Sprint training #4 Hamstring training to sprint faster

Much literature is written about the function of the hamstring during sprinting. Hegyi(2) wrote in 2019 that there is already a lot of isometric hamstring activity in the biceps femoris at 75% of your speed. So your hamstrings play an important role during sprinting.

(info graphics YLMSportscience https://ylmsportscience.com)

Higashihara (4) also writes that there is a high activity of the hamstrings during acceleration and sprinting. During the first meters of your sprint, the acceleration phase, you will see that there is a difference in hamstring activation between the different phases of your running. This study shows that during the acceleration phase, the peak force on the biceps femoris is greater due to the active extension of the hip. While during maximum speed the forces on the semitendinosis due to the knee flexion and extension are again higher. This shows that training the hamstring both over the hip and over the knee can be very important for sprinting, as it provides support in multiple phases of the movement.

(info graphics YLMSportscience https://ylmsportscience.com)

V Hooren and vd Bosch published a nice article in 2017 in which the question is asked which activity takes place in the hamstring during running. According to that research, people often speak of a small union of the muscle (eccentric contraction) during running, whereby they ask the question whether this comes from the muscle itself or whether it is more lengthening of tendon tissue. This would mean that the length of the muscle remains the same as it provides force (isometric contraction).

Because this question is not yet clearly answered in the literature, we have exercises for both contraction forms ;).

So we at Performance trainers advise you: strengthen your hamstrings and improve your sprinting/running!

Check our shop for the ideal training materials to improve your sprint speed!

Isometric Shapes:

glute bridge walk out:

Single leg hop out:


Eccentric shapes:

Single leg deadlift:

Single leg deadlift stiff swing to front knee lift



  1. How muscles maximize performance in accelerated sprinting Pandy et al (2021)
  2. Hamstring activity at different running speeds Heghi MSSE (2019)
  3. Mechanics of the Human Hamstring Muscles during Sprinting SCHACHE, AG, TW DORN, PD BLANCH, NAT BROWN, and MG PANDY. Mechanics of the Human Hamstring Muscles during Sprinting. med. sci. Sports Exercise, Vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 647–658, 2012
  4. Hamstring activation acceleration vs maximum speed phases of printing Higashihara et al. J sport sci 2017.
  5. Is there really an eccentric action of the hamstrings during the swing phase of high speed running? Part I: A critical review of the literature Bas v Hooren Journal of Sports Sciences (September 2017 )
  6. https://ylmsportscience.com