Training Hamstrings in a Home Gym

Hey guys, as you can see I’ve been a member of the site for a couple years, however I have never contributed. However, I have a question I was hoping I could get some help with.

For the past year or so I have been working out on my own in my home gym. I attached a picture I found on the internet of the gym I own (Ironmaster Self-spotter). I also have an olympic bar, approximately 550lbs of iron and some other random pieces of equipment that I use.

To my question…for those of you who use a home gym and for anyone else who has some good suggestions, what sort of exercises would you do for hamstrings. I deadlift on my back day and do hamstring curls on leg day, but generally I think my quads get more work than my hamstrings.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Seriously? Good morning variations, natural GHR’s, romanian deads, stiff leg deads, pull throughs, yadda yadda yadda.

Thanks for the reply, I have tried and given up good mornings. I’ve never seen pull throughs and I will give them a try. The reason I have been avoiding SLDL and Romanian DL’s is by the time I have finished several squat variations, I am so exhausted that to do another heavy exercise I would have to sacrifice quality (something I try to avoid on heavy exercises). I could and maybe should remove a squat movement and replace it with SLDL or Romanian.

Thanks again.

Single leg SLDL’s are awesome fun. Less load too, so less load on the lower back.

If you can tuck your feet under something then Glute ham raises are the bomb.

I used to to glute-ham raises when I worked out at a commercial gym, however I obviously don’t own the piece of equipment I used to use…I will try to find a make-shift way of doing them.

I looked up single let SLDL…do you prefer a dumbell of a barbell…I saw both as examples.


my 2c:

-increase poundage on leg curl and keep the reps low (3-6) for many sets.
-do SLDL
-if you leg press, you can tweak the movement to hit your glutes/hams more than your quads. put your feet higher up on the plate so you’re getting more movement at the hip, and less at the knee (at the bottom of the -ve, your knee should be almost touching your face).
-keep squatting
-move SLDL somewhere where you’re more comfortable.

natural GHR.

take your barbell, lay load it with a couple 45s on each side, set it on the floor with the bar against one of the uprights of the rack, wedge a small plate under the 45s to keep them from rolling, lay down a pillow or mat for your knees, roll a towel up around the bar, kneel on the pillow with your ankles under the barbell, preform the NGHR, grow big hamstrings.

BUT, the way you are complaining about how hard a compound movement is, you probably don’t have the will power to train these with the intensity they require either.

why did you give up good mornings?

[quote]trevor16 wrote:

I looked up single let SLDL…do you prefer a dumbell of a barbell…I saw both as examples.

Thanks [/quote]

i find DB easier to balance, but try both ways. see what works for you.

Find a way to fit SLDL’s in. Drop conv deads if you have to.

GHR don’t need a machine. I tuck my feet under the couch and put some plates on it to hold it down.

These are the only exercises necessary. Why you are doing several squat variations in a single workout is beyond me.

Also, this might sound dumb to some, but when doing lunges, I find if I push up using my heel it puts alot more emphasis on the hamstring.

Thanks for the advice everyone. Much appreciated.

DoubleDuce I don’t believe I am complaining about how hard compound movements are. In fact, due to working out in a home gym nearly all my training is done on heavy compound movements. What I was trying to say is there comes a point in a workout where too many heavy, compound exercises becomes too difficult, and quality will begin to decline. I like to keep the quality of heavy exercises at a higher level rather than doing them for the sake of doing them.

I gave up on Good mornings because I always feel it only in my lower back. I don’t know if I am doing them incorrectly, or if my lower back is a weak link or what. I’ll try them again and figure things out if you guys feel they are a very beneficial exercise. Like I said I used to do natural GHR’s, and thanks to your and everyone else’s advice, I will start doing them again in my rack the way you described.

Thanks again everyone.

I’ve never been able to work up heavy enough with single leg deads to get much out of them, and I have excellent balance, so I’m not sure how people are getting to any kind of load with these. What worked for me was switching my squatting to wider stance box squats off a foam pad. These hit my hamstrings a lot better and through a useful ROM.

Also, try doing your good mornings from the bottom up, from the pins. If you don’t have pins, get some ratchet tie downs with strapping. I use this attached to the bottom of my platform for pin press/isometrics, and attached to the rafters for spotting and for exercises from the bottom/dead start.

If you don’t have a cable stack in your home gym, do the pull throughs with bands. I actually prefer them with bands since they get “heavier” at lockout, which is for me the easy portion of a pull through. EFS is having a sale on them right now, and Louie always has a good price on them. I use bands for a lot of exercises I couldn’t do in my home gym set up otherwise.

If I had a home gym I would be all over barbell glute bridges and barbell hip thrusts. Check out Bret Contreras’ most recent article for more info.

I recently splashed out some money on a home gym and I train my hamstrings as much as when I went to a commercial gym. The only exercise I don’t do is hamstring curls and I think they are shit anyway. I think by mixing in RDL, dumbbell RDL, natural GHR, deadlifts, good mornings etc you’ll hit the hamstrings more than enough. I just want to get some bands so I can start doing pull throughs.

RDL is probably your best option, I am sure you could fit it in somewhere. It is certainly better than neglecting your hamstrings as you don’t want an imbalance.