7 Hamstring Exercises You Can Do Without Weights

From a glute bridge, you can walk out your feet to target your hamstrings.
Image Credit: DjordjeDjurdjevic/E+/GettyImages

Grab a barbell, a few plates and a variety of kettlebells and you can build yourself a stellar hamstring workout — sore muscles, guaranteed. But you don't need a ton of equipment to strengthen the muscles at the backs of your legs.

Actually, all you need is your own body weight. Add these seven no-equipment hamstring exercises from New York-based certified personal trainer Carolina Araujo, CPT, to your next at-home leg workout. Or, use a few of them as a warm-up before your lifting session.

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Top Hamstring Exercises Without Weights

1. Glute Hamstring Walkout

1. Glute Hamstring Walkout
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Butt", "Legs" ]
  1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent and pointing toward the ceiling.
  2. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling, contracting your glutes and abs.
  3. Keeping your butt off the ground, walk your feet out away from your glutes one at a time until your legs extend fully.
  4. Hold here for a moment.
  5. Reverse the motion and walk the feet back to your glutes.

2. Toe-Elevated Romanian Deadlift

2. Toe-Elevated Romanian Deadlift
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Legs", "Butt", "Abs" ]
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes elevated on a book or low step.
  2. Push your hips back and hinge your torso forward, keeping a flat back.
  3. Lean forward with a small bend in your knees until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground.
  4. Push your hips forward and reverse the motion to return to standing.

Tip

For this move, focus on pushing your hips as far back as you can, while maintaining a flat back and only a small bend in your knees, Araujo says.

3. Lateral Lunge

3. Lateral Lunge
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Legs", "Butt" ]
  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Root your right foot into the ground and step your left foot out to the side.
  3. Sit your butt back as you bend your left knee, keeping it in line with your left foot. Your back should be flat.
  4. Press through your left foot to return to standing.
  5. Do all your reps on the left leg before doing the same number of reps on the right leg.

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4. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

4. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Legs", "Butt", "Abs" ]
  1. Stand with your feet planted about hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your left foot a few inches to the left and about a foot back, bending the knee.
  3. Place your weight in the right leg, keeping the foot planted with only a small bend in the right knee. This is the starting position.
  4. Engage your core and press your hips back, tilting the torso forward with a flat back.
  5. Lean forward until you're nearly parallel with the ground.
  6. Press the hips forward and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  7. Complete all your reps here, then switch legs.

Tip

The focus here is on the rooted leg, only using your bent leg for a little support, Araujo says. That's why you want to stay on the toe or ball of the rear leg.

5. Sumo Squat

5. Sumo Squat
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Butt", "Legs" ]
  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your feet turned out at 45 degrees.
  2. Bend your knees to lower yourself down into a squat. Keep your chest up, back flat and knees in line with your toes.
  3. Press through your heels to return to standing.

6. Frog Pump

6. Frog Pump
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Legs", "Butt" ]
  1. Lie on your back and place the soles of your feet together, creating a diamond shape with your legs.
  2. Press your hips up toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  3. Slowly release and lower back to the floor.

7. Sumo Romanian Deadlift

7. Sumo Romanian Deadlift
Image Credit: Carolina Araujo/LIVESTRONG.com
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part [ "Legs", "Butt", "Abs" ]
  1. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes slightly turned out.
  2. Hinge your hips back while maintaining a neutral spine as you tilt your torso forward with a small bend in your knees.
  3. Keeping your core tight, push through your heels to return to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.

Tip

If you have a any kind of weights handy, you can make this exercise a little more challenging by holding it in front of you.

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