The 3 Best Hamstring Exercises for Intermediate Runners – PainFree Running Workouts

The 3 Best Hamstring Exercises for Intermediate Runners – PainFree Running Workouts

Our favorite hamstring exercises for intermediate runners builds upon the basic hamstring exercises for new runners. If you are new to running, check out our article on the three best hamstring exercises for new runners.

While most runners that have been running for a while are great at doing their run training for the next race, most of us neglect strength training workouts. And if we do hit the gym for a “running strength workout,” that strength training session is usually focused on light weights with high reps with emphasis on the quadriceps and calf muscles.

However, in running, it is important to focus on building strength in the muscles that make up the “posterior chain” or the muscles on the back side of the body. These muscles for runners include the hamstrings as well as the glutes and the calf muscles.

In runners, as well as other endurance athletes, the hamstrings, along with the glutes, are usually neglected muscle groups. But if you want to improve your running and your race results, running research has demonstrated a decrease in hamstring strength that comes with longer running races. 1

These hamstring exercises for intermediate runners focus on building more strength in the hamstrings. These intermediate hamstring exercises will also focus on unilateral or one-sided movement to fix any muscle imbalances or weaknesses that you may have developed.

These hamstring exercises should make you a little faster on race day and also help decrease your injury risk.

You’re welcome! 😉

Hamstring Exercises for Intermediate Runners

Once you have mastered the beginner runner hamstring exercises, you can begin to focus your strength training on these three more advanced hamstring exercises.

Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts

The single-leg Romanian Deadlift (SRDL) is a more advanced version of the Romanian deadlift that not only helps build unilateral hamstring strength, but the single-leg RDL also helps develop srtong core muscles and balance.

There are several common mistakes we see runners make with the single-leg Romanian Deadlift. Most runners trying the single-leg RDL for the first time will either open up and rotate the hips as they hinge at the hip. Some runners will also try to keep the down leg straight and locked out as they lean forward.

Both mistakes change the focus of the exercise and prevent you from getting the biggest benefit from the single-leg Romanian Deadlift.

One tip to help you perform the single-leg RDL correctly is to start with the up leg in a flexed position at the hip and knee so the up leg starts out in front of you. This forward hip starting position will help you drive the forward leg backwards and help with focusing on learning how to initiate hip extension.

As you extend the hip of the up leg, also straighten or extend the knee at the same time. Focus on keeping the toes pointed straight down at the floor as you drop into the full range of the single-leg RDL.

Single-leg Pelvic Bridges

The Single-Leg Pelvic Bridge is another intermediate hamstring exercise that builds upon a more stable bilateral movement in the Pelvic Bridge exercise.

While doing the single-leg pelvic bridge, keep your attention on important to maintaining the pelvic and hips parallel to the floor. One frequent mistake made with the single-leg pelvic bridge is to drop the hip on the leg that is being held out extended.

You should feel the hamstrings contracting and not your quads or low back while you hold the upright bridge position.

Stability Ball Hamstring Curls

Stability (or Swiss) Ball Hamstring Curls is another exercise that focuses primarily on the hamstrings. The Stability Ball Curl is an intermediate hamstring exercise because of the need to keep the legs and pelvic stabile while controlling the hamstring curl. You’ll find that its hard to keep the stability ball in a straight line as you pull and push the ball with your heels.

Start the Stability Ball Curl with both feet on the stability ball with the ball almost touching your buttocks. Both knees should be bent and the pelvis should be off the floor. Start the exercise by pushing the stability ball away from your buttocks. You should feel your hamstrings contract as you push the stability ball away from you. Finish the exercise by slowly pulling the stability ball back towards your buttocks by pulling your heels towards your buttocks.

The Stability Ball Hamstring Curl should be done slowly over a 3 to 4-second progression with a 1 to 2-second rest at as you fully extend and bend the knees.

If you need a Swiss ball, you can order from Amazon through our Amazon affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

Hope you found these hamstring exercises for intermediate runners helpful!

Stay tuned for the next PainFreeRunning Strength Workout where we show you our advanced hamstring exercises!

Find out more about our PainFreeRunning Strength Training program here.

Research
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16825267[]

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