Reverse Hamstring Curl

woman demonstrating leg exercise

“This challenging exercise can be done at home or the gym. It requires no machines—only body control.”

  • Kneel on the floor with your ankles hooked securely under an immovable object.
  • Contract your hamstrings and slowly lower yourself as close to the floor as possible, keeping hamstrings and abs engaged throughout the movement.
  • Catch yourself with your hands in a pushup position; keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Flex hamstrings and press yourself up with your arms to return to start, keeping your back flat and abs engaged.

TIP: “Do this exercise at the end of your workout, when your hamstrings are thoroughly warmed up. Be careful not to bend forward at the hips while performing this move.”

Decline Hip Raise

“This can be used in the beginning of a workout as a pre-exhaustion exercise, at the end of a workout as a ‘finisher,’ or as part of a plyometric/conditioning day.”

  • Find a bench, box, tire, or other object that is mid-shin or just-below-the-knee height.Lie faceup on the floor with your heels on the bench, legs extended, and arms by your sides.„
  • Without using your arms, press through your heels and lift your hips, forming a diagonal line from your heels to your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower yourself down, focusing on using the hamstrings. Pause at the bottom just before your hips would touch the floor, then repeat.

TIP: “Pause briefly at the top of each rep and squeeze glutes and hamstrings.”

Hanging Dumbbell Hamstring Curl

“The hamstrings are a stubborn area to tone, especially for women. This exercise isolates the hamstrings, allowing you to better target these muscles.”

  • Grasp the pullup bar with an overhand grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended, shoulders relaxed.„
  • Have a partner place a dumbbell between your ankles, with the dumbbell hanging vertically.
  • Slowly bend your knees, raising the weight up toward your glutes, squeezing your muscles at the top.

TIP: “To bump up the burn after each set, do a straight-leg deadlift for 20–25 reps per side while holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand. Switch sides and repeat.”