Nordic Hamstring Curl

Nordic Hamstring Curl Anatomy

Protect Your Hamstrings – Reduce the Risk of Strain or Injury with This Strengthening Exercise


What are the Hamstrings?

The hamstrings generally refer to the three muscles – biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus at the back part of the thigh.

To get an inside view of these muscles, Login to the Strength Training app and go to the Muscular Anatomy section (The Strength Training app is available on all devices)


What are the benefits of Hamstring Exercises?

The hamstrings are the muscles that enable us to move our legs powerfully and efficiently. They are the essential muscles for running, jumping, climbing and even walking. Strengthening the hamstring muscles helps us to do these things better.

Additionally, the hamstring muscles are vulnerable to injury and strain, particularly among athletes and sprinters. Strengthening the hamstrings with training exercises can reduce the risk of injury.

Unfortunately, strain or injury to the hamstring can result in a very long and difficult recovery process, with increased risk for secondary injury or even permanent damage.


The Nordic Ham Curl also called the Leg Curl or Russian Ham Curl is a strength exercise that primarily works the hamstring muscles.



How to do the Nordic Hamstring Curl?

The Nordic hamstring curl involves kneeling on a pad (for knee comfort) and lowering under control while the ankles are held in place by a partner, a loaded barbell, or any other immovable object.

Then extend the hamstring muscles to lean forward, I- lean forward from the knee, not from the hip. 

The movement should be slow and controlled.

You should come as forward or low to the floor as you can without using your hands/arms. Only put your hands out in front of you on the floor when you can no longer rely on your legs. Then push yourself back up to starting position and repeat.


Assisted Nordic Hamstring Curls – Exercise progression

If you are not ready to perform the full Nordic Hamstring Curl, you can use a resistance band to execute a variation of this exercise. This will allow you to build strength and progress to full movement. Attach a resistance band to the immovable machine behind you, above your head. Put the other end of the band over your head and hold it near your shoulders. The band will allow you to descend slowly toward the ground.



Be Aware!

Be aware of possible delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) when starting to include this exercise in your training session, and start slow!

Start with just a few reps at the beginning and don’t bring your body lower than you can manage to do easily before putting your arms out and build your way up to more reps and greater range of movement.


What Not to Do

The Nordic hamstring curl is a highly effective hamstring exercise.

It can help prevent hamstring injuries due to the eccentric emphasis, which shifts the hamstring’s maximum force potential to larger muscle lengths.

A common mistake when performing this exercise is bending at the hips. Bending at the hips will not do much to strengthen the hamstrings.


Want to know more?

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Target Muscles

+ Hamstrings


+ Gastrocnemius


+ Erector Spinae

+ Abdominal muscles

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