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Stronger Legs and Bigger Hamstrings Help


First off, this is my first post and I'm not sure if it belongs in the Bodybuilder forum, so forgive me.

I want to develop stronger legs first and foremost, but I also want to add size to my hamstrings so they look more balanced with my bigger quads. The only equipment I have is a power rack with barbell and flat bench. I'm 5'10 and vary between 160 and 165lbs.

My leg days (3 times a week) look like this:
Barbell Squat (ass to grass)
2x5 135lbs
1x5 165lbs
1x5 185lbs
1x5 205lbs
1x5 225lbs
*Basically I keep adding 20 lbs after the first few sets until I feel I can't handle it. If I'm feeling good I can go to 245 (I've hurt my back in the past with bad form so I've very careful with attempting heavier weights).
Then I also do snatch grip deadlifts on a platform (standing on a phonebook) with the same weight progression.

I appreciate any advice.


Was there a question asked? Your hamstrings are part of your legs, so by developing stronger legs it's assumed you want to add size to your hamstrings, right? Squatting with good form will work the hell out of your hamstrings. Lunges, romanian deadlifts, and sprints are also good ways to bring up your hamstrings.


Rickyho, focusing on building a stronger and efficient squat should be your primary concern in the beginning. Once you can squat around 2-2.5 x your bodyweight, I would look at putting in varied squat styles into your training. For thighs, one of my favorite quad builders are narrow stance/heels raised higher rep front squats without any pause b/w reps without accending to full lockout to maintain stress on the thighs. I've had more success from strict from front squats for building my quads than anything else, but you'll have to experiment for yourself of course.

For your hams SLDL/RDLs, glute-ham raises, and even leg curls with bands are great. You can perform the GHR on the ground with your feet anchored, and these are awesome for your hamstrings.

On any given week however, if you are consistenly working your deadlift variations and barbell squat variations you should build a nice pair of legs. The KEY to building bigger legs in my opinion is simply working out like a man with a high pain tolerance. Too many people cut themselves short of about 6 reps on their squats; even when you are breathing heavy, dizzy, and legs burning-- you can always grind out more reps on squats. Generally you can get away with being a pansy on bench, rows, etcetera and still see results, but you HAVE to work the hell out of your legs to significant results. Just my .37 cents.

Edit: Try throwing the front squats in place of regular squats on one or two of your days. It is easier on your lower back and might be a nice change of pace for you.


From the looks of it, your leg work is very quad dominant. Not so great if you want to develop the hamstrings optimally.

There are many ways you could go about this. But what I personally do is have two leg days during the week. One is quad dominant (squats and sqaut variations) the other is hamstring dominant (deadlift and dealift variations).

If you wish to keep with the three leg days per week, I would devote two of them to hamstring training and the third remaining day to quads. And keep that up until your hammies are where you want them to be.


Oh man are you doing 5x5 or something?....just the thought of squatting 3x per week makes me sore lol.

Would love to try it sometime though :slightly_smiling:


I remember squatting 3 times a week used to be a light / medium / heavy day.


Eat some food.

That being said, read through these if you care enough: http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/hamstrings_not_taken_seriously_by_some