Leg Curl

Exercise / Hamstrings

Leg Curl overview

The Leg Curl is an essential isolation exercise that specifically targets the muscles of the posterior chain, including the hamstrings. Performed on a dedicated leg curl machine, this exercise helps strengthen and tone the muscles on the back of the thigh. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Leg Curl in your lower body training routine.

The Leg Curl primarily targets the hamstrings.

Leg Curl how to perform

  • Step 1: Begin by adjusting the leg curl machine to an appropriate setting. Lie face down on the machine with your legs fully extended and your ankles positioned under the padded curling bar.
  • Step 2: Grasp the handles or bars provided on the machine for stability.
  • Step 3: Engage your core and keep your upper body flat on the machine pad.
  • Step 4: Inhale and bend your knees, curling the padded bar towards your glutes.
  • Step 5: Contract your hamstrings at the top of the movement.
  • Step 6: Exhale and slowly lower the padded bar back to the starting position, fully extending your legs.


Perform each repetition with controlled movements, focusing on the engagement of the hamstrings.

Starting position

Final position

CAUTION: Rember to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.

Exercise Tips

  • Keep your upper body flat on the machine pad throughout the movement.
  • Maintain a controlled pace during both the concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) phases.
  • Engage your core to stabilize your body on the machine.
  • Use a weight that challenges you while allowing for proper form.


  1. Single-Leg Leg Curl: Perform the exercise one leg at a time for a unilateral variation, focusing on each hamstring individually.
  2. Seated Leg Curl: Use a seated leg curl machine for a different angle and muscle engagement.
  3. Swiss Ball Leg Curl: Lie on your back with your feet on a Swiss ball and lift your hips, curling the ball towards your glutes.
  4. Stability Ball Hamstring Curl: Lie on your back with your feet on a stability ball and lift your hips, curling the ball towards your glutes.