Your hamstrings consist of two large muscles behind your thighs.
They are engaged when you bend your knee, bringing your heel towards your butt.
They also support your glutes.
The leg curl is the most popular and probably the best exercise to isolate your hamstrings.
The leg curl machine you need to perform this exercise can be a flat bench or one that is raised in the middle. Either type works well.
Other Muscles Used: Calves
- Before you start, make sure you adjust the machine lever to fit the length of your legs. The pads should rest just below your ankles.
- Lie face down on the bench placing your legs under the pads. Grab the handles of the machine or if there aren’t any, a suitable position either side of the bench above your head.
- Press your hips into the pad/bench and engage your core muscles. This is your starting position.
- In a controlled motion, bend your knees to curl the ankle bar towards your butt. Breathe out as you do so. Pause at the fully contracted position.
- Slowly return the ankle pad to the start position and breathe in as you do so. This counts as one rep.
- Seated leg curls (machine)
- Leg curls using stability ball
- One leg curls for better isolation
Do’s and Do Not’s
DO keep your body flat against the leg curl machine and your core muscles engaged.
DO control the full movement and lower the weights back down carefully, not allowing them to crash down.
DO NOT let your butt rise up as you perform the exercise. This can put a strain on your lower back and takes the emphasis away from your hamstrings.
If you have any comments, questions or tips for the lying leg curl, please drop them below.