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The best way to Do the Leg Curl: Muscle mass Labored, Kind & Options

The leg curl is a hamstring train, usually carried out on a leg curl machine.

It’s distinctive amongst hamstring workout routines as a result of it trains your hamstrings by way of a full vary of movement whereas totally stretched, which makes it ideally suited for constructing muscle.

On this article, you’ll study what the leg curl is, its advantages, which muscular tissues it really works, the way to do it with correct kind, the perfect seated leg curl alternate options, and extra.

What Is the Leg Curl?

The leg curl is a lower-body train that primarily trains the hamstrings and entails bending your knees to convey your toes nearer to your butt in opposition to resistance. 

There are two foremost variations of the leg curl: The seated leg curl and the mendacity leg curl. You may carry out each utilizing numerous items of kit, although most individuals desire to make use of a leg curl machine.

Seated Leg Curl vs. Mendacity Leg Curl: Which Is Higher?

The principle distinction between the seated leg curl and the mendacity leg curl is the way you place your physique. To carry out a seated leg curl, you sit upright on a seated leg curl machine together with your legs outstretched. To carry out the mendacity leg curl, you lie face down on a mendacity leg curl machine.

Whereas this distinction appears innocuous, it considerably modifications how the train trains your hamstrings. 

That’s as a result of sitting upright together with your legs straight in entrance of you locations your hamstrings in a totally stretched place, whereas mendacity down doesn’t. That is noteworthy as a result of analysis exhibits that in terms of constructing muscle, coaching a muscle whereas it’s stretched is superior to coaching it whereas it’s relaxed.

And that’s why research present doing the seated leg curl results in extra muscle progress than doing the mendacity hamstring curl. Thus, most individuals will profit extra from the seated leg curl than the mendacity leg curl, which is why the seated leg curl is the variation we’ll give attention to on this article. 

That mentioned, the mendacity leg curl remains to be an efficient train. In the event you desire the way it feels or it’s the one machine you may have entry to, it’s a viable different.

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Leg Curl: Advantages

The hamstrings have two main capabilities: knee flexion (bending your knee) and hip extension (transferring your torso away out of your thighs).

One of many foremost advantages of the leg curl is it trains knee flexion, one thing most different hamstring workout routines (all types of the deadlift, the hip thrust, and the glute bridge, for instance) neglect.

Moreover, the seated leg curl trains knee flexion whereas the three largest “elements” of the hamstrings—the lengthy head of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus—are totally lengthened. This makes it significantly efficient for growing the areas of the hamstrings which have the most important impression on upper-leg dimension.

One other advantage of the leg curl is that it permits you to practice your hamstrings when your again is drained.

That is essential as a result of throughout most workout routines that practice the hamstrings, such because the deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and squat, your again muscular tissues should work laborious to maintain your higher physique in a steady and secure place. 

In case your lower-body exercises solely include free-weight workout routines like these, your again muscular tissues (and significantly your lower-back muscular tissues) could fatigue sooner than your hamstrings. Whereas your again could also be bushed after 6 units of those workout routines, your hamstrings could possibly deal with just a few extra.

The leg curl is a useful workaround on this state of affairs. It permits you to practice your hamstrings after your again is fried, making certain you’ll be able to practice your hammies with the quantity they should develop and develop into stronger with out your decrease again changing into a limiting issue.

For these causes, I at all times embrace the leg curl in my very own coaching and my health applications for women and men, Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

And in the event you’d like extra particular recommendation about what workout routines to incorporate in your coaching program to succeed in your well being and health objectives, take the Legion Power Coaching Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the proper power coaching program for you. Click on right here to test it out.

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Seated Leg Curl: Muscle mass Labored

The leg curl primarily trains the hamstrings, although it additionally trains the glutes and calves to a small diploma, too.

Right here’s how the primary muscular tissues labored by the leg curl look in your physique:

Leg Curl Muscles Worked

Seated Leg Curl: Kind

One of the simplest ways to learn to do the leg curl is to separate the train into three elements: arrange, curl, and lengthen.

Leg Curl before after

Step 1: Set Up

Sit on the seated leg curl machine so the backs of your knees are a few inches off the pad supporting your thighs.

Modify the heel pad so it’s throughout your Achilles tendons, then seize the handles and pull your self down in order that your butt is wedged into the bottom of the seat and your again is in opposition to the backrest.

Step 2: Curl

With out lifting your butt off the seat or leaning ahead, press your heels towards your butt till your shins are roughly perpendicular to your thighs (or nearer).

Step 3: Lengthen

As soon as your shins are roughly perpendicular to your thighs, straighten your knees and return to the beginning place. Don’t attempt to lengthen your knees slowly. All the “extension” needs to be managed however solely take a couple of second.

Right here’s the way it ought to look whenever you put all of it collectively:

Leg Curl gif

The Greatest Seated Leg Curl Options

1. Mendacity Leg Curl

The mendacity leg curl trains the hamstrings equally to the seated leg curl. The one distinction is the seated variation locations the hamstrings in a extra stretched place, which is mostly higher for muscle progress. Whereas the mendacity leg curl most likely isn’t fairly as efficient because the seated leg curl for growing your hamstrings, it’s nonetheless a superb seated leg curl different in case your health club doesn’t have a seated leg curl machine or in the event you’ve been doing the seated model for some time and wish to combine up your coaching.

2. Nordic Leg Curl

Analysis exhibits that the Nordic leg curl is a implausible body weight train for coaching your hamstrings, which can additionally scale back your danger of struggling a hamstring harm. Whereas it isn’t precisely the identical because the seated leg curl, you should use it as an alternative choice to the seated leg curl at residence.

3. Dumbbell Leg Curl

The dumbbell leg curl is just like the mendacity leg curl, besides you grasp a dumbbell between your toes as a substitute of utilizing a leg curl machine. The dumbbell leg curl could be a helpful seated leg curl different in a bind, however most individuals discover it awkward to arrange and carry out. Thus, it’s not a variation I’d advocate except you don’t have entry to a leg curl machine (whereas understanding at residence or touring, for instance).

4. Swiss Ball Leg Curl

The good thing about the Swiss ball leg curl is that it requires minimal tools and area to carry out. Nonetheless, it’s additionally deceptively troublesome as a result of it requires lots of steadiness and coordination. As such, the Swiss ball leg curl most likely isn’t the best choice for somebody who’s new to power coaching, although it could be a very good different for extra skilled weightlifters who like to coach at residence.

+ Scientific References



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