It is very understandable that not everyone can afford or have the leg curl machine. It is not always necessarily about the process involved, the end result is the main goal.
Let us take a look at some of the leg curl alternatives that can help you build and strengthen your hamstring muscles and can be performed anywhere you like.
Here are some let curl alternatives you can start doing today:
1. Single Leg Hip Extension
Single Leg Hip Extension, also sometimes known as single-leg curls, is a unilateral exercise that is one of the easiest and best lying leg curl substitute.
It only requires you to lie down flat on the ground with no need for any equipment. It targets the hamstring muscles by contracting them whilst they are partially loaded with the weight of your body.
How to do a single leg hip extension
- Bend your knees at a 90 degrees angle by lying flat on the floor (bridge position) with your buttocks on the ground and feet hip-width apart.
- Extend your one leg as high as you can straight out and hold it in that position
- Next, raise your hips along with lower back upwards while your other leg acts as a stabilizer. Keep your weight centered on the heel of the stabilizer leg for maintaining balance.
- You should hold this position for three seconds and go back down slowly to the floor.
- It is recommended to aim for 15 repetitions for each leg.
2. Kettlebell Swings
This versatile exercise not only focuses on your hamstring muscles but also your core and complete posterior chain as well. Since it involves weights, you have to be careful while performing it, as doing it incorrectly may result in an injury.
How to do Kettlebell Swings
- Stand in a semi-squat position with your feet wider than your shoulder’s width-apart and hold the kettlebell a bit loosely in order to make it swing in your hands.
- Start by pulling the kettlebell back in your legs and swing it towards your front. Keep in mind that the kettlebell should not be swung higher than your shoulder height.
- Swing it down underneath your legs while you go in the semi-squat position. This is one repetition.
You can find many variations of this exercise, but to target your hamstrings, remember to keep your legs maximally straight in each rep.
3. Dumbbell Lying Leg Curl
If you have dumbbells, then this lying hamstring curl alternative can conveniently replicate the movement of leg curl machine but with barer bones approach. To perform this, you require only one dumbbell, but make sure to choose the right weight. Also, its position is vital since you don’t want to drop it anyway and avoid any accident.
Here is how to perform this exercise the right way:
- Start by lying down on the floor on your stomach (prone-lying position).
- Place the dumbbell in between your feet, ensuring a firm grip to prevent it from falling during exercise.
- Bend your knees slowly, aiming for a 90 degrees angle while raising your feet along with the dumbbell. This applies pressure on your legs through the weight of the dumbbell.
- One your knees have bent till 90 degrees angle, lower your feet slowly along with the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat.
For an additional challenge, you can also try to do this on an incline bench.
The above listed exercises not only focus on your hamstring muscles but also your lats, glutes, and core muscles. Simply remember to do a quick warm up session before diving in your workout and maintain a proper posture throughout.
Exercise has proven countless number of times to be something that is extremely beneficial to every human being. Getting involved in certain exercise activities keeps you healthy and in some cases, prolongs life span. It would surprise you the number of exercising activities there are, as they undoubtedly cannot be counted. To get involved in exercising, you need to understand your body system and the capacity of what it can endure. This would help you in choosing the activity you would engage in, to ensure it does you good rather than harm.
Yes, in as much as exercising is amazing, it can cause harm if it isn’t something your body system cannot adapt with. In view of the numerous exercising activities that can be found, the leg curl is certainly among one that is beneficial to everyone. For those who might not be in the know of what a leg curl is, this is an activity that involves you flexing your hamstrings. Your hamstrings are the space at the back of your knee. Doing a leg curl ensures there is no stiffness around that area, as it may lead to certain complications if this is the case.
Interesting, a leg curl can be done in diverse ways. This is one uniqueness around it as people won’t be stuck with just one particular method that can get boring. Also, there are machines that aid in carrying out a leg curl, and this makes it more fun. A leg curl can be done while lying down, standing, and even while seated. For the standing leg curl, here you get to work on your legs one after the one. You work on one leg while being supported by the other leg. However, for the lying down and seating methods, you get to work on both legs at the same time. Whatever method you decide to engage in would be perfect as long it gets you the end result of flexing your hamstring. The process involved isn’t necessarily the main point as all are effective, and none is superior to the other.
The benefits of the leg curl cannot be overemphasized as we all know that the knee plays an effective role in everyday life, and one cannot walk with a damaged knee. A well flexible hamstring aids in balance and stamina. If your hamstrings are not well flexible, the stiffness messes with the balance and stamina of the body system, and you become wobbly when walking. This leads to certain complications that one cannot even begin to imagine, hence, why the leg curl is one activity that is advocated for.
Getting established with leg curl the activity and its importance, one can agree that it is an exercise worth getting involved with. However, thinking outside the box, one begins to wonder about leg curl alternatives. What if I do not have the leg curl machine? What if I do not want to follow normal leg curl processes? Does it mean I cannot do some other activity that gives me same result as the leg curl? This is what this article sets to find out.