Seated Leg Curl

Exercise / Hamstrings

Seated Leg Curl overview

The Seated Leg Curl is an isolation exercise that specifically targets the hamstrings, contributing to overall lower body strength and muscle development. Performed on a seated leg curl machine, this exercise provides a controlled environment to focus on the posterior chain. Explore the specifications, step-by-step instructions, and variations to optimize the benefits of the Seated Leg Curl in your lower body training routine.

The Seated Leg Curl primarily targets the hamstrings.

Seated Leg Curl how to perform

  • Step 1: Begin by adjusting the seated leg curl machine to an appropriate setting. Sit on the machine with your back against the backrest and your legs fully extended.
  • Step 2: Place your lower legs under the padded lever or rollers, just above the ankles.
  • Step 3: Grasp the handles or bars provided on the machine for stability.
  • Step 4: Engage your core and keep your back flat against the backrest.
  • Step 5: Inhale and bend your knees, curling the padded lever towards your glutes.
  • Step 6: Contract your hamstrings at the top of the movement.
  • Step 7: Exhale and slowly extend your legs, returning the padded lever to the starting position.


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

  • Maintain proper posture with your back against the backrest throughout the movement.
  • Keep 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 Seated Leg Curl: Perform the exercise one leg at a time for a unilateral variation, focusing on each hamstring individually.
  2. High-Intensity Techniques: Incorporate techniques such as drop sets or rest-pause sets for added intensity.
  3. Superset with Quad Exercise: Alternate between seated leg curls and a quad-dominant exercise for a comprehensive lower body workout.
  4. Different Foot Positions: Experiment with foot positions, such as toes pointed in or out, to target different areas of the hamstrings.