Exercise: Why It’s Important to Train Your Hamstrings

The hamstring is a group of muscles and tendons located on the rear (posterior) side of the upper leg.


The function of the hamstring is far greater than helping to achieve a nice butt, although working out the hamstring has that perk, no pun intended!. Let’s talk about it.

Muscles of the Hamstring:

  • Bicep Femoris
  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus


  • Flexes the knee and extends the thigh to the back side of the body
  • Used when walking and running (honestly, you use these muscles daily to get around without thinking about it)
  • Athletic Function: Achieve speed, power and agility. Used for explosive movements, both vertical and horizontal plyometric (jump) training

Hamstrings also work as your brakes. We often notice the amazing strength and speed in professional athletes, admiring the definition within the legs. You know when a professional athlete does a really cool juke? Hamstrings. Olympic sprinters? Hamstrings. Why do they have such large, muscular legs? They need the extra muscle for the explosive burst. Now, we aren’t all professional athletes, however, training our hamstrings plays a crucial role in protecting our knees and building overall stability.



It is important to train your hamstrings in a variety of exercises that emphasize all three phases of movement.

  • Eccentric – Movement that lengthens the muscle (extends)
  • Concentric – Movement that shortens the muscle (contracts)
  • Isometric – No movement (isolate)

Screenshot 2023 01 14 At 103742 AmI am Anna Kestler, born and raised in Pittsburgh, where I co-own a fitness studio, Sweat PGH.  I am a fully certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. My love for fitness started at a young age with basketball and continued into the collegiate level at The College of William & Mary. I love the way fitness can not only transform the body and mind, but how we can use it to break through boundaries and realign to heal ourselves naturally.

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Categories: BeWell