We all know these words repeated like some mantra: don’t skip legs day. Most guys however skip it and end up with lower part of the body being much better developed than the lower part. We all know overdeveloped upper body looks a bit ridicules and with all seriousness can have some negative health implication (such as back pains).
But among people who actually put an effort in developing great and strong legs – how many remember to keep adequate proportion of quads and hamstrings?
It is very common at almost any gym you will attend – guys with nicely developed quads and almost invisible hamstrings.
You don’t train your hamstring as hard as the rest of legs muscles
Most of the guys tend to forget that legs are powerful and endure a lot during day-to-day activities. They are carrying the whole body for a majority of a day. That’s why you can forget about light legs sessions. Your legs need some serious push in order to grow. This applies to hamstrings as well.
This is a common mistake among gym goers. While they put effort in squats they don’t do the same for hamstring exercises. While squats are the main exercise for legs and should be done at the beginning of the training (especially if you are using heavy weights) they are not a primary hamstring exercises. Squats are fantastic for quads and gluts but won’t necessary build you a great back of your legs.
As any other muscles hamstrings should be trained to failure. The same effort and energy should be put in movements which result in even and aesthetic legs muscles development.
You don’t have hamstring exercises in your schedule at all
For many gym goers legs day equals press machine and squats at it best. I’ve seen some workout routine which did not include holistic approach to legs muscle building.
Surprisingly the same people had all possible exercises written for their upper body routines. They knew they need to get triceps and biceps developed in order to have beautifully built arms but they failed to apply the same philosophy for their legs.
Make sure your routine contains at least 2-3 hamstring exercises.
If you don’t know which exercise to choose simply check this ranking and choose the most effective.
You don’t keep a proper form during exercising
I have seen it too often. Young (usually young) guys want to boost their egos and lift big as soon as possible. While their aim is to build muscles they tend to get some not always beneficial habits of powerlifters (who got different aim) and try to lift weights way outside their current abilities. Result is poor form of an exercise resulting of arrested muscle development.
The rule of a thumb is this: if you are not able to keep correct form during the exercise it means the weight is too big for you. Yes, you want to lift big – but within correct form.
Incorrect form is common especially with Romanian deadlift. I would be rich if I’m being paid $1 each time I see someone performing Romanian deadlift incorrectly.
You train hamstrings at the end of training session
Most of less experienced bodybuilder keep prioritising squats on their legs day. There is nothing wrong with it – it is actually recommended to start your workout with the most demanding exercising.
However, many of us tend to lower down the quality of exercises performed by the end of our training session. It is the time when we lose focus easily and often perform less sets.
For that reason alone, especially if you can’t find extra motivation, try to perform some hamstring exercises on the beginning of the training.
Don’t forget about your hamstrings as underdeveloped back of your legs would destroy symmetry and aesthetics of your legs. Unduly focusing your training on quads can lead to unwanted poor quads to hamstring ratio and force you to correct this imbalance by switching quads training to maintenance mode (to reduce disproportion between hamstrings and quads).