Place the pulley on the lowest height setting and attach the ankle strap to your leg. His work has been published by the Santa Fe Writers Project, "DASH Literary Journal," the "Inland Valley Daily Bulletin" and WiseGEEK. This exercise is sometimes referred to as the reverse leg curl or kneeling leg curl, but for this exercise you’ll need a workout buddy around to hold your feet or you can anchor your feet under a weighted barbell or anything else that is stable. The leg curl specifically targets the hamstrings, but due to the mechanics of the form, it’s a lift that must be performed with a machine, not free weights. Your feet are placed close together and your heels are raised. left leg is on the machine pad. Face the machine and extend your leg behind you to really target your hamstrings and glutes. Popular for building strong and shapely hamstrings, the leg curl machine never goes astray in any serious lower body workout regime. Here’s how to do it: Start in a kneeling position with your feet anchored down firmly. Even a barbell works. It can be included in your leg routine or performed as a part of your overall workout routine. We could go on for some time about the benefits of the reverse Nordic curl. But, to keep it simple, this exercise is a good leg extension alternative for several reasons: ... Leg Extension Alternative #6: Standing Leg Extension. First, they target your hamstrings, just like the leg curl. Serious Strength Training; Tudor O. Bompa, et al. Bobby R. Goldsmith is a writer and editor with over 12 years of experience in journalism, marketing and academics. The preacher curl is a great bicep isolation workout. If you want to build or tone the inner thighs, the lateral squat is your friend. © 2019 www.azcentral.com. Why is the Reverse Nordic Curl a Good Leg Extension Substitute? The Nordic Hamstring Curl. Swapping out the seated for the standing version every other week allows you to reap the benefits of both machines. 13 Seated & Lying Leg Curl Alternatives (You Can Do at Home) Leg Press Vs Hack Squat: The Quest For Maximum Quadriceps Hypertrophy. There are three versions of the leg curl, lying, standing, and seated. The standing hamstring curl primarily targets your hamstrings, as well as your abs as you stabilize your body. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of leg curls (and alternative leg curl options) in detail shortly. This one is more of an alternative to regular biceps curl than to a preacher curl. If you are getting tired of doing the same old leg curls for you hamstring, the good news is that you can still tone the hamstring, the glutes, and the entire leg by engaging in alternative exercises. One of the best alternatives to using the leg curl machine when it comes to training your hamstrings is the stiff-legged deadlifts. You’ll actually be lying supine, holding onto the barbell during this movement so your forearms are added to the list of muscles worked. The decision of which leg curl machine is best depends on your goals. Your email address will not be published. The configuration of the cable machine used for standing curls requires a foot or ankle strap that attaches to a cable and pulley that lifts and lowers stacked weight. It also helps improve lower back strength, abs, and glutes; benefits that using a leg curl machine won’t be able to provide. Your email address will not be published. This is a very basic abdominal workout that has evolved over time to include different isolating movements and contractions. If you are new to the routine, I recommended starting with just your bodyweight. Alternative Reverse Lunges. The leg curl is the easiest option for targeting the hamstrings. These leg curl alternatives can be done at the gym or even at home in some cases. This lying leg curl substitute can easily be done by utilizing a dumbbell. Standing Hamstring Curl. It can be included in your leg routine or performed as a part of your overall workout routine. Hold the side handles of the leg curl machine The standing leg extension is more easily loaded, which means it's easier to make the exercise lighter or heavier. When looking for the best leg curl alternatives, the lateral squats are always the top choice for all fitness enthusiasts. But those lifters that want to isolate one specific muscle, such as the hamstrings, will need an isolation exercise. Why People Do Leg Curl Alternatives One of the main reasons is some people prefer to do their workouts at home rather than getting a gym membership. For the standing leg curl, here you get to work on your legs one after the one. This is one of the most convenient of all the leg curl alternatives. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The standing leg curl or the single leg hamstring leg curl is a variation of the basic leg curl and a resistance exercise used for strengthening your hamstrings, calves, and butt. The standing hamstring curl is a bodyweight exercise that tones your hamstring muscles. A leg curl can be done while lying down, standing, and even while seated. Getting Stronger: Weight Training for Men and Women; Bill Pearl. What is the Best Standing Leg Curl Alternative? Leg raises have as many variations as ice cream has flavors. 5 Leg Machine Alternatives to Tone Your Legs The Path. If you like Good Mornings or barbell work in general, another leg curl alternative would be the stiff legged deadlift (sometimes called the Romanian deadlift). The leg curl specifically targets the hamstrings, but due to the mechanics of the form, it’s a lift that must be performed with a machine, not free weights. The standing version requires you to focus only on one leg at a time. Alternative: Floor hamstring raise, barbell stiff leg deadlift The standing leg curl or the single leg hamstring leg curl is a variation of the basic leg curl and a resistance exercise used for strengthening your hamstrings, calves, and butt. The range of motion for the sissy squat is a bit longer if you touch your hamstrings to your calves. Standing Leg Curls. This configuration doesn’t guide your form, forcing you to focus on finding the correct angle for the curl and executing it identically for each repetition. Attach a resistance band at knee height to an immovable object in front of you. The machine guides your form without much variance from repetition to repetition, and it forces you to use one precise motion through both phases of the curl. sure that the lever pad is on the back of the right leg while the knee of the Athletes perform this exercise to increase their balance and strength thereby improving sports performance. You will then certainly ace at this leg curl alternative! The mechanics that provide the resistance are similar, but the machine is free form, requiring you to brace yourself against the machine or the wall while balancing on one foot and curling with the opposite leg. Tags: leg exercises. raising the other leg from the pad. The leg curl is a popular machine at commercial gyms that many people use, and nearly every training program involves one of the variations of the leg curl. This configuration concentrates the stress of the lift directly on the hamstrings. First, the seated lever machine gives you the option to curl with one leg or both legs. Make Athletes and advanced lifters may find that the variance available with the standing version provides a more thorough exercise. repeat with the left leg. Each form of the leg curl presents two distinct differences based on the available equipment. You’ll actually be lying supine, holding onto the barbell during this movement so your forearms are added to the list of muscles worked. Alternative Exercises to Leg Curls. position for one second. You work on one leg while being supported by the other leg. If you’re going to be standing in a queue to use any machine at the gym, it’s likely to be the leg curl machine. Variability adds another wrinkle, in that you don’t have to choose one over the other permanently. Leg Curl. Deadlifts are a great alternative to the leg curl for a few reasons. Exercise 5: Lying Leg Raises. Attach the other end of the band to your left ankle. … 5. Brian Ward is a fitness writer, founder & editor of TheWorkoutDigest. The seated version allows you to focus entirely on the hamstrings, as the machine provides all necessary balance and support. Shop: Exercise Mat. It isolates the back of the thigh very well with minimal involvement of any other muscle group. Those who want to focus on improving power or endurance for the hamstrings, or who are rehabilitating a hamstring injury, will find that the seated version allows them to concentrate on a narrow fitness goal much more efficiently. and stretch your legs fully with the torso bent. The important aspect of this exercise is your back leg. Alternative dynamic hamstring exercises include standing long jumps, squat jumps, band pull-throughs and power cleans. You are not going to use a lot of weight in this exercise, but it will heat your adductor muscles (the inside of your thigh) more than any other. Leg Curl Alternatives Now we’ve seen some variations on the traditional leg curl, let’s look at some alternative movements that will stimulate your hamstrings and posterior chain through a mixture of different stimuli and angles. Also, deadlifts work on your abs, glutes, and posterior trap muscles. The seated leg curl machine is a rigid, lever-activated apparatus that uses stacked weight plates to provide counterbalanced resistance. He has been lifting weights & writing about fitness for over 5 years. Lie on the machine, Alternative Names: Lying leg curl, prone leg curl, hamstring leg curl, pronated leg curl Type: Strength Experience Level: Beginner Equipment: Machine Muscles Targeted: Hamstrings Mechanics: Isolation Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 10-15 reps each Variations: Seated, standing, stability ball, dumbbell, and banded leg curls Alternative: Deadlift, glute-ham raise Performing standing leg curls at home will help increase your thigh strength and overall balance. The deadlift is a common weightlifting exercise. The forward lunge does not have a powerful impact on your body as the reverse lunges do. Strength training offers numerous compound exercises that target the major muscle groups of the lower body. Set up for the To a beginner, it may seem like deadlifts target the whole arm and the upper body more, but this simply isn’t true. The cyclist squat, or quad squat, is another leg extension alternative. Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images. You have two broad options for leg curl machines -- seated or standing -- and the type that’s best for your program depends on several factors. Single Leg Hip Thrusts There are options for all three here for you to consider. Standing leg curl; If you’re not sure exactly which machine at your gym is used for leg curls, here is an image of a traditional lying leg curl machine: What Muscles Do Leg Curls Work? Think of it as the dumbbell leg curl. Leg Curl Exercise Information. Curl the right leg up without But, because stopping the movement kills off momentum completely, you will get the main benefit a preacher curl. Using the ankle attachments allows you to try an even wider variety of exercises on the functional trainer machine. Simply lie down on your back with your arms on the ground for stability or crossed over your chest for a little more difficulty. All rights reserved. facing forward and bending at your waist at an angle of 30-45 degrees. There are alternatives to leg curls … Standing Leg Curl. This setup includes a flat bench to lie down on with a levered lifting bar at the end. Read Next. An alternative to the seated leg curl, the lying leg curl will work the hamstrings, glutes, shines, and calves. One benefit of these is that you only need a set of dumbbells and does not require any special machines or other equipment. adjusting the height of the lever. The most standard way to do a leg curl is through a leg curl machine, which is an investment most people don’t want to make for their home gym. Substitution #1: Dumbbell Lying Leg Curl Here, we will list the best leg curl alternative exercises and how to do them correctly. Weights get added to the bar or, if this is a cable machine, the pin can be moved to change the resistance. Get access to the latest health and fitness insights, tools and special offers to keep your career moving. Strength Training Anatomy; Frédéric Delavier, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights. The Leg curl has many variations, such a the lying leg curl machine, and the seated leg curl machine. Top 10 Lower-Body Exercises for Women to Do at the Gym. The exercise is done using a resistance band or a cable machine. Does the Seated Leg Curl Give You Bigger Calves? While the gliding leg curl doesn’t require a standard leg curl machine, it does require a barbell with multiple pin attachments and a standard weight bench. Buttock Lift. © 2021 (101Exercise.com). Leg curls target the hamstrings on the upper backs of the legs and the glutes of your buttocks. Here is the how-to: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, while … Also known as the leg curl or the natural glute-ham raise, the Nordic hamstring curl is one of the best exercises to strengthen your hamstrings.You can perform this exercise with a partner or with the help of some simple equipment. Required fields are marked *. You don’t curl the weight directly off the ground in the same way you would with biceps curls. The other distinct difference is muscle engagement. After achieving full contraction, hold the The forgotten exercise of old-school bodybuilding. Move your right leg back to the initial position and Reverse lunges are actually real lunges. The Nordic hamstring curl is a versatile exercise that can help you build bigger, stronger legs! Spending too much on leg machines, such as the leg curl and leg extension station, is not an efficient or effective way to train. About Brian Ward. Also, there are machines that aid in carrying out a leg curl, and this makes it more fun. This exercise is not always the easiest for many people -- your hamstrings and ankles might not be accustomed to lifting heavy objects. You have two broad options for leg curl machines -- seated or standing -- and the type that’s best for your program depends on several factors. Single Leg Romanian Deadlift The single leg Romanian deadlift is another great alternative hamsting exercise to leg curls. The best standing leg curl alternatives are exercises that will simulate both hamstring flexion and hip extension. Adding or removing resistance from the sissy squat is not so easy. Single-leg deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, kettlebell swings and a horse stance are four great exercises for alternatives to … It’s an ideal workout for improving balance and leg strength. All rights reserved. Conquering Kilimanjaro: Q&A with Sara Sampaio on Her Hike to the Top of Africa’s Tallest Mountain. 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