Strength training (esp hamstrings) without going to the gym

Hi and Happy New Year!

I'm doing my first marathon this year (Edinburgh) after a couple of halfs last year. I had a minor hamstring pull and the physio recommended eccentric hamstring exercises as well as other strength training.

The problem is, I know for a fact I won't stick at a gym, plus it's too expensive. I do accept I need to do some strength training though. Can people recommend exercises I can do at home? I don't mind buying a bit of kit if it will help, I read somewhere Roman chairs were good for this.




  • If you know you won't stick at it at a gym, what makes you believe you'll stick at it at home? image

  • Good question, the honest answer is I don't! Having been in and out of gyms for several years, I'm pretty confident that route won't work for me though so I'd like a plan B.

    Frankly, I'm still surprised that I'm still running nearly 2 years after taking it up  - that's a record for me!

  • I'd guess there are as many homes with unused "home gym" equipment (including my own!) as there are unused gym memberships out there.

    Have a look on youtube, there are loads of videos of exercises of all kinds.

    Also, maybe ask the physio what exercises s/he recommends.  My OH's physio gave him a sheet of exercises to do.

  • I've always heard lunges are very good for the hamstrings.

  • If you have trouble sticking to gym training on your own, you might consider going to a regular class; it's much easier to stay motivated if someone is telling you what to do. I do pilates in a small class where everyone has a reasonable level of fitness, and it includes lunges and things as well as general core strength and balance exercises. The other advantage is that my teacher can always suggest extra stretches etc. for me if I have any running-related niggles.

  • You could ask your physio to help put together a strength building routine (as Wilkie says) - that way he/she can place some focus on the weaknesses. Mine gave me a routine to follow following a hamstring/adductor injury. After rehab, he then rewrote it so that is was a little more general. The only equipment needed is a dumbbell and a resistance band. 

    This thread reminds me that I am not keeping up with the routine.image

  • Star jumps, squats both single and double legged and lunges will do it. Go to the gym. While you're there you'll do the exercises. If you don't go you'll watch tv.
  • Did you google it? Here is a youtube video that shows some: 

  • I went to a running specific trainer for a few months. He designed a routine for me for the gym and home. The advantage was having someone watch me and let me know when I was right or wrong - I hadn't realised there were so many things to get right with squats, lunges etc.

    I'm now trying to decide if I can keep it up on my own or not. Being with a trainer makes me do more, and probably do it better, but it isn't cheap.

  • Thanks for all the replies. Plenty to think about!

  • What about running hills to strengthen legs - that's got to be more fun than squats/lunges - but is it effective?

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