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Standing Leg Curls - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Single-Joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Quads
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes and Calves

The Standing Leg Curl works the hamstrings, glutes and calves. The Standing Leg Curl is more beneficial than the Lying Leg Curl because it provides more resistance to the muscles by working each leg separately. This exercise will also force you to maintain your stability and control.

Standing Leg Curls - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Position yourself facing the Standing Leg Curl machine, anchoring your legs behind the heel pads.
  • Secure yourself by grabbing hold of the machine handles, exhale and raise your leg up to the point that you feel the contraction in the hamstring of the trained leg. Pause.
  • Inhale and release the weight to the point before it touches the weight stack.
  • Complete the desired rep range with that leg before changing to the other side to complete the reps with the other.

Standing Leg Curls - Tips & Safety

  • Ensure that the non-working leg is on the machine at all times.
  • Do not allow momentum to move the weight. Keep it controlled at all times.
  • Bend your knees as far as you can during the upward phase. Stop just before full extension of the leg at the bottom in order to maintain hamstring tension and to reduce knee stress.
  • Because of the unstable nature of the machine, it is important to start off with a lighter weight to build strength throughout the range of motion and to work on your stability before advancing with extra weight.

Standing Leg Curls - Alternatives

  • Support your non-working leg by placing it on the pad of a Kneeling Leg Curl machine. With your torso bent forward and supported by your elbows, the hamstrings will be stretched, an advantage over the Standing Leg Curl machine.
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