swiss ball.
  2. Raise your hips so that you have a straight or slightly arched back.
  3. This is the start position
  4. Bend your knees to 90 degrees
  5. The ball will roll with your feet.
  6. Make sure that you do not bend at the hips.
  7. Hold for about a second.
  8. Roll back to the start position.
  9. Repeat.
  1. Get into the position shown on a yoga mat.
  2. Lift your hips up to the second position.
  3. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes at the top and hold for 2 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower your body back to the floor.
  5. Repeat.
 Bench Bridges Raises
  1. Find a bench and get into the position shown.
  2. Raise your hips up slowly.
  3. When you get to the top squeeze your hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Hold this for 2 seconds.
  5. Lower down to the ground slowly.
  6. Repeat.


Hamstring Mega Blaster
  1. Lie in the position shown with one leg raised in the air.
  2. Roll the Swiss ball towards your body as close as you can manage.
  3. Squeeze your hamstring muscle.
  4. You can help to balance with your arms.
  5. Slowly release the Swiss ball back to the starting position.
There are a number of good exercises that target the hamstrings. Depending on your level of fitness you may want to start with a simple exercise such as the leg curl performed on a machine. Another good hamstring exercise is the romanian deadlift. Start stand with your feet hip width apart holding a pair of dumbbells close to, but not touching, your thighs. Slightly bend your knees and lower the weights by shifting your hips back (bend at the hips not your waist and keep your back straight). Return to standing position by contracting your hamstrings and glutes.
One of my favorite exercises for toning the hamstrings is the Stability Ball Hamstring Curl. Lie on your back with your heels on top of the stability ball. Feet are flexed and arms are on the floor in a position that is comfortable for you. Push your heels down into the ball, contract your glutes and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from heels to shoulders. Slowly roll the ball toward you by bending the knees and bringing your heels toward your glutes. Hold the position, then slowly roll the ball away from you, extending the legs back to the starting position. Repeat 20-25 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
A great exercise to tone (condition) your hamstrings and glutes is the single-leg Romanian deadlift.  To do this exercise, stand with your feet pointed straight ahead and hip-width apart.  Next, stand tall by lifting your chest and place your hands on your hips.  Draw-in the belly button to tighten the abs, squeeze your butt muscles, and balance on one leg while keeping a slight bend in the knee (approximately 5 degrees).  Keeping your lifted foot right beside your stance foot without touching, bend forward at the waist and reach your opposite hand toward the stance foot. Hold at the bottom for two seconds before pushing through heel to return to the starting position.  Perform 12-20 repetitions and then switch legs, repeating for a total of 1-3 sets.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.