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Napsgear: 7 Hamstring Curl Variations You Must Try


No leg curl machine? No problem!
You've chosen to show your legs' backs the appreciation they merit on leg day. Unfortunately, everyone else in the gym had the same notion, which is bad news for your hamstrings. You must adhere to a training program, therefore you don't have time or patience to wait for the hamstring curl machine to become available.

Don't panic; you can still show your hamstrings the affection, care, and development they require. Whether you're using resistance bands, core sliders, dumbbells, or even just your own bodyweight, there are numerous ways to curl a hamstring.

Regardless of what you decide, your hamstrings can still receive the solitary contractions they require to develop to their fullest extent. There's no reason you can't use one or more of these hamstring curl variations to mix up your leg workout even though hamstring curls are typically done on a machine.

Best Hamstring Curl Variations
1. Dumbbell Hamstring Curl
2. Core Slider Hamstring Curl
3. Isometric Hamstring Curl
4. Nordic Hamstring Curl
5. Standing Hamstring Curl
6. Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
7. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl

1. Dumbbell Hamstring Curl
When the curling machine is fully booked, grab a weight bench and a dumbbell to improve your hamstring game. You'll do a prone hamstring curl while holding a dumbbell in the space between your shoes.

Use light dumbbells for this exercise, but make sure the handles are of a size that will allow you to maintain a solid grip on them between your feet. Avoid letting anything fall on your glutes.

Benefits of the Dumbbell Hamstring Curl
You must perform the dumbbell hamstring curl slowly and carefully to prevent any mishaps; you must also pay great attention to your form.
Your lower body's muscle activation will increase when you squeeze your feet together to support the weight.
You won't need to utilize as much weight to have a strong muscle-building stimulus because you'll be squeezing harder than you otherwise might.

How to Do the Dumbbell Hamstring Curl
Put a dumbbell in the space between your feet. Place your lower legs off the end of a bench as you lay face down on it. Make sure the weight is stable by shifting your feet. To raise your feet up to your glutes, flex your knees. Ensure that you are continuously squeezing your feet together. Turn the motion around. For each rep, repeat.

2. Core Slider Hamstring Curl
Not only are core sliders useful for your core. You can use them for a wide variety of moves, including push-up variations and dynamic planks. In this case, they also come in handy for bodyweight hamstring curls.

Once more, you'll be strengthening your sense of balance and enhancing your proprioception. You'll need to strongly engage your glutes during this motion to maintain stability.

Benefits of the Core Slider Hamstring Curl
To maintain your lower body, back, and core stable during this variant, you'll need to engage your glutes.
Your entire lower body will experience more muscle activation as a result of the core sliders' encouragement to actively press your feet into the ground.
Your balance and comprehension of how your body moves in space will both be improved by doing this variant.

How to Do the Core Slider Hamstring Curl
Your feet should be on the ground, and your legs should be extended. Specifically under your heels, fasten a pair of core sliders to the bottom of your foot. Knees should be bent, heels pressed into the ground, and glutes contracted. With control, move your heels in the direction of your glutes. Reverse gradually. For each rep, repeat.

3. Isometric Hamstring Curl
Although the isometric hamstring curl may not appear to be much of an exercise, your hamstrings will be vigorously worked throughout this exercise.

Make sure you're well warmed up before starting this exercise, especially if you're not used to working only your hamstrings. You'll discover that you can exert a lot of force, and not having warmed up sufficiently could cause cramps.

Benefits of the Isometric Hamstring Curl
You might be able to exert even more force by remaining still than you would be able to do by choosing from a number of unweighted hamstring curl choices.
You might be able to strengthen your hamstrings by contracting them more ferociously.
With this technique, you'll get some practice improving your mind-muscle connection because it's all about you and your muscle contraction, not any movement.

How to Do the Isometric Hamstring Curl
Lean backwards against a weight bench. Put your ankles on the bench with your toes pointed upwards and bend your knees to about a 90-degree angle. Contract your hamstrings firmly without moving at all. Your glutes may lift slightly, but the goal is to press down on your calves and heels while tightening your hamstrings to exert as much strain as you can without moving. For 10 to 30 seconds, hold. Rest, unwind, and repeat.

4. Nordic Hamstring Curl
Given that you'll be basically falling into free fall, the Nordic hamstring curl is one of the trickiest variations available. Your hamstring power and having your hands ready will be your only defense against face-planting.

You should only practice this exercise after making sure your basis is solid and after becoming used to doing intense, isolated hamstring work.

Benefits of the Nordic Hamstring Curl
This exercise concentrates on the eccentric component of the move and uses your entire body weight as resistance, greatly enhancing the likelihood of growing muscle.
Since you must maintain a stable torso and core throughout the action, you will gain a lot of full-body stability.
The Nordic hamstring curl can boost confidence significantly (not to mention a lot of muscle).

How to Do the Nordic Hamstring Curl
Kneel down, keeping your back to the anchor point. A low bar that is fixed in a Smith machine should be secured around your ankles, underneath it. Make sure a stable and strong bar pad is placed over the bar. Lower your torso as slowly as you can toward the ground with your hands poised to grab you by the chest. As much as you can, delay your descent using your hamstrings. Push yourself back into the starting posture with your hands as soon as you touch the ground. For each rep, repeat.

5. Standing Hamstring Curl

Don't worry if you've never isolated your hamstrings before. To practice the motion and gain some strength in the process, you don't need to balance on various objects or curl ridiculously heavy weights.

You can develop your balance and become acclimated to the range of motion required by the standing hamstring curl. You might not be used to bending your knee all the way through its range of motion, or even straightening it at the very end, particularly if you have a history of knee or foot issues. This action can support that.

The advantages of standing hamstring curls
This exercise is a fantastic way to become familiar with the range of motion needed for most hamstring curls.
Because this maneuver is unilateral, you'll be able to enhance your balance.
If standing is not an option for you, the standing hamstring curl can be adapted to be done lying down.

How to Do the Standing Hamstring Curl
Your feet should be around hip width apart as you balance tall and evenly on both feet. If you have trouble staying balanced, expand your stance a little. You can also use your fingertips to help with balance by standing in front of a wall or a sturdy chair. Put your left foot down firmly. Raise your left foot while bending your left knee. As closely as you can, place your left foot against your left glute. Reduce slowly. Perform all of the reps on one side before alternating.

6. Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
The resistance offered by the resistance band hamstring curl remains constant throughout the whole range of motion. This lengthens the period of time that your muscles are under maximum strain. That's encouraging for your ability to gain muscle.

This variation can be done sitting down with the resistance band fastened in front of you. As an alternative, you can perform this while lying on your stomach, fastened behind you with the resistance band. In either case, ensure certain the band is fastened before moving on.

Benefits of the Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
You experience continuous resistance throughout your range of motion thanks to the accommodating resistance offered by the band.
In comparison to a more conventionally weighted form of this move, you'll spend longer time under higher stress, enhancing your potential for hypertrophy.
This lift can be used in numerous settings and can be executed while seated, lying flat, or even standing.

How to Do the Resistance Band Hamstring Curl
Behind you, fasten a resistance band around a small anchor. Secure the loop around your ankles using the band's opposite end. Lay on your stomach with your back to the anchor. Verify the stability. To raise your feet up to your glutes, controllably tighten your hamstrings. For one beat, maintain the highest level of tension. Controlled lowering For each rep, repeat.

7. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
This time, instead of utilizing weights, a stability ball will be used to test your balance and hamstring strength while you are on your back.

You may include your glutes in the challenge by performing the stability ball hamstring curl. Additionally, your core will be used to support your upper body as your lower body rises.

Advantages of the Hamstring Curl with a Stability Ball
You will use your glutes more than with other hamstring curl variations if you lie on your stomach and lift your hips.
Your equilibrium is put to the test because the movement is more unstable when you use a stability ball.
You'll need to use more stabilizer muscles to help with the exercise because you won't be stable on the ball, especially during the eccentric phase.

How to Perform a Hamstring Curl With a Stability Ball
Place your feet up on a stability ball as you lay on your back. Put your feet on the ball and extend your legs up and out so that your knees are straight. To steady your upper body, push the ground with your upper back. To prevent your lower back from hyperextending, squeeze your glutes. With your feet, move the ball up toward your glutes while bending your knees. When your contraction is at its strongest, switch directions. For each rep, repeat.

Hamstring Training Tips
It's not difficult, but it's also not easy to train your hamstrings either. Remember these essential advice for developing powerful hammies.

Focus on the Eccentric
Eccentrically, your muscles are often stronger than concentrically. You stand to gain more muscle if you put more time and effort into the lengthening (eccentric) part of your lifts.

You may effectively build some pretty powerful thighs by concentrating on eccentric motions with your hamstrings. Focusing on the eccentric is especially well-suited to exercises like the Nordic hamstring curl and the stability ball hamstring curl.

Warm-Up Thoroughly
Going in cold is the very worst thing you want to do when working your hamstrings. A lifter pulling a muscle when diving into hamstring-focused activity is all too typical. Many people have tight hamstrings that are overlooked in their exercise, which makes them more susceptible to injury.

Standing hamstring curls, glute bridges, and single-leg bodyweight Romanian deadlifts with a limited range of motion are excellent exercises for properly warming up your hamstrings.

Build Up Weight Gradually
Avoid the urge to immediately exert all of your energy. Don't forget to perform your ramp-up sets, even if you are confident in your ability to lift heavy. Instead of leaping right into — or right near — your working weight, start small and gain weight gradually.

Although it may seem a little tedious, it will be worthwhile. When your hamstrings are warmed up and ready to go, you'll eventually be able to lift more weight, and you'll do so more safely.

How to Program Hamstring Curl Variations
Programming hamstring curls and any variations of it is very similar to programming other auxiliary movements. You must first decide where they fit in your program, though.

When to Train Your Hamstrings
On leg day, after squats, many weightlifters like to do hamstring curls. Since the hamstrings are extensively recruited during deadlifts and deadlift variations, some people choose to do hamstring-focused exercises on days when they perform deadlifts.

Pick an option that suits your body the best. After deadlifts, if you know your hamstrings are absolutely destroyed, you might want to avoid adding too much further volume that day. Alternatively, performing a few standing hamstring curls after a deadlift could help you start your recovery.

On the other side, you might want to work your hamstrings more frequently if you have a tendency to neglect them. If so, including them in leg day would be more beneficial.

Hamstring Curl Sets and Reps
You could wish to perform more repetitions of hamstring curls and their variations while using less or moderate weights. Try three sets of 12–15 repetitions. This increased volume will assist tone your hamstrings without taking away from your larger compound exercises.

Additionally, you'll give your hamstrings extra volume that they otherwise might not get. For standing hamstring curls and other low-intensity bodyweight variations, feel free to do more repetitions, anywhere from 15 to as many as 25.

Vary Your Curls
Even while hamstring curl variations might not come to mind when it's leg day, they play a significant role in every lower body workout plan. The many hamstring curl variations will help you get closer to your goals, whether you're attempting to improve the strength of your deadlift or add muscle to the backs of your legs. Pick a fighter (or a couple), then start curling.
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