Hamstring Curl

Exercise Details for Hamstring Curl

  • Primary Muscle
    Hamstrings
  • Secondary Muscle
    Calves
  • Equipment
    Machine
  • Level
    Easy

Why Should You do Hamstring Curl?

Hamstring curl or leg curl is a machine exercise for mainly the back thighs. It is a fairly simple exercise in its foundation whose trajectory has low demands on control and technique. Therefore, this leg exercise suits everyone. But there are several things to keep in mind that will maximize the training of the back thighs even more.

Preparatory

Stand or lie down in the machine, depending on the type of machine. Adjust the leg cushion so that it rests against the heel tendon. This can be varied according to feeling, but the cushion should be over your heel but under your calf muscles. By stretching your feet so that your toes come further down, you maximize the training of the hamstrings even more. This is called Plantar Flexion. The reverse, Doris flexion, is a mistake that many people make. They lift their toes towards the shin, which activates the calves, which we do not want.

Performance

Slowly pull your legs up towards your buttocks. Go all the way up so that the cushion hits your buttocks before you slowly go back with your legs. The way back is at least as crucial as the way up. Especially in this exercise and for this muscle, you can tense the muscle you are exercising on the way back, the better hamstring you will get. Let it take time on the way down. If it feels comfortable, you can go all the way down so that your legs are outstretched, but several machines overstretch your knee joint in the bottom position. If you feel discomfort in the bottom position, you should stop just before fully extended legs.

Do not swing with your upper body during the movement, only your legs should bend.

To maximize the contraction of the hamstrings, you should keep the weight in the top position for 1-2 seconds before coming down again.

It is easy to sway when you pull your legs up towards your buttocks. Avoid this as it strains your vertebrae incorrectly. Keep your spine neutral and tense your abdomen slightly during the movement to ensure that your pelvis is stable.

Tips for Hamstring Curl

  • Do not lift too much weight but rather feel the muscle contact in a slow movement instead
  • Stretch your toes in plantar flexion (the movement that allows you to press the gas pedal of your car)
  • Lower the weight in a slow and controlled manner, keep the tension in the muscle you are exercising 
  • Do not swing your upper body, only your legs should move
  • Pull up the weight, do not kick it up
  • Hold the weight for a few seconds in the top position for maximum contraction
  • Do not sway when performing your leg curl, but tighten the abdomen slightly to keep the hip and lumbar spine in the same place straight through the exercise.
  • The exercise works great to do one leg at a time. Extra good for you who have an imbalance in strength between them

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