Lying Hamstring Curl: Build Strong Hamstrings with Ease

Also called “the leg curl,” the lying hamstring curl is an excellent exercise to build strength and size of your hamstrings.

In addition to helping strengthen your lower body, It will also help you avoid injury and enhance your performance during other exercises.

We will go over everything about the lying hamstring curl.

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Working Muscles

The Lying Hamstring Curl Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

Based on its name, it’s not a surprise to find that the lying hamstring curl concentrates on the hamstrings.

The back of your leg is a muscle with four leg muscles from the hamstring. They are the biceps fascia (a group consisting of two muscles: the long and short heads), semitendinosus the semimembranosus.

In this exercise, you will be able to feel a deep contraction in the muscles.

Secondary Muscle Group

The lying hamstring curl on its side stimulates your calves. The soleus comprises the gastrocnemius; your calves are activated to help stabilize the dumbbell throughout the exercise.

Furthermore, the glutes and quads are activated to assist your lower body.

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Benefits

The Lying Hamstring Curl Benefits

#1 Bigger And Stronger Hamstrings

In contrast to other eccentric exercises for the hamstring, the lying hamstring curl is a great example of the concentric part of the exercise, where your hamstring muscles are stretched.

In the end, the lying hamstring curl could aid in building size more quickly since this workout increases hamstring hypertrophy.

With more muscle mass, your lower body will appear more distinct. Still, you’ll also be able to improve your performance on other exercises like the barbell squat or the deadlift.

#2 Reduced Risk Of Injury

Hamstring injuries are very frequent. A torn or stretched hamstring could take weeks to heal and impede your fitness level.

If done correctly, the lying hamstring curl can increase the strength of your hamstrings and strengthen the lower body’s mind-muscle connection.

The lying hamstring curl that lies on the floor can be a great exercise to avoid injuries to the hamstring and assist you in achieving those fitness objectives.

#3 Convenience

In contrast to other lower-body exercises like the barbell deadlift or the glute-ham raise, the lying hamstring curl do not require any gym equipment.

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What you really need is an exercise ball and some space. To be honest, it is possible to complete this workout without weights at all.

In that regard, we’ll look into the process of this challenge.

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Instructions


To perform this exercise, you’ll require a dumbbell.


  • Lie on your stomach, with your legs straight in front of you. Keep your upper body in place with your forearms.
  • Place a dumbbell vertically between your arches feet.
  • Lean your legs upwards so the dumbbell hovers slightly above your floor.


  1. Engage your hamstrings and pull the dumbbell toward your glutes.
  2. Squeeze your hamstrings with your bare hands at the top and then stop for a second.
  3. Slowly return to your starting point and repeat!


If you’re new to the lying hamstring curl, pick a lighter weight to start and do three sets between 12 and 15 repetitions.

If you are comfortable with your form, grab a bigger dumbbell and perform 8-10 reps in 3-4 sets.

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Mistakes

The Lying Hamstring Curl Mistakes

#1 Rushing The Motion

Many lifters lift the dumbbell to the side and allow their legs to rapidly return to their starting position.

While the lying hamstring curl is a good way to emphasize the concentric part of the workout, however, the eccentric part of the exercise should not be overlooked.

To avoid this error, Make sure you slowly bring your legs back to their beginning position. This will increase your gains while reducing your chance of injury.

#2 Completing Partial Reps

When performing the lying hamstring curl, you must lower your dumbbell until it is almost in contact with the ground.

Some lifters stop their lowering when they notice tension in their hamstrings as they descend. This is usually the case when lifting excessive weight.

If you’re doing only half reps, you are not getting the most out of the lying hamstring curl. Choose a more suitable weight that you can manage and perform all repetitions!

#3 Lifting Too Much Weight

The lying hamstring curl isn’t an exercise you can find in sports or normal daily activities. The hamstrings rarely have to support a substantial amount of weight.

Therefore, do not immediately jump in and pick the largest dumbbell available. Your hamstrings won’t be ready to curl, and you may be at risk of injury.

Instead, concentrate on volume and control. Pick a lighter dumbbell and gradually increase the weight in the same manner as you increase the strength as time passes.

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Variations

#1 Seated Hamstring Curl

Hamstring curl machines are the ideal gym version for the dumbbell curl.

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Sit in the machine, your legs extended. The pad of your foot should sit just over your ankles. After that, you should contact your hamstrings until you can make the pad curl to the bottom.

Press your hamstrings with a firm squeeze at the bottom, then slowly return the pad to its beginning position. Repeat!

#2 Standing Hamstring Curling

You can also do the standing hamstring curl.

For the first step, you must assume an upright position and put one foot in front of the other, with your heel a few inches off the ground.

Engage your hamstring muscles to pull your trail foot toward your buttocks. Slowly return to the beginning position, and repeat!

The Lying Hamstring Curl: Alternatives

If you’ve enjoyed the lying hamstring curl, take a look at these other exercises for your hamstrings that will help improve the lower body workout:

#1 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Take a stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells in your palms facing towards the inside. Get your body into a seated position, pull your shoulder blades closer and keep your chest up.

With an incline of just a little at your knees, pivot at your waist while keeping straight back and lowering the weights. There should be a noticeable stretching in your hamstrings as your hips turn forward.

Then, reverse the movement and return to standing and tighten your glutes. Stay tight in your core and do it again!

#2 Nordic Hamstring Curl

Begin by kneeling on both knees and keeping an upright back. Fix your ankles using equipment, or ask your partner to keep your ankles in place. Tighten your glutes, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles.

Keep your back straight and lean forward until you are on the floor. Note that most people have difficulty controlling the move to the floor. Move forward as hard as you can to slide forward and then take hold of yourself.

Press your hamstrings with your fingers to raise your body back to its starting position. It is okay to lift yourself off the ground if you require an initial increase.

Do a lot of hamstring and glute squeezes at the top of your body to increase the force of contraction. Repeat!

#3 Reverse Barbell Lunge

Add some weights to the barbell and put it safely on your back deltoids. Begin from a standing posture with your feet about an inch apart, your chest elevated, and your back upright.

With your left leg straight ahead of you, take a step back using your right foot and then slowly move downwards until the right side of your knee is touching the ground. When you are in this position, your left knee should be straight over your left ankle.

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Then, push upwards in a controlled manner until you reach your standing posture. Repeat this movement for your desired number of repetitions. You are free to switch legs or finish only one rep.

Safety And Precautions

The bodybuilders utilize the lying hamstring curl to increase muscle mass. However, fitness professionals and athletes who participate in certain sports aren’t always opposed to the workout because it could result in the muscles’ shortening (or contraction), the hamstrings.

Suppose you train too hard and don’t stretch correctly repeatedly. In that case, muscle growth could cause a decrease in the flexibility of your hamstrings. To keep your hamstrings in good shape, ensure you perform stretch exercises following your training.

Some individuals may prefer to stay clear of leg curls completely since this workout could cause more harm to an existing issue, delay healing, or increase the risk of an increase in discomfort. This applies to those who:

Are you recovering from an injury or surgery that involves the spine, back, or neck?

Are there injuries or instability at the knee?

Recently had hip or knee surgery?

Have torn or ruptured ligaments in your ankle or knee, for example, the Achilles tendon or the Anterior Cruciate ligament (ACL)?

Always, it’s best to consult with your doctor before beginning a weight-training program. If you’re working with an exercise therapist or trainer, ask them for advice on using this machine, and when you are at ease, add the weight. Try to do three sets of between 8 and 12 repetitions.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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