Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Hamstrings Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Leg Curl Instructions

  1. The lying leg curl is a great exercise to isolate the hamstrings. Set up for the leg curl by selecting the weight you want to use on the stack and adjusting the padding to suit your leg length.
  2. Lay face down on the machine. The padding should be positioned just above the back of your ankles. If it's higher than that, adjust the length.
  3. Tense up the hamstrings by taking the weight slightly off the stack. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Squeeze the hamstrings and curl the weight up as far as possible.
  5. Squeeze the hamstring hard, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. Common mistakes with the leg curl are; moving the weight up and down too fast and not using a full range of motion.
  2. Always control the weight throughout the set. Don't use momentum to move the weight up, and don't allow it to drop back down quickly.
  3. Always use a full range of motion by curling the weight up as far as possible and lowering it as far as possible without the weight dropping on the stack.
Posted on: Tue, 04/30/2024 - 10:44

What does super set mean with squat?

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Posted on: Fri, 05/10/2024 - 21:27

Hi Lola, this means you do one exercise immediately after another. So, if the exercises were squat and leg curl, then you would start with squats, then immediately go into leg curls with no rest. Rest after the second exercise.

Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2019 - 10:56

TRX straps are a great way to find some alternatives if you don't have weights you want or machines. There is a hamstring curl using TRX straps that will shred your hammy's!

Posted on: Tue, 02/12/2019 - 17:22

To give a little idea of what I have to work with......I live in a very very rural area. Walmart is 45 minutes away to give you a complete picture here. The only gym we (our community) has is one put together by a non-profit thrift store, and just about the majority of our equipment is out dated, or donated. Which I am not complaining at all. We are blessed this group worked so hard to put this together for our community. I am really working hard to get myself ready to compete on the stage. If I'm not being creative with the equipment then certain excercises do not get done. With that being said there is only so creative you can get, and only so much bodyweight excercise you can get it. Things I need to do like the leg curl is really hard for me to figure out, along with like leg extensions, glute focused excercises, pull ups, pek focused, rope extension, tricep focused, lat pulldown, hack squats, leg press just to name a few. Does anyone have suggestions? I have researched and researched different ways to do these excercises and others and either I am missing it, or cannot find it. Any kind of help will be greatly appreciated. This is a huge goal I am trying to reach, and I'm stumped.

Posted on: Sat, 02/16/2019 - 12:22

Congrats on your effort! I’ve seen good workouts here with only dumbbells or body weight

Posted on: Sun, 12/06/2020 - 04:49

Really late, but I've been using household objects to try it instead. Things like suitcases.

Posted on: Thu, 02/23/2023 - 18:04

I don’t know if you solved the issues with leg curls but a Swiss ball where your legs are on the top part of the Swiss ball and your back on the ground and you are pulling slowly with legs you can get to where you can do it single leg double leg works wonderful, and it adds stability to the legs check YouTube leg curls with Swiss ball!

Posted on: Sun, 04/26/2015 - 05:37

Hello everyone,

I have a problem. I work out at home with a bench that has a leg curl/extension hinge. When I place the pad behind my ankles I can't get a full range of motion (over 90 degrees) at the concentric portion of the movement, but when I move down to try and get a better range of motion I often find my hips coming off the bench and/or my lower back curling backwards. Can someone please tell me what I should do? I am around six feet tall.



Posted on: Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:50

Can I do the seated leg curl instead?

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2022 - 16:56

I'm not sure, this is what I wanted to ask since my gym only has a seated one, have you found an answer yet?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/18/2022 - 08:08

Yes to both of you. The seated version is actually better than this version in my opinion.

Posted on: Sat, 06/14/2014 - 01:55

Hi, I am only 5 Ft 5 Inch Tall..
my thigh size is 22inchs..
and i want to lose fat from that part..

but i think if i would do this workout...it won't help! right!?

Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2019 - 08:15

You can’t target fat loss, so no, doing one particular exercise is not going to help you lose weight or inches in that area. You need a well rounded consistent fitness program with cardio and resistance training to lose fat.

Posted on: Fri, 09/10/2021 - 01:11

You will not lose fat unless on a caloric deficit or maintenance. No matter how much calories u burn from cardio. its all about calories in and calories out :D

Posted on: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 21:10

Do you add weight after each set or use a consistent weight through all sets? Thanks

Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2013 - 18:09

What does "double drop set" mean?

Posted on: Fri, 01/04/2013 - 10:31

what would be a sub for this excluding squats with free weights?

Posted on: Wed, 08/05/2015 - 16:38

Seated leg curls will be a sub for this. ;-)

Posted on: Fri, 11/23/2012 - 13:57

How I figure out the weight to start?, do I increase the weight or the repetitions?, when I should increase it?. how many times a week I should this exercise?

Posted on: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:36

I realize that I've been doing this slightly wrong now, thanks alot!

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:34

Is there a way of doing these work outs without the use of machines because am doing this at home

Posted on: Wed, 11/21/2012 - 07:40

You can buy leg weights with straps that can offer a similar workout, but they usually are not heavy enough and often a waste of time. However, you can sometimes get lucky and get these machines for a good deal from a secondhand shop, be it online or your local store. I just swapped the exercise out for weighted squats.

Posted on: Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:02

Hi Steve. Is there a good alternative for leg curl?

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Posted on: Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:06

The stiff leg deadlift is a popular choice. Also, check out our database of hamstring exercises for more options:


Posted on: Mon, 10/08/2012 - 12:06

I actually use the modified hamstring raise.