- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredExercise Ball
- Force TypePull (Unilateral)
- Experience LevelAdvanced
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Calves, Glutes
Single Leg Exercise Ball Leg Curl Overview
The single leg exercise ball hamstring curl is a leg curl variation used to build and strengthen the muscles of the hamstring complex.
The single leg exercise ball hamstring curl provides several unique challenges. For example, it challenges the core to stabilize the spine as you contract your hamstrings to bring the exercise ball towards the body.
Also, as a bodyweight exercise that requires a lot of core stability, it is a self-limiting exercise. This means, you’re less likely to cheat as you would if trying to increase weight used in a weighted exercise. If you struggle with this single leg variation, start off by performing the two leg exercise ball leg curl.
Single Leg Exercise Ball Leg Curl Instructions
- Set up in a supine position with one foot elevated on a physioball and your arms extended out to the sides. Position your other leg vertically pointing at the ceiling.
- Initiate the movement by flexing your glute and extending the hips until you have a straight line from your heel through your head.
- While keeping your hips extended, curl your heel towards your butt by flexing your hamstring.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.
Single Leg Exercise Ball Leg Curl Tips
- SHELC = Supine Hip Extension Leg Curl
- 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.
- If you can’t seem to feel your glutes activating, palpate the musculature with your hands and focus on pausing the movement at the peak of contraction.
- If you want to improve activation of your abs and hamstrings within the movement, consider squeezing something like a foam roller or yoga block in between your knees. Keep the hips up but also press into the roller/block as you curl the legs in.
- The unilateral version of this exercise is highly advanced, don’t get discouraged if it takes months, if not years to finally progress to it.