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Lying Leg Curl Form Tips. Avoid Momentum The lying leg curl is an isolation exercise that should be performed with strict form. You should be in control of the weight at all times. Avoid swinging and jerking any part of your body to complete the rep; this dramatically increases the risk of lower back and hamstring injuries. How to do Lying Leg Curl: Step 1: Lie down on a leg curl machine with the pad on the back of your legs.

It should be positioned a few inches under your calves. Step 2: Stretch your legs out fully and grasp the side handles of the machine, keeping your torso flat. The lying leg curl is a popular machine-based exercise for the legs, particularly the hamstrings.

It is similar to the seated leg curl, but the open hip angle in the lying leg curl may incorporate more glute and calf activation. Lie down the lying leg curl machine with your face towards the machine. Fix your feet under the foot pad resting the pad over your ankles.

If there are handles to the machine, you may hold them with your hands. Else, gripping the front of the machine bench you are lying. Exhale as you flex your knees and curl the lever until it touches the back of your thighs. Hold for a count of two. Inhale as you lower the lever to the starting position.

Repeat. Comments and tips. Keep the movement slow and controlled.

Try to resist the lowering of the lever; don’t just let it drop. Don’t allow your hips to rise off the bench. Form Instruction: Lying on bench face down, place pads behind ankles and then raise up as far as you can and then lower back down until legs are nearly straight.

The lying leg curl is a great exercise to isolate the hamstrings. Set up for the leg curl by selecting the weight you want to use on the stack and adjusting the padding to suit your leg length. Lay face down on the machine.

The padding should be positioned just above the back of your ankles. Turn your toes in to work more of the inner portion of the hamstring. Turn your toes out to target the outer portion. Use the Gironda leg curl to hit the upper hamstrings and glutes. How to: Lying Leg Curl With a Dumbbell at Home.

Part of the series: LS Workout Advice. Good hamstrings make for stronger knees and we all want strong knees. The lying leg curl machine is great, but don’t freak out if someone else is already using it. Do the kettlebell swing and pair it with stability ball hamstring curls, reverse hypers, or bodyweight GHRs (Nordics).

Related: Fix Your Squatty Kettlebell Swing Related: The Absolute Best Way to Build Your Hamstrings Source.

List of related literature:

To make this exercise more effective, do the movements in a 4-count sequence1) step to side, keeping hips and shoulders square, 2) lower body into a squat, 3) stand, 4) drag non-lead leg in, placing feet together.

“Fitness Instructor Training Guide” by Cheryl L. Hyde, American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness
from Fitness Instructor Training Guide
by Cheryl L. Hyde, American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness
Kendall/Hunt, 2002

• Early in step 3, maintain the long leg line as you use the hip flexors to raise the lower leg and the hip extensors to lower the upper leg.

“Pilates Anatomy” by Rael Isacowitz, Karen S. Clippinger
from Pilates Anatomy
by Rael Isacowitz, Karen S. Clippinger
Human Kinetics, 2019

You can perform the standing leg curl two different ways.

“Natural Bodybuilding” by John Hansen
from Natural Bodybuilding
by John Hansen
Human Kinetics, 2005

• Leg curls: Using an ankle weight, lie on the stomach or support yourself on knees and elbows and bend the leg, pulling the heel toward the buttocks.

“A Tooth from the Tiger's Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior” by Tom Bisio
from A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior
by Tom Bisio
Atria Books, 2009

I discovered the merits of this exercise through Steve Reeves, who found it really beneficial when getting his legs into competition shape.

“The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis” by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
from The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: The Bible of Bodybuilding, Fully Updated and Revis
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins
Simon & Schuster, 2012

The step should be long enough so that when in the end position, the knee of the leg that stepped forward is above your midfoot area and not in front of your toes or behind your heel.

“Science and Practice of Strength Training” by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
from Science and Practice of Strength Training
by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry
Human Kinetics, 2020

To encourage a neutral pelvic position and help prevent defaulting into an overextended position, curl your free leg in tight to your body, keeping your foot on the mat, and lie back.

“Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance” by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
from Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2015

However, if it is necessary to use the adductors to press the foot into the standing leg, it is important to find adductors that are more posterior, such as the adductor magnus.

“Yoga Anatomy” by Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews
from Yoga Anatomy
by Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Matthews
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

You can also use the alterating technique, stepping backward with a different leg each rep.

“The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!” by Adam Campbell
from The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular YOU!
by Adam Campbell
Rodale, 2009

You don’t have to sit way back and keep your shins as vertical as possible, but I like to teach people this form to see if they prefer it.

“Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training” by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
from Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training
by Bret Contreras, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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66 comments

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  • I want to see a l sit tutorial like the stretching and such to really get the skill down packed.or a v sit tutorial both skills I wanna get better at or even learn����

  • You are now my gym guru!! I’ve been body building for a while and hit a plateau.. less weight right away feels!! Love it!!����✨

  • Great product!>>> ur2.pl/1190 Perfect for people who are working with smaller areas to work out. Very durable and does the work. I was skeptical at first but now I’m glad I made the purchase.

  • there´s no such thing like a bicep femoris… it´s called “biceps femoris”. “bi” two “ceps” heads. even if it´s a single muscle it´s called biceps.

  • One, of my favorite machines for the reasons you’ve explained. Biomechanics of Human Motion will take a workout to a new level. Love it!! Thanks. Excellent video.

  • I’m trying to find out why when I do leg curls my hamstrings get very tight and it takes weeks to get them back to normal mobility but I dont have this problem with rdl

  • Hi. I want hamstring muscles to be developed. I want them to be visible! Is it okay if I do it with low weight and maybe increased repetitions?

  • This was so helpful! I was searching all over the place trying to figure out the right way to use this machine and yours was the first video that actually went into depth about it! Thanks so much!

  • So I’ve had the “pleasure” of watching a ton of videos like this because I am new to working out. Your video on this was by far superior to the rest. You laid out all the information verbally, demonstrated it well AND you wrote it all out. I retain information best when I read it. Very much appreciated. I am happily subscribed.

  • For women, should we allow the space between the pelvis and the bench or should we try to flatten the pelvis and minimize the space?

  • if you train one leg and want to strengthen the weak leg. you start with the weak leg and when bouth legs are done you do one rep more with the weak leg. did i get it right?

  • The video is very good but it took me to understand it watching the video for like three times, it would be better is you pointed to the toes to make us understand the difference between the wrong way and the right way still thanks for sharing this info with us

  • Disagree, you should go all the way down on a bicep curl, even flex out your triceps at the bottom for a better stretch. Still controlled of course

  • Hi stefano… great video…very helpful…
    & I am very impressed with the strength & skill that u achieved in One & half year of ur Calisthenic journey…
    Can we achieve this level of strength & skill in 2 year then how…& About the tutorial can u make HANDSTAND TUTORIAL…❤️❤️ INDIA������������

  • I love this channel ill add this for some peoples thought as I am just covering hamstrings in my studies and the bicep femoris is unique with its muscle fibers as it seems designed for quick explosive knee flexion meaning lower reps and higher sets seem to work just fine to…also eccentrics are enormously worthwhile for injuries if u play a sport like rugby soccer football it can save ur hamsting

  • Wow those were some great tips! Short and to the point. I like doing this workout but working each leg individually. Can you think of any cons to working them individually vs together?

  • Thanks for the tips. Definitely going to fix my form. By the way can you do one for a seated hamstring curl or is the tips about the same?

  • I tend to do the Doris Flex rather than planter flex. If I were to do the planter flex, I would probably get a cramp faster. You’re in great shape btw! Killer legs!!!!!! Just learned new exercises for this one machine. Thanks man!

  • Lol captain cringe…..we all have some of those people at the gym. Same thing applies to a sitting leg curl? I usually use that machine as opposed to this lying leg curl one.
    Great information though!:)

  • Hi I’m a 51 year old male who’s been training for awhile and I would like to get your opinion on training your major muscle groups separately

  • That second variation: I can’t move a single centimeter off the pad: zero. I guess is not for me. I just moved forward to the kneeling one: loved it. Like he has mentioned before DO what works for YOU. Ryan is such an excellent “no frills, I stand my ground” type of teacher. I can do without the cursing though, but other than that I’m camping here for good!

  • I did these yesterday and man I’m not going back to the laying down way. Thanks the tip about the foot flexion is another awesome tip I didn’t know about.

  • That was one of my most favorite exercises at my gym but they replaced it with a machine where you sit upright in a chair that has no good focus on your buttocks & hamstrings, which is needed if you want to increase. going up in weight on your squats.
    THANK-YOU YOU WEAK LILY LIVERD YELLOW BACK SPINELESS HEALTH CLUB MEMBERS WHO STRAINED YOUR BACK TRYING TO USE THIS MACHINE BY LIFTING TOO MUCH WEIGHT WITH TERRIBLE FORM (LETTING YOUR BACK DO MOST OF THE WORK)

  • Been gyming for 10 years. Tried some of Ryan’s tips, first time I have EVER had that ‘mind muscle’ connection. Ended up in isolated muscle agony, laughing like an idiot. Was so happy. Thanks mate ��

  • Could never figure out what I was doing wrong. The tip to push my hips down changed everything. My hammys are burning now!!! Thanks guys.

  • Never felt my hammies like this before, especially from the first exercise in the video. Great straight to the point content. Keep ’em coming!

  • ¡Wooow! Great video, I loved it. And man ¿you’re made of iron or something? ¡What an incredible body! Blessings from Barcelona, Spain.

  • Hey guys, great video! Thanks so much for sharing. I had a question though: So I’ve kinda been lost on this but I wanted to know if there is any specific routine you follow? I want to make my hams very strong for soccer, etc; so do you recommend doing 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps or you think higher reps is the only fair game for hamstrings? For eg: For squats I stick with 5×5, 3×5,3×3, for strength training

  • Hey question i keep gettin bad cramps when doing hamstrings curls they lock up quick im drinking 2 gals a day taking potassium have way enough salt but keeps cramping

  • My knees were weak af before I went to the gym and had access to a leg curl machine. But now I can’t go to the gym. Thank you for this

  • I see some value in performing a full range of motion with light dumbbell curls, especially hammer preacher curls. I wouldn’t go heavy with it, but the stretch feels great, and the soreness the next day is located in different parts of the bicep and forearm that otherwise wouldn’t be so tender. I wouldn’t use it all the time, but I do think there’s value in it.

  • that was KILLER Ryan.. pointing the toes like that Really Saves the back of the knee joint and the insertions at the top of the calf. thank you brother!

  • full extension and trying to exagerate the lock out are two different things though. during the arm example he was really trying to blow out the elbow. can anyone clarify

  • Dude love the videos, All your little tweaks ands tips with no remorse to science are what matters. If you feel it it works! Never heard of widow makers now I add then to every exercise! Let me know any way I can support

  • Wow now that was interesting. I’m gonna try this. Legs get so boring and hard to stay focused on. This is here tho, will add some favor…

  • Ryan would u do some workouts w n w/o equipment for obliques/ stubborn “love handles”. I’m trying to fix my diet but need more guide. Thanks a lot

  • I did this yesterday Ryan, my gooooooooooooooooooodness! I really want to take my quads to the next level. Can I do quads 2x a week?

  • That second variation: I can’t move a single centimeter off the pad: zero. I guess is not for me. I just moved forward to the kneeling one: loved it. Like he has mentioned before DO what works for YOU. Ryan is such an excellent “no frills, I stand my ground” type of teacher. I can do without the cursing though, but other than that I’m camping here for good!

  • Feeling the muscle, Mind muscle connection. It changes the way you do your reps. You automatically start doing slow, controlled reps while feeling the muscle tension. Thanks again Moji..!! You are the best instructor ever. ������

  • Love ur to the point content so thank you. Suggestion for a future video please: best approach/exercises to strengthen the scapula area and correct poor posture due to weak traps/rhomboids etc. Thanks

  • You can do front lever tutorial, i have almost straddle planche but my front lever is so bad(i can do only 45sec of adv tuck front

  • As a person with chondromalacia, I think that is an extremely not recomended excercise, given the unnecesary friction that it causes between the patellar and the femur condyles cartilage. It will wear out the joint faster.

  • Thank you for this video!! I’ve been doing it all wrong �� Not to mention that my left leg is stronger and thicker then my right leg. Thanks for the tip on how to even them out��

  • Question-

    How does your lower back take those hamstring curls with your chest of the bench? Looks like the lower book is stressed..

    Any tips, insight, etc?

    Thank you( great channel )

  • Love this video! I was wondering how to adjust the machine. About 4 minutes into the video it was mentioned that the pad should be just above the heels. Please let me know!

  • Ryan, your contents are just direct, simple and effective for anyone who wants to learn or simply refine their techniques/movements they have been following over the years. The BIGGEST benefit is that these videos are short and to the point. Thank you. Subscribed.

  • Ciao Stefano, video spettacolare e forza allo stato puro sei una bestiaa!!! Mi ha dato diversi spunti, Aspetto nuovi video è!! Continua cosi

  • I much prefer seated hamstring curls.
    You get a better range of motion & a better contraction without interference from the active insufficiency created by the Rectus Femoris being stretched from both its proximal & distal attachment sites.
    (Which is what happens when you flex the knee & with the hip extended/near extended).

  • This is also a very good hamstring exercise. A lot of people don’t realize, but the calves kinda work like forearms during elbow flexion.

  • Is it true that hamstrings respond better to higher rep ranges to achieve hypertrophy, as in 15-20 reps as opposed to the usual 8-12 we use for most muscles?

  • Hey ryan
    Love your content
    I really hit legs w all variations
    I am 54 and every time i do squats hack squats especially narrow i have had nerve hip inpingement syndrome
    I once heard you say you dont squat
    Can you piece a good leg program for size
    I have been doing traditional 8-10 rep range but need some rehab tips for hip impingement thks

  • Excellent illustrations I was looking for ideas as I want to design my own workouts and I found you. Watched a few of you video just brilliant. New subscriber. I’m a woman but good find.

  • I tried 2 variations so far. Absolutely killer! The movement is very similar to the sitting leg curl machine. The difference for me is Ryan’s way also gives a little upper body work which to me is ideal. When you can get extra body parts involved I’m in like a log in a fireplace ��

  • Did these yesterday. Leaning upwards really made it so much better. Only could used half the weight but the contraction was amazing

  • This may be the best video you’ve made so far.. I went from using nearly the whole stack to only 3 little plates �� hamstrings burn so much more this way, its awesome

  • I loved these tweaks and i confess i would have never thought abt it. Thank u for providing sm food to my brain. Cheers Ryan..u r d best!!

  • Just tried these kneeling hamstring curls and, oh man.. these are AWESOME!!! Just try them guys, you won’t regret it. I got such a pump. These make the regular version so lame in comparison. Thanks, Ryan!

  • damn Chris,the video quality on these are on point since the last time i watched.I personally love informative vids like these,keep up the great content bro,and i hope your contest prep is going as smooth as butter.

  • I learned something new today, never seen any videos similar before! Wow… Ryan, you explaine in a short way and simply… love it… ��❤

  • I’ve been looking for different variations! Holy hell im trying this tomorrow! Subscribed all original content and understanding of the movement!

  • could you make a series “beginner exercises to legendary skills never been performed” for other muscle groups. Your video on it for legs made me curious for what other things are out there and they are good for setting goals on them. That would be really awesome:)

  • I love to see new uses for machines that I use all the time, but your exercises are making them seem like something new! FANTASTIC!

  • Really l like this video but I have small query that is there is some exercise for hamstring if anything new please make that video too guys and for your all videos. I’ll wait for it

  • Some tips for the English speaking audience:
    This is a good approach, you can also try 2-3 times a week as a training frequency.
    Band assisted is a great method, but you can also use a counterweight to measure assistance exactly, for example at the gym use a lat pulldown, put the heels under the thigh pads and knees on the seat.
    For the Nordic hinge you can scale the difficulty by tracking how far you touch the floor with the nose, and possibly untrained beginners can try this with the nose touching down as close as possible, with the thighs even leaning back instead of vertical or leaning forward.
    And if you want more ideas for setups for this exercise, I’ve made a detailed post with more advice: https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/comments/88cvqe/the_nordic_curl_the_ultimate_hamstring_bodyweight/

  • Bel tutorial, è un buon approccio. Credo vada bene anche 2-3 volte a settimana come frequenza di allenamento.
    Con l’elastico è uno dei migliori modi, ancora meglio se disponibile sarebbe con un contrappeso per sapere la quantità esatta di assistenza, per esempio chi è in palestra può usare la lat machine per questo metodo, talloni sotto dove metterebbero le cosce e ginocchia sul sedile.
    E un’ altra cosa utile da sapere è che con il solo Nordic hinge è facile scalare la difficoltà vedendo dove si tocca giù col naso e col tempo aumentando la distanza dove si va a toccare.
    Pure un principiante completo forse potrebbe beneficiare del hinge toccando molto vicino col naso, al punto che le cosce andranno dietro il corpo invece che verticali o inclinate avanti.
    E un’ ultima cosa utile è che ho fatto un post (in inglese ma con link a immagini e video) che contiene molti suggerimenti su dove ancorarsi per i NLC e altri consigli, è qui: https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/comments/88cvqe/the_nordic_curl_the_ultimate_hamstring_bodyweight/