Seated leg curl exercise

Seated leg curl

Exercise details

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

Starting position

  1. Sit in the leg curl machine.
  2. Place the backs of your lower legs on top of the padded lever.
  3. Lower the thigh support so that it rests just above your knees (missing from illustration; see video).
  4. Hold the handles for support.


  1. Exhale as you flex your knees and curl the lever all the way to the back of your thighs.
  2. Hold for a count of two and squeeze your hamstrings.
  3. Inhale as you return the lever to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  • Try to resist the rising of the lever.
  • Keep your back pressed firmly against the back support.
  • Adjust the back support and lever for comfort and optimal leverage.
  • Always keep your ankles flexed (toes pointing toward your shins) when performing the seated leg curl. This allows your gastrocnemii to offer better assistance to your hamstrings.
  • See also kneeling leg curl, the lying leg curl, and the stability ball leg curl.

Seated leg curl video


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