Training your hamstrings


ive decided to finish my leg workouts with 2 hamstring dominant exercises to address the balance between quads and hamm’s. The leg extension at my gym doesnt allow for the reverse leg press.
What exercises should i include to get stronger hamm’s?
What have you guys had success with???


Learn how to deadlift properly. Start with the bar, and learn to pull the bar properly.

Hypers and reverse hypers are pretty easy to do.

To add to this question as I have this same problem to address which with weights I have been doing so via deadlifts, good mornings, cable kickbacks and GHRs on an improvised machine. Does sprinting if you are already quad dominant contribute to the hamstring development or will the technique (lower hips) due to quad strength just lead to strength gained in the wrong places?

I cut squats out as it seemed to be hitting my quads and glutes more. I seem to have large glutes and fairly big quads, but in comparison not very much hamstring mass.

You may be doing too much. Deadlifts, good mornings, kickbacks, are alot of work. No need for that much loading to stimulate hamstring development. Hamstring mass may not be a good indicator for Q/H balance.

Not all on the same day. Deadlifting only once a week, with GHR as a supplemental exercise. Good mornings twice a week with kickbacks as a supplemental movement.

What is a better test of Q/H strength ratio? People speak of leg extension vs. ham curls, but that seems a little irrelevant to sprinting strength in the hamstrings?

As I said before, I find my hips coming too low, despite having reasonable strength in the squat and deadlift. (Maxes are 140kg and 160kg respectively, I weight 74-75kg.)

To keep my hamstrings singing sweetly I tend to do: Deadlifts,Hamstring Curls,Henks,Hamstring bridges,Reverse Hypers and maybe Goodmornings.

Regular massage and hip mobility and specific glute work help the hams also.

Train movements not muscles

Question about Hamstring Curls,
my old fysio told me that hamstring curls are “bad” for your hamstrings… He said this because he thinks that it is not a natural movement when you perform the excercise…
He told me that deadlifts and goodmornings are good things to do…

Any thoughts?

*btw… when doing weights, i do hamstring curls… But i’m used to do it like this…
Pull it up with 2 legs (bit fast) and down with 1 one leg (slow)… Since i started with this i’ve never had any troubles, but i’m taking good care of my back now also…

Yepp right, in the real life the hamstring m. never works without the gluts. So forget about the curl and start doing glute ham raises.

What if the hamstrings are weak in comparison to the glutes? Would curls be an appropriate means of correcting a strength imbalance?

I think even movements like a leg curl can have their place in a training program. Just be sure to stay to the side of hip dominant movements as the hamstrings primary role in the sprint are to extend the hip, then flex the knee.

I throw in leg curls every so often if I feel the need for some extra hamstring work, but they definitely are not the mainstay of my posterior chain work. Squatting (below parallel) and variations, deadlifts and variations, and olympic lifts all work the hamstrings very hard.

I’ve always thought that the “the ratio between quads & hams” is a crock of sh*t. That ratio is completely pointless.

Blinky, I tend to agree. If an athlete is squatting a lot of weight below parallel and has a lot agility then there’s no need to worry about ratios. It’s not like the hamstrings aren’t being used in quad dominant exercises anyways.

I’d concentrate on a lot of posterior chain work (squats as you’ve been doing, deadlifts, reverse hypers are very good), and if you want to work your hamstrings directly then leg curls are great. I think you’ll find though that compound movements take the cake in terms of strength - where as if you want hypertrophy then you’re going to be looking at more localized movements (such as hamstring curls) with high volume. I really, in all honesty, wouldn’t worry about it though. Work on bringing your compound max’s higher. You have a fair ammount of strength (good), but before you start addressing muscle imbalances you should build up more strength which will most likely fix the problem (if there even is one) over tiem.

or the squat is too high or the deadlift is too weak

or the squat is too high or the deadlift is too weak

As an aside, do you guys perform RDL’s like this? I was always taught to keep the knees a lot straighter.

I definitely keep the knees a lot straighter…
On the subject, I read that for hamstring hypertrophy you should hit higher reps on RDL’s and Dead lifts as the other muscles of the posterior chain are higher rep muscles. Whereas on a leg curl lower reps are required due to the characteristics of the hams individually…

the exercise linked it’s ok.

what UKcheetah reported has been sayd by CPoliquin, but i don’t agree at all.

maybe on the RDL you can use higher reps, but only sometimes, but that’s not useful use higher reps on the DL…

on the leg curl it could work

If I go high reps (8+) on RDLs my hamstrings will be sore for days. Not productive when training for speed. Maybe in a strength block or “off-season” where the focus is different. Leg curls though I can go high reps and not be very sore…

That’s just me though, I’m sure everyone is a bit different.

And I’ve never seen RDLs performed like that, twhite…