Back and hamstrings together

Training Back and Hamstrings Together: 3 Bodybuilding Workouts You Can Do

There’s one thing that can be said for the typical bodybuilding training splits. They’re extremely effective.

Want proof? Just take a look at the countless pro bodybuilders who have built phenomenal physiques from these ‘bro-splits!’ And one training split that will give you that true 3D look is training back and hamstrings together.

In this post, I’m going to tell you why you should consider training back and hamstrings in the same workout. I’ll also show you what to do after these workouts to gain more muscle, and keep these muscles healthy.

And even better, I’m going to give you 3 workouts for back and hams.

Benefits of Training Back and Hamstrings Together

Most people don’t pay enough attention to their back muscles. They’re focused on chest, shoulders, and arms…those muscles that are more visible in the mirror.

Likewise, many neglect their hamstrings. They make the mistake of thinking that hams get enough work from exercises like squats and leg press.

The problem is if you don’t pay more attention to these muscles, you’re never going to have a full, 3-dimensional physique. In other words, you’ll look funny.

So here’s the benefits of dedicating a full workout to back and hamstrings:

  • You’re focusing on the entire backside of your body in the same workout (a side that is often neglecting, or not trained as hard)
  • There are exercises that will help build both your back and hamstrings
  • The workouts below are designed to be a 2nd workout for back and legs; I’ll explain more of this later!

Back and Hamstring Workouts

Single Arm Cable Rows Bodybuilding Back Workout

Below you’ll get 3 different workouts for training back and hamstrings together. Here are a few things to remember when training these muscles:

  • Use good form; don’t cheat yourself out of gains!
  • Make sure you’re forcing your muscles to do the work, not just moving weight from point A to B – focus, and concentrate
  • Stretch your back and hamstrings after these workouts
  • Make one of these workouts your 2nd workout of the week for back and legs (I’ll explain more after the workout section below)

Back and Hams Workout 1

This first back and hamstrings workout has you starting with hamstrings first. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Hamstrings are often neglected, so it’s sometimes beneficial to train them first
  2. As I explain at the end of the video below, this is the 2nd back and leg workout of the week. So you won’t be training back quite as heavy; this workout is more for concentrated and focused reps.
  3. The way the sequence to exercises flows in this workout, you’re already setup to do rows right after stiff-leg deadlifts (I explain this in the video as well).

Back and Hamstrings Workout Video

ExerciseSets x Reps
Seated Leg Curls5 x 10*
Stiff-leg Deadlifts4 x 10
Barbell Rows4 x 8-10*
Lat Pulldowns4 x 10*
Single-arm Seated Rows3 x 10
Cable Pullovers3 x 12

*Drop set on final set; reduce the weight about 30% for the drop

Back and Hams Workout 2

This could be considered a powerbuilding workout. You’re starting with deadlifts, which your hamstrings play a huge role in. But you also use your back muscles for this exercise too.

There are not as many exercises for this workout. This is because deadlifts take a toll and if you’re training with intensity, you won’t be able to do much after deadlifts and rows.

So you’ve essentially got two heavy compound exercises followed by 2 exercises that target specific muscles, directly.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Deadlifts5 x 8, 8, 3, 3, 3
Reverse Grip Barbell Rows5 x 8-10
Lying Leg Curls4 x 8-10*
Dumbbell Rows4 x 8-10*

*Drop set on final set; reduce the weight about 30% for the drop

Back and Hams Workout 3

This final back and hamstrings workout is a high volume bodybuilding workout. You’re pumping a lot of sets and reps, and really get the blood pumping throughout your muscles.

For back, you’re hitting a variety of angles. You’ll start with heavy barbell rows (do a few warm-ups first, which are not listed). Then you start gradually increasing the reps each exercise thereafter.

The hamstring exercises are basic but these are extremely effective when executed properly, and with good form.

You’ll end with hyperextensions. This sounds like a lower back exercise, and indeed it is. But you can also concentrate on using your hamstrings to pull your body up.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Rows4 x 6
Wide Grip Seated Rows4 x 8
Close-Grip Lat Pulldowns4 x 10
T-bar Rows3 x 15
Lying Leg Curls3 x 10
Stiff-leg Deadlifts3 x 10
Hyperextensions (weighted)3 x 10

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Post-Workout Stretching for Back and Hams

seated toe touch stretch yoga

Back and hamstrings are 2 muscles that you really want to stretch after every workout. In fact, I stretch these muscles almost daily, whether I work them that day or not.

Doing Yoga is an excellent form of stretching these muscles. But there’s actually a more targeted approach to your lower back and hamstring health by training your hip flexors.

You can learn more about how to stretch your hip flexors to reduce soreness and pain, and also enhance muscle, joint, and tendon health in Mike Westerdal’s program Unlock Your Hip Flexors.

**The link above goes directly to the Unlock Your Hip Flexors product.

Why You Should Consider Training Back and Legs Twice a Week

One thing I encourage you to do with the workouts in this post – use these workouts as your 2nd leg and back workout of the week. What do I mean by that?

Do one of these workouts towards the end of the week. So this means you’ll do your first back and leg workouts (not necessarily together) at the beginning of the week. Then you’ll come back several days later and do a workout for back and hamstrings.

Here’s a sample training split (also known as a ‘bro-split’)…

  • Monday: Back
  • Tuesdays: Legs (quads-focused)
  • Wednesday: Chest and Biceps
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
  • Friday: Back and Hamstrings
  • Sat/Sun: Rest

The reason I encourage this is because both your back and legs are the largest muscles in your body. And for some reason, probably because they’re not as visible, they’re often neglected or not trained as hard. Especially hamstrings.

**You can read more about why I recommend having 2 leg days in this post: Training Legs Twice a Week: How to Build Bigger Legs.

Also, your back is much more complex than your other upper body muscle groups. So it needs more attention to truly grow. You can’t train back the same as chest and shoulders.

**You can read more in general which muscles to train more often in this post: Training Frequency: Once vs Twice a Week for Muscle Mass.

Your Next Workout

Seated Leg Curls bodybuilding leg workout

I encourage you to try one of my back and hamstring workouts! Maybe you can go to the gym on a normal off day and just try it out. See how you feel.

After that, you can decide whether you want to integrate this type of workout into your training. And again, if you do then make back and hamstrings the 2nd workout for those muscles that week.

You can expect to see a ‘huge’ difference in muscle growth for these muscles. Your legs will look more filled out and your upper body will gain more of that 3-dimensional look.

**If you’re ready to start an intense 12-week program, check out my premium programs below:

Hardcore Muscle Building Program
Lean Muscle Building Program

Train with Passion,


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