Nordic Hamstring Curl (Bodyweight) Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Isolation
  • Pull (Bilateral)
  • Advanced
  • Abs, Calves, Glutes
Hamstrings Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Nordic Hamstring Curl (Bodyweight) Overview

The Nordic hamstring curl is a bodyweight variation of the leg curl and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the hamstrings.

Nordic hamstring curls are very challenging. However, they do an excellent job at building hamstring muscle and strength which will have a positive carry over into your big leg exercises and aesthetics.

The Nordic hamstring curl can be performed during your leg workouts and full body workouts.

Nordic Hamstring Curl (Bodyweight) Instructions

  1. Setup in a nordic hamstring machine with your hips extended and torso upright.
  2. Keeping your hips extended, begin to lower yourself as slowly as possible until you can no longer control the descent.
  3. At this point, allow yourself to fall to the floor in a controlled fashion and “catch” yourself with your arms.
  4. Give yourself just enough of a push off the floor to get back into a position where you can pull yourself back to the start using your hamstrings.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Nordic Hamstring Curl (Bodyweight) Tips

  1. If have access to an actual nordic hamstring curl machine that would be ideal. If not, try to utilize a lat pulldown machine as that is the easiest option to adapt for setup. If neither option is available, consider the partner assisted version. If you don’t have access to anyone who can hold your ankles in place, consider a setup with a power rack whereby your ankles are positioned underneath the squat pad on a weighted barbell and you have a pad underneath your knees.
  2. Ideally you should look to keep your hips extended throughout the duration of the set, don’t allow them to shoot back and take tension off of your hamstrings.
  3. When extending the glutes, you shouldn’t feel any pressure or contraction through the lower back. If you find yourself getting a pump through your spinal erectors then you’re likely substituting spinal extension for hip extension.
  4. Remember, it’s a controlled drop when you can’t maintain tension with the hamstrings anymore. At that point you should still seek to keep the hamstrings active and only use the arms as necessary.