Quad/Ham/Glute Strength Balance

Basically, what is a good way for you to diagnose if your hamstrings are not strong enough in relation to your quads?

How could you tell if your quadricep strength was actually lacking compared to your posterior chain?

I know the importance of glute developement and that the hamstrings are sometimes overworked because of weak glutes , but what if are spending good time with glute activation/development and your hamstrings are actually too weak ?

I can definitely RDL more weight for more repetitions than i can back squat.

Im fairly sure i have good spinal erector strength.

At 5’11, 185lbs i have a 245lb (clean grip) front squat , 315 back squat and a 455 deadlift (conventional with hook grip.

I beleive i have either of these 2 qualities:

I am a short torso/long limbed type
My spinal erectors are maybe overdeveloped in relation to my overall leg strength.

Not completely sure.

Improve your squat form under heavy weight. Don’t worry about “imbalances.” Chances are your squat form sucks and that’s why your squat is so much lower than your deadlift. Bringing up hamstrings is a good idea regardless.

Strength is a skill, you probably don’t squat enough. Squat more and all will be fixed.

It really isn’t an issue a beginner or intermediate should concern themselves with. Unless you have some kind of ridiculous hang to your hamstrings or your quads look like a couple of rump steaks hanging over your knees, your issue is simply to continue with the lift. Become more technically proficient in all lifts and it will auto correct.

As a general rule though, you probably can’t do enough posterior chain work. I’ve never in 7 years seen/heard of someone with an issue of hamstrings that over power their quads.

[quote] Become more technically proficient in all lifts and it will auto correct.


I probably WOULD continue spending time perfecting and improving a limited number of exercises but i will get thrown off track by stuff, either different articles that i read , or the fact that something doesnt feel quite right when im performing a lift, or maybe i think a certain exercise would be good to include in my program.

One thing that has caused me to analyze what i am doing is the fact that over the course of a few months i had developed some nagging pain behind my right knee that would only occur during squatting type, knee flexion movements .

I have video taped myself a number of times and it was apparent that i had some kind of strength discrepancy between by right and left leg. During a set of squats when i became more fatigued my dominant leg would always want to get closer underneath the center of gravity while my non dominant leg would kind of shift outward a bit as if to avoid the extra work.

My right/dominant leg has some other problems in general such as my hip will pop when lifting or moving my leg in a certain motion/direction. At times i will seem to feel some kind of odd annoying strain in what i beleive is my pectineus. I’ll feel something wierd almost like a…pinched nerve or something acute in my distal hamstring about halfway down the leg. Alot of oddities that are completely absent in my other leg.

So when i had seen the strength discrepancy i immediately added some single leg exercises into my routine .

I am a very big fan of bulgarian split squats. The fact that they simultaneously stretch the hip flexor, work single leg strength and challenge less used stabilizers all at the same time makes them extremely valuable for someone like me that isnt playing any sports and spends at least a few hours sitting everyday.

Then i thought, well sh1t i dont want to get a groin pull doing sprints , what the hell happens if you just do a bunch of saggital movement without working that frontal plane such as doing a few sidestep lunges to work the adductors a little harder ?

Dont take me wrong i am 24 y/o and for the most part i feel pretty damn good and energetic, i like working hard. But then on the other hand, being physically able and having full mobility is probably the most important thing to me in life at this point , i want to avoid a debilitating degenerative kind of injury at all costs. Who the hell wants to get an inguinal hernia by accident ? That wouldnt be very cool.

There are tons of people on the injury forum who worked …hard …but not smart.

Do you really have a “strength discrepancy” in the sense of one leg being much stronger than the other on unilateral exercises? If not, just do fewer reps per set on squats and cue knees out as you learn to squat correctly, without twisting.

You are overly concerned with specifics dude. I don’t blame you when websites like this pump out so many articles on matters that should concern industry professionals, but not your average gym goer. It causes information overload and a big reason why I stopped reading all the crap and only ready certain ones from certain authors.

Buy yourself some books from Rippetoe, Tate, Wendler, Verkhoshansky, Dan John, etc.

When you are in the iron game for long enough, you will develop certain injuries. It is inevitable for anyone. You can manage this with supplementation (fish oils, glucosamine, etc.), diet (not over using dehydrating substances like alcohol, caffeine, etc.), prehab work (flexibility exercises before/after training, icing joints post workout, warming up). Imbalances will always be present. Manage those accordingly with unilateral work or doing bilateral work and ensuring you don’t go to a point where that imbalance causes a break down in form which will allow you to auto correct the imbalances provided you are indeed using correct form.

You simply aren’t going to strain your groin sprinting out of nowhere. Usually it is a case of overuse or not adequately creating elasticity in that region. I.e. don’t go from 0 to 60 in one or two steps. Work your way into it with gradual increases in intensity.

FWIW I’ve had next to zero training related injuries in 7 years of weight training. The only ones I had were purely out of my own stupidity - not warming up, forcing strength at the expense of form, etc that yielding strained muscles, tendonitis, bursitis - in fact I suffered far more injuries playing basketball when I was 7 to 17 (damaged ligaments, torn quads muscles, bruised and fractured fingers, sprained ankles, etc) at a time of my life when I was supposed to be at my most mobile.

I’m not going to bullshit you here, but if you can’t accept that injuries WILL occur (however serious) along the road, then maybe its time to find a different hobby. It’s much like the people that want to invest their money and get great returns, yet don’t want to take on much risk.