A lying leg curl, often simply referred to as a leg curl, is a popular exercise that primarily targets the hamstrings, the muscles at the back of your thighs.
It’s performed using a specific machine found in most gyms, where you lie face down and curl your legs towards your butt.
Despite being a relatively simple exercise, the lying leg curl is incredibly effective at strengthening and toning the hamstrings. It also engages other muscles in the lower body, including the glutes and calves, providing a well-rounded workout for your legs.
Muscles Worked in a Lying Leg Curl
- Lower Back
How to Do a Lying Leg Curl
- Lie Down. Lie face down on a leg curl machine with your heels under the roller pads. Your knees should be just off the edge of the bench.
- Position Your Legs. Ensure your legs are fully extended and the roller pads rest comfortably on your ankles.
- Grip the Handles. Reach forward and grip the handles of the machine. This will help stabilize your upper body during the exercise.
- Curl Your Legs. Start the exercise by bending your knees and curling your legs up as far as possible. Keep your hips firmly on the bench and avoid lifting them off.
- Hold and Lower. Hold the contracted position for a moment, then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Make sure to control the movement and avoid letting the weights slam back down.
- Reset. Take a moment to reset your position and ensure your legs are fully extended before performing the next rep. Make sure your hips are still firmly on the bench and your grip on the handles is secure.
- Hamstring Strain. Incorrect form or overexertion can strain your hamstring muscles excessively, potentially leading to injury.
- Lower Back Pain. Failing to maintain a straight back or lifting too heavy can put pressure on the lower back, increasing the risk of injury.
- Muscle Imbalance. Consistently poor form can lead to muscle imbalances, affecting your overall posture and biomechanics, increasing the likelihood of injury in other areas.
- Knee Injuries. Improper leg placement or wobbly execution can strain the knee joint and surrounding muscles.
- Hip Issues. Incorrectly performed lying leg curls could aggravate existing hip issues or create new problems due to improper alignment and stress on the hip joint.
- Overexertion. Performing too many reps or sets without proper rest can lead to overexertion, making you more susceptible to all kinds of injuries.
- Reduced Effectiveness. Poor form or technique can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the exercise, meaning you won’t reap the full benefits of the workout.