Some useful exercises for working out the hamstrings are deadlifts, lying leg curls and floor glute-ham raises. The different forms of deadlifts provide various benefits, but all types help develop hamstring strength. Lying leg curls effectively isolate the hamstrings, and the glute-ham raise is a powerful knee flexion exercise.
The hamstrings are not a single muscle; rather, they are a group of muscles that provide many functions. They are important for knee flexion and, more importantly, hip extension, which is crucial for sports performance and low-back health. Exercises to strengthen the hamstrings often work on the glutes as well while reducing tension on the muscles of the back.