Top Hamstring Exercise for Runners


As a runner, you probably realize that hamstring exercises are important.

What you may not realize is that doing the typical hamstring exercises will not help your running.

There is one exercise I love to use with runners in my Physical Therapy practice.

This exercise works on building strength through your hamstrings, glutes, and low back to keep you running injury-free.

Because it mimics the running motion, this exercise is much better for runners than any hamstring curl or butt kick.

Watch the video to learn the exercise:


How to Do It

Start by standing on one leg and softening the knee.

Arch your back a little, hinge through the hip, and kick your back leg up towards the ceiling.

Don’t round your back as you pitch your chest forward. Make sure it stays nice and flat.

Then pull yourself back up into a march. I like to do 2-3 sets of 10 on each side.

You can stretch your arms out to your sides if you need to get your balance. Otherwise, keep your hands on your hips.

Make It Harder

For a challenge, try the exercise holding a weight in one hand like a briefcase.

A lot of runners make the mistake of holding the weight on the side of the standing leg. That will actually make it easier.

You want to hold the weight on the side of your lifted leg.

This will load the outside of the body and try to pull you down on that side. It will also force you to have more control over that outside hip.

The Takeaway

If you’re seeking to avoid injury and run faster, you need to focus on runner-specific exercises.

By doing exercises that mimic the running motion, you encourage your muscles to fire like they do when you run.

That’s why I love this hamstring exercise, but you will need more exercises if you want to improve your running.

With RunSmart, our strength workouts are specifically created for runners. Each runner-specific exercise is designed to build strength and flexibility so you can run your best.

If you want to run faster and injury-free, RunSmart can get you there!

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