Top 11 Best Dumbbell Hamstring Exercises For Stronger Legs

Are you looking to strengthen your leg muscles? Dumbbell hamstring exercises are a great way to achieve stronger legs and improve overall fitness. Not only do these exercises help in building muscle mass and strength, but they also provide a range of other benefits such as improved balance, flexibility, and core stability. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 11 best dumbbell hamstring exercises that you can add to your workout routine. From the dumbbell stiff-leg deadlift to the lateral lunges with dumbbells, we have covered it all. We have also highlighted the benefits of doing hamstring exercises with dumbbells so that you know how they can benefit you. So, let’s get started on our journey towards stronger legs!

Benefits of Doing Hamstring Exercises with Dumbbells

Dumbbell hamstring exercises are a great way to work on your lower body without having to use any equipment that is too complicated. Not only do these exercises strengthen your hamstrings and lower back, but they also target other important muscle groups like your quads, glutes and calves. By using a pair of dumbbells while performing moves such as split squats or sumo squats you can add even more intensity to your workout than if you were just using bodyweight alone.


Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Engage your hamstrings with the highly effective Dumbbell Stiff-Leg Deadlift exercise. Engaging your lower back muscles helps build overall strength. Ensure proper form to avoid injury or strain on your lower back. Incorporating this best hamstring exercise into your leg day routine will promote muscle growth and mobility.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs, palms facing in.
  3. Keep your back straight and bend at the waist, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor.
  4. Keep the weights close to your body as you descend.
  5. Squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Deadlift

To work on your posterior chain and boost muscle growth, you cannot miss out on the Dumbbell Deadlift! Keep switching sides throughout reps for maximum results.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place a dumbbell on the ground in between your feet.
  3. Bend your knees and hips to lower your body and grab the dumbbell with both hands.
  4. Keep your back straight and drive through your heels to lift the weight off the ground.
  5. Extend your hips and knees until you’re standing straight.
  6. Lower the weight by bending your hips and knees and return to the starting position.

Single-Leg Dumbbell RDL

To work your hamstring muscle group effectively, try the Single-Leg Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift (RDL). This exercise is perfect for targeting hamstrings and glutes while also engaging lower back muscles.

How to:

  1. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body.
  2. Balance on one foot, while slightly bending the knee of the balancing leg.
  3. Keep your back straight, bend at your hip and lower your body and the dumbbells towards the ground while extending your free leg behind you for balance.
  4. Stop when your torso is parallel to the floor, or when you feel a stretch in the hamstring of the balancing leg.
  5. Return to the upright position by pushing your hips forward.
  6. Repeat the exercise on the other leg.

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

For an effective hamstring workout, one of the best hamstring exercises is the Dumbbell Reverse Lunge. This exercise targets not only the hamstrings but also other muscle groups such as the quadriceps and glutes.

How to:

  1. Stand straight holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  2. Step one foot back about two feet, landing on the ball of your foot, while keeping your heel off the ground.
  3. Lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Push off your back foot and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

Dumbbell Step-up

For improving hamstring and glute strength, Dumbbell Step-ups are one of the best exercises. This exercise goes beyond mobility to improve range of motion too! A personal trainer can guide through variations like adding knee raises or lateral steps for increased intensity.

How to

  1. Stand in front of a sturdy box or step holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place your right foot on the box.
  3. Press through your right foot to push your body up until your right leg is straight.
  4. Slowly lower your body back down by bending your right knee.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Lying Dumbbell Leg Curl

The Lying Dumbbell Leg Curl is a powerful exercise that targets the hamstring muscle group effectively while also working on the glutes and lower back muscles. Incorporating exercises like Lying Dumbbell Leg Curl in your workout routine can help you achieve strong and defined leg muscles.

How to:

  1. Lie facedown on a flat bench with your knees hanging off the edge.
  2. Hold a dumbbell between your feet, if possible, secure it with a strap.
  3. Keeping your thighs pressed against the bench, curl the dumbbell up by bending your knees.
  4. Lower the dumbbell by straightening your knees, and repeat.

Dumbbell Good Morning

For an effective hamstring workout that strengthens not only the hamstring muscles but also the glutes and entire posterior chain, consider adding Dumbbell Good Mornings to your leg day routine.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place a dumbbell horizontally on the back of your shoulders.
  2. Keep your back straight and bend forward at your hips, lowering your torso until it is parallel with the ground.
  3. Push your hips forward and return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Looking for the best hamstring exercises for stronger legs? Look no further than the Dumbbell Sumo Squat! This exercise is perfect for targeting not only the hamstrings but also the glutes and quadriceps. Add Dumbbell Sumo Squats to leg day for stronger muscles, improved mobility, and better range of motion.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing outwards.
  2. Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of you with both hands.
  3. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and hips and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

DB Glute Bridges/Hip Thrust

If you’re looking to add some variety to your hamstring workout routine, try incorporating DB Glute Bridges/Hip Thrust into your leg day. This exercise not only targets your hamstring but also engages your glutes and lower back muscles. This is one of the best hamstring exercises that can help you achieve muscle growth in both hamstrings and glutes.

How to:

  1. Sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench, knees bent, and a dumbbell on your hips.
  2. Push through your heels and lift your hips off the ground while squeezing your glutes.
  3. Lower your hips back to the ground and repeat.

Lateral Lunges With Dumbbells

Strengthening your hamstrings and glutes can be achieved through lateral lunges with dumbbells, which also improve balance and stability. Remember to start light before working your way up in weight on each rep. Be sure to switch legs for maximum effectiveness.

How to:

  1. Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  2. Take a big step to the right, then bend your right knee and push your hips back while keeping your left leg straight.
  3. Push back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

The best way to target both quads and glutes is by performing the Dumbbell Sumo Squat. Engage your posterior chain muscles throughout each rep by keeping your back straight and hinging at the hips as you lower your torso towards the ground. Make sure that you’re breathing correctly throughout each rep: inhale as you lower down into the squat position and exhale as you press through your heels back up to a standing position.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, your toes pointing slightly outwards. This stance should resemble that of a sumo wrestler.
  2. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your body. It should hang vertically, with your arms fully extended.
  3. Lower your body by bending at the hips and knees, maintaining a straight back. The dumbbell should move between your legs as you descend.
  4. Squat down as low as you can while keeping your heels flat on the floor.
  5. Push through your heels to stand back up, straightening your legs and returning to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dumbbell lunges good for the Hamstrings?

While dumbbell lunges focus mainly on the quads and glutes, they also involve the hamstrings to some extent. For more targeted hamstring exercises with dumbbells, try Romanian or single-leg deadlifts. Intensify your workout by incorporating resistance bands. Start with lighter weights and use proper form to avoid injury.

Why Should You Strengthen Hamstring Muscles?

Strengthening your hamstring muscles can enhance the strength and stability of your lower body, reducing the risk of injury in athletes with high-impact activities. Weak hamstrings may cause imbalances, leading to compensations and increasing injury risks. Improving hamstring strength can also enhance posture and balance.


Dumbbell hamstring exercises are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your legs while also improving your overall fitness. Not only do they help you build muscle mass, but they also improve your posture and balance. With the variety of exercises available, you can easily incorporate them into your workout routine at home or at the gym. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, these exercises will help you achieve your fitness goals. If you want to learn more about how to get the most out of your dumbbell hamstring exercises, check out our full guide for 11 best dumbbell hamstring exercises for stronger legs.