Nordic hamstring curls are very popular thanks to Instagram’s Knees Over Toes Guy – Ben Patrick.
The curl is a great exercise for developing muscle mass and strength in the hamstrings/backs of the legs. It’s also touted as one of the best exercises for preventing injuries to the hamstrings and knees.
Disclaimer – Perform the Nordic curl at your own risk – for informational purposes only
Performing the Nordic Hamstring Curl at Home
You can use a wall to press the soles of your feet into.
- Kneel down facing away from a wall, with your feet close to the wall
- Firmly place the bottoms of the feet into the wall
- On your knees, with the bottoms of your feet driving into the wall, lean forwards
- Lean forwards only a few inches, until you can feel your hamstrings ‘activatying’
- Hold the position for 10 seconds and move back
Using a Sofa/Couch to Perform the Nordic Curl
You can’t really perform the full range of motion, without pinning your feet or heels to the ground.
My favourite way to perform the curl at home is to kneel by the sofa, lift the sofa up and place it on my calf muscles. Find a comfortable place to lean it on your ankles or calves.
- Kneel close to the sofa
- Lift the sofa up and carefully place it down on the back of your ankles or calves
- Slowly lean forwards and try your best to control the descent down to the floor
- Keep your hands at the ready, in case you fall quickly towards the floor (quite likely!)
- Pause with your body prone on the floor
- Curl yourself back up with your hamstrings – you’ll probably need to push yourself using your hands to assist
You can also attach a resistance band to a point above your head, to help control the descent and ascent of the curl. This is easiest to do if you have a power cage nearby as you can loop the band around a vertical or horizontal post at the required angle and height.
I attempted to make a video of me doing the curl at home, kids attacked me though
Reverse Nordic Curl
The reverse Nordic Curl or hamstring curl, involves kneeling and then slowly and in a controlled manner, leaning back as for as you can.
GIF and video are taken from Orillia Sports Medicine And Rehabilitation’s YouTube Channel here
Nordic Curl Negatives
Nordic hamstring curls put the emphasis on the “eccentric” or downward phase of the curl as the muscle lengthens, this is the best form of muscle contraction for building muscle size.
Nordic Hamstring Curl Pros
- Reduces risk of injury
- Builds Muscle mass
- May improve running speed and vertical jump (along with hip flexor strength)
Nordic Hamstring Curl Cons
- Does not transfer well to powerlifting strength
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