The lying leg curl is an effective isolation exercise for the hamstrings and anyone can perform the movement safely. It’s a great machine exercise which doesn’t require stabilization since you’re lying down on a bench and it’s also a great posterior chain strengthening exercise.
Now, the hamstrings largely contribute to athletic performance like jumping, running, and bending so it’s important that they are fully developed to keep up with your quads for optimal performance and aesthetics.
Since the lying leg curl isolates the hamstrings, no other muscles are involved and it’s a good finisher exercise to your compound movements.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Hamstrings
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Leg curl machine
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Lie face down on the leg curl machine with feet under the lever padding, and grip the support handles.
- Slowly curl the weight so the footpad lever touches your butt while exhaling.
- Then slowly let the weight back down while inhaling but don’t straighten your knees at the bottom of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- Turn your feet inward to work the inner hamstring or turn them outward to work the outer hamstrings.
- Use a slow and controlled motion to really stimulate the hamstring muscles.
- Always perform the lying leg curl with a full range of motion.
- Make sure to keep your body on the bench the entire time or you’ll be engaging the hips which you don’t want.