Hamstring Workout

Do you give your hamstrings the attention they deserve?

Today, I want to focus on an important muscle that is often underworked: your hamstrings. Your hamstrings work in perfect partnership with your quads at the front of your legs. Unfortunately, we often fail to train and stretch them effectively, which can lead to muscle stress and tears. Our exercises today will focus specifically on stretching and strengthening your hamstrings to help keep you in perfect running shape. So get warmed up and join me for a hamstring workout.

My hamstring workout for today will include the following moves:

  • Plank walk out
  • Supine hamstring stretch
  • Seated modified hurdle stretch
  • Dynamic hamstring stretch while standing
  • Knee mobilization exercise
  • Hip flexor and quad stretch
  • Modified dead lift
  • Single leg hamstring walk with lift
  • Hamstring focused bridge
  • Stability ball hamstring curls
  • Prone hamstring squeeze
  • Holding towel stretch

It is important to ensure that you do a balanced workout. If you do spend time focusing on one specific muscle group, ensure that you follow it up with a workout for its partner muscle in the same week.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

5k Training Plans and Schedule

Looking For a Low Impact Workout?

This is the video for you. Join me, Samantha Clayton, Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife as I show you this fun, beginners’ workout that anyone can do.

Today, I wanted to show you a few low-impact moves that are perfect for beginner exercisers. A workout is considered to be low-impact if at least one of your feet remains in contact with the ground at all times

Low-impact exercise is great for people who are carrying excess body weight because these exercises tend to be less jarring on the body and joints, and is generally less intense overall. If you are already fit and active you can do this low impact workout on a day that you want to give your joints a rest!   I believe that it is important for you to incorporate a wide variety of moves into your exercise routine. Following a stepped approach and working with low impact moves is a great way to get started. Have fun and remember to always listen to your body.

As always, start a workout with a warm up. If you’re not sure how to warm up, check out my previous video on how to do a basic warm up:

Here we go with the workout—the first move will be 30 seconds of walking, with arms up overhead. This works the upper body and lower body. It should challenge your coordination because you’re taking opposite arm to opposite leg.

Our next move is a windmill. Step back, arms come down; step across, arms come over. You’ll be able to feel this move work your glutes and your inner thighs. This move starts to engage your core and will get your heart rate up. You’ll feel your oblique starting to work.

Now go into squat position because the next move is a squat with jab punches. I want you to sit back into squat. And we’re just going to do simple jab punches. Bring your arms out at shoulder height. Make sure your core is engaged, sit back so that your knees are behind your toes, and you’re working the glutes.

The next move is for your hips. Start by putting your arms up, and then lift your heels to meet your hands. This range of motion really helps with the hips, but you’re still engaging your core and arms.

The last move: lunge knee drives. Start in a lunge position with your arms coming straight out. Drive your knee to meet your hand. Again, this will engage the core, and it will also engage the glutes.   Try each of these moves for about 30 seconds each. Then take it back up to the top and repeat this circuit through for a second time.


Warm Up Exercises – Neck, Shoulder, Back, Hips, Legs

The aim of a warm up is to prepare your body for exercise. A warm up should include dynamic stretches and movements because you’re quite simply preparing your body to move. Many people are at a loss for exactly what to do for their warm up. As a general guideline, I like to have people put their joints through a full range of motion and perform movements similar to those they would do as part of their work out. I’ve put together a basic warm up that prepares me for any workout. Work through each move eight to ten times.

Let’s start out with the neck:
-Simply look down, and slowly and gently just turn your neck from one side to the other, making sure your eyes follow the direction that you are going. You never want to lean all the way back, and be sure to protect your spine.

From the neck, we’ll take it down shoulders:
-Roll your shoulders starting with small movements. Gradually increase the movements, and then switch direction. Then make them really big circles. Do some in both directions.
-Take your arms our wide, and then cross them across your body. And then do that again—all the way out, and cross over.
-Take your hands behind your head. You want to gently pull your shoulders back, and then bring your elbows together.
-Repeat each move four or five times.

Let’s move on to the back:
-Cross your hands over your body. Then give a slight lean forward and then come back up.
-Leaning over, put your hands onto your thighs, and then pull your back all the way up—almost like a cat stretch, and then relax down. Similar to the cat-cow stretch, but we’re doing it standing.

Now, let’s take it down to the lower body:
-Hips: do some gentle hip circles to loosen up the hips. Just a few in both directions.
-Hamstrings: Standing straight, bring the foot up, bending at the knee, and then tap it back.
-Now, turn that into more of a leg swing. Keep the leg straight. Start off small and then as you progress, just gently bring your leg up a little further.

Make sure to do both legs.
-Another great hamstring one: Pull your knee up to your chest, keeping your back straight, and then release your leg back down. And switch sides.
-Quads: Do some simple squats with toes are pointing forward. Then sit back, as if you were sitting in a chair, using your arms. Do small movements to start with, then as you get comfortable, sit a little deeper and bring your arms our a little further
-To finish off, lift one knee up and hold. Then it pull across the body. You should feel the stretch right on the outside of the glute. Repeat on the other side. Make sure you’re not twisting your body, but you feel good holding your balance.

Now, once you’re done with all your stretches, it’s time to get the heart rate up—do some jumping jacks. So again, start out with small with mini jacks movements and then gradually increase your movements as you get going.

After your warm up, I hope you feel energized and ready to work out. Remember that we are all individuals, so spend longer working on areas of your body that feel tight.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

10 Minute Fat Burning Circuit

Controlling your intensity during a workout may seem like an odd concept. But if you’re always pushing yourself to the maximum, you’re burning carbohydrate as your fuel source. Your body predominantly burns stored fat as its fuel source during a long steady state exercise. Intense exercise is great as it promotes muscle building and your body will burn calories later in the day during recovery.

Join me as I do a 10 minute basic fat burning circuit and let’s burn some fat together. All you’ll need is a jump rope and a step. Let’s do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest for this circuit.

JOG (20 seconds)
We’re going to start out by jogging in place for 20 seconds, slowly getting your heart rate up.

Rest (10 seconds)

JUMP OVER THE ROPE (20 seconds)
If you have a rope, put it down on the floor, in a vertical line. If you have tape, you can tape down the rope. And if you don’t have a rope, you can just use an imaginary line. Once the rope or imaginary line is in place, jump from side to side, over the rope.

Rest (10 seconds)

Now you’ll need your step. Step up onto your step, drive up with the knee, step back down. Alternate sides. You could always add weights to add some resistance. Always remember to step with your foot in the middle of the step.

Rest (10 seconds)

TRICEP DIPS (20 seconds)
We’re going to do tricep dips on the floor. Sitting on the floor, feet are apart, lift yourself up using the tricep muscles. Do these dips for about 20 seconds. You just want to make sure that you push yourself and feel the muscles in the back of your arms working.

Rest (10 seconds)
Jump back up onto your feet. Breathe it out.

POWER JACKS (20 seconds)
Power jacks are simple jumping jacks but they include a squat hold. Make sure you sit your body weight back in your heels when you hold. Make sure you’re working your glutes and hamstrings.

Rest (10 seconds)
Get back down on the floor because we’re doing abs next.

TOE TOUCH ABS (20 seconds)
Lie flat on the floor with arms out. Then we’re going to touch the toes, opposite arm to opposite leg. Be careful as you twist, try to keep your back nice and flat on the floor.

Rest (10 seconds)

ICE SKATERS (20 seconds)
Last exercise of the circuit is called ice skaters. Step to one side, then step to the other side, like you’re skating on ice. Make sure to slightly lean forward.

I’d like you to try to do this circuit three times through. But remember one time is always better than no times. I hope you enjoyed this fat burning circuit. Have fun putting together your own circuit using your own favorite exercises. It’s important, especially if you enjoy endurance based sports to become an efficient, fat-burning athlete. Building lean muscle mass in my opinion is the best way to burn fat long term.

Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter.

Advanced Circuit Workouts – Including Dumbell Exercises

Do you like circuit workouts? Then try my advanced circuit today.

If you’re ready for an advanced challenge, then get warmed up and join me for my advanced circuit workout. We’re going to work at a high intensity and perform some high impact exercises. As always, work at a level that fits your own personal level of fitness, and only attempt advanced moves when you are ready.

We’re going to work in an interval style, doing 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of an active rest core move.

High Intensity Move: SQUAT JUMPS

First, we’re going to do squat jumps. Sit in a squat position. Jump forward, then shuffle back. As you squat down, always sit back on your heels. The further you sit back and jump forward, the harder it is.

Active Rest Move: CRUNCHES

For your rest move, I want you to do some crunches. Make sure to lift your shoulders off the floor, eyes towards the ceiling, and chin off the chest. If you’re not sure how to do a crunch, see my video that explains this move here:

High Intensity Move: PUSHUP JACKS

These are my favorite. Get into pushup position, and then jack out the feet. Always focus on your form—hands should be just slightly wider than shoulder width apart with wrists and shoulders in a nice straight line.


For our next rest move, get onto hands and knees. And then just lift and extend one leg. Bring the knee in, and then extend it out again. Do a few on one side and then switch sides. You’ll work the core for this move.

High Intensity Move: SWITCH LUNGES

Get into lunge position, and then simply switch lunge positions with a jump. Just jump and switch. If you’re not quite ready to do that, you can always stop in the middle. You want to go for height! Really push up out of that lunge.

Active Rest Move: BICYCLE

Get back down to the floor for bicycle for this next rest move. Lie with your back flat against the mat, and twist carefully—elbow to knee.

High Intensity Move: DUMBBELL SNATCH

Our last move of the circuit is called a dumbbell snatch. Take one dumbbell and place it on the floor in front of you. Then sit back putting weight in the heels, and then lift the dumbbell up. Put the dumbbell back down, and then jump. Switch sides and then lift the dumbbell with the other hand. Pick a weight that’s comfortable, and never jump with the weight.

I’m Samantha Clayton, fitness expert and former competitive sprinter. I’m working with Herbalife to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

Active Lifestyle Nutrition

Every pound of muscle in our bodies burns 7-10 calories a day, while each pound of fat burns just 2 calories per day. Include strength training in your exercise programme alongside cardio. Eating 20g of protein with every meal and snack helps prevent muscle wasting. Have you had your shake after your workout?! “Important! Don’t skip your protein shake after you exercise and think that you’ll save calories! A protein shake after training accelerates lean muscle growth, which in turn revs your metabolism and burns more fat.