Lying leg curl exercise

Lying leg curl

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus)
  • Synergists: Gastrocnemius, Sartorius, Gracilis, Popliteus
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Lie prone (face down) on the leg curl bench and position your legs under the lever pads. Your knees should be just below the edge of the bench and the lever pads should be resting just above your heels.
  2. Hold the handles for stability.


  1. Exhale as you flex your knees and curl the lever until it touches the back of your thighs.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower the lever to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  • Try to resist the lowering of the lever; don’t just let it drop.
  • Don’t allow your hips to rise off the bench.
  • Adjust the lever for optimal leverage.
  • Keep your ankles flexed so that your toes point toward your shins. This allows your gastrocnemii to offer better assistance.
  • Adjusting the orientation of your feet during the lying leg curl emphasizes different hamstring muscles. Keep your feet straight to emphasize all hamstrings. Turn your feet inward to emphasize your inner hamstrings (semitendinosus and semimembranosus). Turn your feet outward to emphasize your outer hamstring (biceps femoris).
  • See also kneeling leg curl, the seated leg curl, and the stability ball leg curl.

Lying leg curl video


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