Hamstrings - Leg Curl

Hamstrings - Leg Curl

In this lesson you will learn how to train your hamstrings with lying leg curls. The leg curl is an exercise were you curl up a weight with the strength of your hamstrings (the muscles on the back of your leg). There are various types of leg curl machines, lying, standing (with one leg), and sitting (where you curl your legs down under the seat). However, in most gyms you will only find lying leg curl machines, which are usually the best. The opposite of the leg curl for the hamstrings is the the leg extension for the front side of your leg muscles. Find more leg exercises at weight training main.


  • Lie down on the leg curl machine, hook your heels under the roller pads and grasp the handles. Don't fully extend your knees.
  • Curl up your legs until your hamstrings are fully contracted. The roller pads should either touch your bottom, or your calves should reach vertical level. Don't elevate your hips and make sure you upper body remains on the bench. Exhale as you curl your legs up and don't create momentum.
  • Then extend your legs until your knees are almost straight and inhale slowly. Don't let the weight fall.


  • Move slowly and concentrated. Don't swing the weight up.
  • Curl the roller pad up until it touches your gluteus or your calves reach vertical level.
  • Stretch your hamstrings between sets and exercises.
  • The up-motion can be slightly faster than the down-motion.
  • The opposite to the lying leg curl is the leg extension, which trains the quadriceps (front side of the leg muscles).