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I'm aware of the following exercises, and I'd like more options:

  • Bodyweight squats (esp. with a raised heel in the lower position) - seems to put far more effort onto the front tigh muscles, so I don't work my hamstrings that much
  • glute ham raise - I'm not strong enough
  • raises (lie on floor, one foot on elevated platform, raise lower back)

Are there other alternatives?

As for my training goal: The muscles to the front of my tigh are for more developed and bigger (have been doing muaythai for years), I believe having some more muscle on the back would support my knees better (they sometimes feel weird). Also, when I doe some bw (including deep squats) exercises I want to be somewhat balanced.

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@ mart +1 for a good question. Also, having good hamstring to quad ratio is very important to prevent lower back pain and knee pain. –  DrTrungNguyen Apr 2 '13 at 14:50
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hamstring strengthening is very important to prevent knee injuries in addition to improve your performance, especially in sports that require lots of kicking, jumping, cutting, sprinting, acceleration and deceleration.

If you can find a stability ball, then you can try these exercises:

  1. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
  2. Stability Ball Single Leg Hamstring Curl for side to side isolation

Don't have a ball, find a slick floor and replace the ball with a towel for same results, just a little less core engagement.

Find a partner for an awesome hamstring exercise

  1. Kneeling Hamstring Curl
  2. If it is too hard at first, then try this one

Also, try this one

Good luck!

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Other than Leg Curls and Seated Leg Curls (which are machine exercises) the only thing I can think of for a good hamstring workout would be Lunges and Straight leg deadlifts. These are extremely good hamstring exercises, and can be performed with minimal weight/bodyweight and still produce results.

They would obviously work much faster and more noticeably if you added weights, but if you only want to use your bodyweight, just going through the motions would work, to a certain extent.

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@ Marco Leblanc Very good recommendation regarding the lunges and the straight leg deadlifts. +1 –  DrTrungNguyen Apr 2 '13 at 14:49
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