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Front Squats: Hamstrings?


To what degree are the hamstrings used in a deep front squat compared to the quads ?

any help would be great thanks :slight_smile:


i'll bite. the hamstrings are worked less than the quads.


The front squat primarily works the quads and that is the point' although all upper leg muscles are involved. I wouldn't worry about 'how much hams are involved' because if you choose to do FS then you obviously want to work the quads more!

On any squat variation the deeper you descend the more your glutes and hams are involved.

Foot pressure will also influence the muscles you work, with pressure exerted through the ball of the foot primarily activating more quads' and pressure exerted through the heel activating more glutes and hams.

The degree to which the hams are involved compared to the quads will have a lot to do with 'your' technique and 'your' body structure, which can't be ascertained here.

So unless you are involved in some EMG study thing I wouldnt even bother worrying about it!


Not always. Some of us have chosen to do the front squat because our backs are too fucked up to handle a back squat. I do agree with everything else you said though.

Wider foot placement with toes pointed out also take some of the weight of the quads. If you do front squats, should have a primary movement for hamstrings as well. For me, it was leg press with feet high and wide along with leg curls. Straight leg deadlifts is another good option if your back is healthy.




to the extent that you extend your hips




The wider your stance and the more your toes point out, the more your hammies are involved as a rule of thumb. Obviously this is assuming you go to at least parallel...and no, just because your high school coach or 135 lb buddies said you went to parallel doesn't mean shit. Videos are the only way to be sure.


I would not rely on them for your ham work.


Let's just say you won't get big hams by doing Front Squats. Stick to GMs, SLDL, and leg curl variations.


Why the lack of love for RDLs, reverse hypers, GHRs and sumo DLs?


lol the best way to get your hams up is a cycle comprising of an initial uphill running/sprinting phase, then single leg movements slrd and single leg squats finished off with a phase of deadlifts, rack pulls and ghrs/reverse hypers.

with hams its about feel


Did I really have to name everything? I was just giving examples, those movements are fantastic for hammies.


don't kill me!

what about starting the up movement only on your heels and none of the toe? As in Smith machine for this for variation


Of course you didn't need to specify them all but you did say "stick to" thus implying other were less useful/of no benefit.


Guess this would be like sumo leg press, never really felt these were the most effective hammie exercise personally - but they are popular among DC trainees.