Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
The hamstring is made up of three muscles which are the bicep femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus.
What is great about working your hamstrings is that you can target different muscles in your hamstrings depending on your fitness goals and what kind of exercise you want to do.
Hamstring muscles are crucial as they are in charge of the knee and hip movements, meaning that maintaining healthy hamstring muscles is crucial for all sorts of things.
In this guide, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about the best dumbbell exercises for hamstrings that you should incorporate into your exercise routine.
Are Dumbbells Good For Working Hamstrings?
So, before we get started, are dumbbells even good for working hamstrings? The simple answer is: yes!
Dumbbells are great to exercise with because they are so versatile.
Most people use dumbbells to work their upper body, but they are missing a trick as they can be used for your lower body as well.
While they may not be as effective on your leg muscles as other gym equipment and weights, you’ll be able to notice a difference after some time of regular use.
Make sure that you are targeting the different areas of the hamstring in order to effectively work the muscle properly.
Best Dumbbell Exercises For Hamstrings
Without further ado, here are the best dumbbell exercises that work best for hamstrings:
- Begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand then place them at your sides.
- Make sure that you are keeping your arms straight.
- Bend your hips forward while bending your knees slightly.
- Begin to lower the dumbbells slowly towards the floor while keeping your back straight.
- Reposition yourself to your starting position which will work your core and glutes.
- Repeat these instructions between 12 and 15 times to fully work your hamstrings.
Dumbbell Elevated Hip Thrust
- Using a box or bench, position your back on an elevated surface.
- Place your feet on the floor so that they are flat and your knees are bent.
- Make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart while resting your shoulder blades on the surface.
- Place the dumbbells on top of your hipbones.
- Push through your heels as you tuck your chin.
- Make sure you keep pushing until your thighs are parallel with the ground and your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
- Squeeze your glutes before returning to your starting position.
- Repeat these instructions 12 times to fully work your hamstrings.
Dumbbell Good Morning
- Start by positioning your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the dumbbell at the bottom of your neck, so it rests on your shoulder blades.
- Softly bend your knees to work your glutes during this exercise.
- Maintain a flat back while bending your hips.
- Drop your chest down until it is parallel to the floor.
- Flex your core by pushing your feet into the floor as much as you can.
- Thrust your hips which will work your hamstrings and bring you back to your starting position.
- Repeat these instructions between 8 and 12 times to work your hamstrings fully.
Dumbbell Sumo Squat
- Engage in a wide stance while pointing your toes out.
- Grip the dumbbell and hold it between your legs.
- Bend your knees and drop your hips into a wide squat.
- Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Straighten your legs while squeezing your glutes to work the hamstrings.
- Repeat these instructions between 8 and 10 times to work your hamstrings fully.
Reverse Dumbbell Lunge
- Start this exercise by holding the dumbbells in your hands and positioning your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Make sure that your arms are positioned straight down the sides.
- Take a step backward while pushing your chest out.
- Keep your front shin straight while dropping your back knee towards the floor.
- Bring yourself back to your starting position by thrusting your core and using the leg muscles.
- Switch sides to work the other leg.
- Repeat these instructions between 12 and 15 times to work your hamstrings fully.
Single-Leg Dumbbell Deadlift
- Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand and keep them straight at your sides.
- Raise your left foot and bring it behind you while slightly bending your right knee to hinge your hips.
- Move your leg down until it is parallel to the ground.
- Press down on the floor with your other leg, bringing you back to your starting position. Switch your sides and repeat with the other leg.
- Repeat these instructions between 5 and 6 times to work your hamstrings fully.
Weighted Glute Bridge
- Lie on the ground and keep your feet at hip-width apart.
- Thrust your hips up with a dumbbell placed just above your hips.
- Straighten your body so your hips and shoulders are aligned.
- Maintain this position for a couple of seconds and then bring yourself back to the ground.
- Repeat these instructions 12-15 times to work your hamstrings fully.
- Start the exercise by standing with your feet at a shoulder-width distance.
- Use both your hands to hold a dumbbell at the top in front of you.
- Without rounding your back, bend your knees.
- Push your hips back while swinging the dumbbell between your legs.
- When the dumbbell is behind you, thrust your hips forward to engage your glutes.
- Bring the dumbbell up to chest level.
- When you get to the top of your swing, engage your core, glutes, and quads.
- Swing the dumbbell back down naturally.
- Repeat these instructions 10-12 times to work your hamstrings fully.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Build Hamstrings With Weights?
Building hamstrings with weights can easily be done as you can carry out various exercises depending on what weight you are using.
If you are using dumbbell weights, then the best exercises for your hamstrings are dumbbell deadlifts and single-leg dumbbell deadlifts.
Can You Train Hamstrings With Dumbbells?
You can train your hamstrings with dumbbells with ease.
In fact, thanks to the accessibility of dumbbells, they are among the most popular weights used as everyone can choose the best weight for them.
Make sure that you are starting with a dumbbell that you can easily handle which will ensure that you can do the exercises with ease and prevent injury.
How Many Reps Should I Do For Hamstrings?
When it comes to doing hamstring exercises, you want to make sure that you are repeating your exercises at either a low or moderate amount to ensure that the muscle is being properly worked while maintaining perfect form.
When using dumbbells in your exercise regime, it’s always best to repeat the exercise between 12 and 20 times.
This will ensure that the muscle is being worked while preventing the risk of overworking, which can cause pain or injury.
In conclusion, there are plenty of dumbbell exercises that you can incorporate into your hamstring workouts.
Whether you own dumbbells of your own or frequent a gym, you’ll easily be able to incorporate dumbbell exercises to help build your hamstring muscles.
Make sure that you are starting off with a lighter weight if you are beginning your fitness journey before working your way up to the heavier weights.
This will reduce the risk of injury as well as prevent any uncomfortable aches and pains in your hamstring which can force you to stop exercising for a period of time while the injury heals.