Hamstring Exercises With Charlee Atkins | Good Moves | Well+Good

(upbeat music) – Hi Well and Good, I’m Charlee Atkins, and today’s workout is a
hamstring-focused exercise routine. So let’s talk a little
bit about hamstrings before we fully start the exercise. Now our hamstrings are in charge of extending our legs behind
us or bending the knee. As a lot of you know, in
most of our exercises, a lot of the stuff that
we do is hip flexion, where we’re bringing the
knee in up towards the chest, which is a super quad-dominant exercise. So think cycling, I mean, even in running. However, a lot of the exercises that we do are gonna allow you to kick back. So what we wanna do is we
wanna balance out our legs so that we are proportionally strengthening both sides of it. So again, hamstrings’
main focus on the body is to extend the hip and to bend the knee. Let’s go ahead and get started, our first set of exercises
are all about warming the lower body up so we can get movin’. First exercise, 30 seconds on the clock, all we’re gonna be doing is knee pulls. So what I want you to do
is stand up nice and tall, and then all you’re gonna do is you’re gonna hug your
knee into the chest. This is a nice warm-up that you can do before every single workout. What we’re trying to do
is lengthen the hamstring, but at the same time we’re pulling our knee into hip flexion. I’m sorry, pulling the
knee into the chest, coming into hip flexion. So we’re gonna do this
for about 10 more seconds, and then we’re gonna come
into a hamstring curl, standing hamstring curl, we got about… Let’s do one more on this leg, and then all I want you to do
is go ahead and face forward. We got 10-second recovery. Now from here, all we’re gonna do is you’re just gonna be pulling the heel in towards the butt. Now as you can see, I’m
pulling my elbows in too, it just feels better, and we might as well warm up the whole body. So we’re gonna do 30 seconds
here of a hamstring curl. And I’m gonna turn sideways
so that you can see a little bit more about what’s happening. So all I’m doing is I’m pulling
my heel towards my butt, staying up nice and straight, I don’t ever wanna hunch over, warming up the back side of my leg. So each exercise we’re
gonna do for 30 seconds. We got about five seconds left here. Three, two, and then one. Exercise number three is
gonna be a walking squat. So I’m gonna come back
to the edge of my mat, I’m gonna come down into a squat position, and then all I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna walk
the length of my mat. So coming down, I find it
helpful to have my hands behind my head, it forces me
to keep my spine nice and long. Again, my head is right
in line with my tailbone, and all I’m doing is I’m walking forward and backward in a squat position. Now major, major, key piece of squats is you wanna always drive the knees out, or away from each other,
and as I sink low, again, head stays right
in line with the tailbone. We got about eight seconds left here. Last three, two, and then one. So exercise number four, we’re gonna do an inch worm walk-out. So we’re gonna be standing
at the edge of our mat, and all you’re gonna
do is walk yourself out to a plank position, walk
yourself back, and repeat. 30 seconds here, so I’m trying to keep my legs nice and straight. Again, right where my hamstrings are. I come to push-up plank position, and I’m gonna walk right back. I’m gonna come up to standing, again lowering right back down. So the goal is to keep the
legs straight the entire time. If your hamstrings are tight, which for a lot of us they are, you can always have a
slight bend in the knee, but for the most part, keeping
the body nice and long. So we’re gonna do all of those exercises one more time through, and
then we are gonna hit it. All right, okay. Now instead of doing our knee pulls, this time we’re gonna
come into a leg kick. So again, we’re gonna be focusing on lengthening the hamstrings. All I’m gonna do is I’m
gonna put my hands overhead, and then I’m gonna reach
opposite hand, opposite foot, I’m gonna meet at the midline. Just nice little leg kick. These are great warm-up exercises that you can do for any workout. So again, staying nice
and tall like a pencil, and I’m just bringing my opposite hand towards my opposite toe,
warming up the hamstring, trying to keep a nice straight leg. We got about seven seconds left here. If your hamstrings are tight, you can have a slight bend in the knee. But we got one more on
this side, all right. So for the last one, we
did the hamstring curls. This one, we’re just gonna take
it straight to a butt kick. So I’m gonna face forward, if you wanna take the modified version, you can always do the
hamstring curl again, otherwise, all I’m gonna do is bring my heels towards my butt. Getting the heart rate
up, nice little butt kick. If you wanna add a little
bit more of a challenge, if you’re feelin’ like, you
know, you wanna work it out, you can just reach the hands up overhead. You could do a circle if you’re bored. We got about 10 seconds left to go. See if you can really kick
the heels to the butt. Five more seconds. Getting a little
breathless, which is great. And then recover, okay. So now we’re gonna go
to our walking squat. So I’m gonna start at the back of the mat, I’m gonna come down into
a squatting position, I’m gonna bring my hands behind my head, and all I’m gonna do is I’m gonna walk, squat walk, the length of the mat. So staying nice and low. Some people also call these duck walks. Let’s call it what it
is, we are not ducks. We are humans that are
squatting whilst walking. Whilst? While walking. Anyway, 10 seconds. Staying nice and low,
straight line from my head to my tailbone, get one
more length of the mat. And then we’re gonna come
into our final exercise, which is that inch worm walk-out. So coming up to standing, 30 seconds, final exercise of the warmup, we’re just gonna do an inch worm walk-out. So I’m gonna be hinging at my hips, straight legs, walk, walk, walk, push-up plank position, right back up. So this is stretching out the hamstrings, but at the same time we’re
also warming up the upper body, workin’ the core, full body. We got about 15 seconds left here. Always exhale at the hardest
part of your exercise. You always wanna make sure
that you’re breathing, I’m gonna exhale on my
plank, come right back. Let’s do one more, all
right, comin’ up, okay. Okay, so set number two,
we’re gonna do four exercises, two times through, 40 seconds
each, 10-second recovery. I’m gonna go ahead and grab my weights. Again, I’m using eight pounds, you can use whatever you have. Fives, tens, eights. Let’s go ahead and get started
with our first exercise, an alternating lateral lunge. So all I’m doing is stepping
from one side to the other. My dumbbells are separating my knee. Now if you notice, both of
my toes are pointing forward. Now I’m gonna turn sideways
here in just a second so you can see what’s
happening in a lateral lunge. I wanna make sure that my head is right in line with my tailbone. So I’m just gonna step
back, and then forward. Okay, this is a doozy. Now don’t go through these
fast, take ’em nice and slow. Press the hips back,
chest is still staying up. Gimme one more. All right, that is our
alternating lateral lunge. So from here, we’re gonna
come into a reverse curl. I’m gonna flip my weights
up, right over here so that they’re resting
right at my collarbone, and then all we’re doing
are reverse lunges. So I’m coming back, I want
my knee to kiss the ground. (lips kissing) Yeah. (lips kissing) There it is. And then as I come down,
chest is always staying up, head stays right in
line with the tailbone. Using the breath, and you wanna make sure that this front knee here stays right in line with the ankle. However, if you notice it kind of moving a little bit past the ankle, totally okay, but you don’t want the knee to
ever go past the toe, right? So nice, good form, we got about… One more on each side. And then we’re gonna move
into our glute bridges. Exercise number three, I’m
gonna come on down to the mat, laying here on my back, all
I’m gonna do is a glute bridge. Hands by my side, I can
touch my hands to my heels, and then I’m gonna be lifting my hips up. Cues for a glute bridge, make sure that the chest stays
open, exhale at the top. Now if you can, get your
lower back to kiss the ground at the bottom of the glute bridge. Hips are pressing up, core stays engaged, engaging the glutes at the top. Exhale. This right here is a full-on
hip-dominant exercise. So we’re using the glutes, using
the hamstrings, lifting up. Man, we got about two
seconds, give me one more. Hoo, all right, okay. Now we’re gonna move into
the probably one exercise that everybody always talks about as far as hamstring
exercise, the deadlift. Now I’m gonna show you some cues. Now my feet are hip-distance
apart, now the… I am not bending my knees all that much. All I’m doing is keeping a flat back, pressing my hips straight back, and my wrist comes right below my knee, and that’s whenever I
swing back up, right? So the dumbbells are grazing all the way down the
front side of my legs, right when my wrist passes my knee, I’m coming right back up. Now what I see a lot of
the time in deadlifts is people turn it into a squat. We are doing a hip-dominant
exercise, not a knee, right? Hip deadlift, we’re gonna
get three more in here. Take these ones nice and slow. We’ll get one more, I
don’t know, I lost count. I’ll just do another one. It’s not gonna hurt, you know? All right. All right, we are back to our
alternating lateral lunges. So all we’re gonna do here
is I’m gonna be stepping out to the side, I want the dumbbells to go on both sides of my knees, keeping a nice flat back,
toes pointed forward, chest stays up, stepping out to the side. Now if you find this isn’t a challenge, what you can always do is
you can add more weights, but if you’re gonna add more
weights for the challenge, then you must slow it down. So we have an alternating lateral lunge. Back is flat, tailbone is
pressing straight back. We got about five more seconds, I’m gonna get one more on each side. Here’s this side, this side, ah, you know, I’ll just do another round, it’s gonna be fine, one more. What’s it gonna hurt, okay. Okay, now we’re gonna do
reverse lunges, alternating. So holding my weights up here. If you have heavy dumbbells,
you can kinda rest them on the top of your shoulder. I’m gonna hold them nice
and steady otherwise. Alternating reverse curl. Coming down, knee kisses the ground, I’ll add a sound effect. (lips kissing) (lips kissing) (lips kissing) There it is. Comin’ back, reverse lunge. Take these nice and slow, no fires here. No fires here. We got about 10 more seconds, I’m gonna try and get
three more on each leg, we’ll see if it happens,
maybe two on each leg. Oh, no, I got it. Gimme one more each leg. Last one. All right, now we’re coming
into our glute bridge. So I’m just gonna come on down to the mat, laying on my back, knees are bent, fingertips touch the
heels, lifting hips up, lowering right back down. Each time, I’m trying to get
my lower back to kiss the mat, make sure that my core stays
engaged, chest stays open, firing up the glutes at the
top, controlling the lower. Exhaling on the up. We got about 20 seconds here. So if you add this
little pause at the top, and then slowly lower back down. Now a lot of people ask me, what does it matter if my palms
are up or my palms are down. For me personally, it’s
just more comfortable to go palms up. We got about five more seconds. Yeah, give me one more,
just one more, one more, and there it is, okay, all right. Final exercise of the set,
we are doing our deadlifts. So I’m gonna go ahead
and grab my dumbbells, I’m gonna turn sideways so
you can see what’s happening. Remember, hip-dominant, not knee-dominant. On your mark, get set, go. So keeping the back nice and flat. Pressing hips back, straight line from my head to my tailbone. The dumbbells go right below my knees, and I slowly extend up,
lower right back down. Hamstrings, back of my
legs, 10 more seconds. Let’s try and get five more, controlled. We got five. We’re gonna do four. We’re gonna do three. We got two more. We’re gonna do two. And we’re gonna do one. And there you have it, there you have it. So that right there, my friends,
is our hamstring workout. If you want a little
bit more of a challenge, again, you can always
add in some more weights, make sure that you’re movin’
the exercises nice and slow. Other than that, that was a
good way to work the hamstrings. Have a great rest of your day. I’m Charlee Atkins, thanks for
hamming it up with me today. For more good moves, make
sure that you subscribe to Well and Good, and we’ll
see you next time on the mat.


  1. Im in therapy three times a week due to hit n run. So this is what they have me doing ..core strength .

  2. Well+Good Squad!!🙋🏾‍♀️❤ You guy's are going to get me fit huh!!👍🏾💃🏾

  3. Gm how are you today? I wanted to ask for how long or times a week to feel results .? .

  4. Where to get such a cool yellow shorts? 😍😍😍

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