See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Lying Leg Curls –
AKA: Prone Leg Curls
Isolated Exercise, Pull Movement
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.
Tips and Techniques:
Machines which allow you to lay with an arch are preferable to ones that have you lay flat because they give a better stretch to the hamstrings.
Keep your knees just off the bench where they are unrestricted. Adjust the ankle pad so it starts just above your ankle (right on your Achilles tendon).
The biggest mistake people make is moving the hips forward or off the bench during the exercise. Your body should remain against the padding and still throughout the exercise. You should only be moving at the knee joint, pulling the weight up with hour hamstrings only.
Tense the ankle joint as opposed to letting it hang loose. This can better isolate the hamstrings.
A smooth, controlled motion is perhaps particularly important on this exercise. Because you are stronger on the bottom of the exercise it is easy to explode as you start and let momentum carry the resistance past your weaker range of motion. This isn’t the way to get the most out of the exercise and can increase the chance of injury.
Pointing the toes outward can increase the emphasis on the outer hams, inward on the inner hams. The toes straight down will put the emphasis on the middle hams.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Alternating Leg Curls – Same exercise but doing it one leg at a time.
- Kneeling Leg Curl – A set-up where you are kneeling on the off leg while curling with the working leg.
- Standing Leg Curl – A set-up where you are standing and curling back with the working leg on a cable or lever machine.
- Seated Leg Curl – Looks like Leg Extensions, but padding is under the leg and resistance on the machine is set to curl down.
- Bent-Over Leg Curl – A set-up where you are bent over a padding and curling one leg at a time.
To develop the hamstrings, there are several solid alternative exercises. Good Mornings and, particularly, Stiff-Leg Deadlifts are excellent compound exercises that can be the focus of your ham development.
Leg Curl Machine