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Leg Curls - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Single-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Hamstrings
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes

Performing Leg Curls works the hamstrings and glutes. Resistance in this exercise is fairly equal as the crossbar provides stable support. Keeping your toes straight targets all three hamstring muscles. Leg Curls are a great way to isolate the hamstrings.

Leg Curls - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Position your body so that you are facedown on the Leg Curl Machine.
  • Anchor your legs so that they are fully extended under the pads of the machine. The pads should rest behind your ankles.
  • Keeping your body firmly against the bench, exhale and raise the weight up from the weight stack. Squeeze the hamstrings and pause.
  • Inhale and allow the weight to return in a controlled manner just short of hitting the weight stack.
  • Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

Leg Curls - Tips & Safety

  • Keep the weight controlled at all times throughout the movement, ensuring that you don’t jerk the weight around.
  • Bend your knees as far as possible during the upward phase. Stop a few degrees short of full extension at the bottom to maintain hamstring tension and reduce knee joint stress.
  • Keep your spine straight and try not to raise your chest upward.
  • Hold onto the bench to support yourself on your elbows to prevent yourself from lifting from the bench.

Leg Curls - Alternatives

  • You can alternate between each leg during training in order to achieve consistent resistance between each leg.
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