Dumbbell Hamstring Curl Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Isolation
  • Pull
  • Intermediate
  • None
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Hamstrings Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the dumbbell hamstring curl by elevating a flat bench on a block or step. You can use a grounded flat bench, but elevating it gives you a better range of motion and more efficiently recruits the hamstrings.
  2. Now choose the appropriate dumbbell and set it on the ground near the lower end of the bench.
  3. Lie face down on the bench and position yourself so that your knees are at the edge of the bench.
  4. Pick up the dumbbell from the floor with your feet, securing it between the arches of your two feet. 
  5. Your legs should be fully extended and you can wrap your arms around the bench for stability. This is the starting position.
  6. Bending at the knees only slowly curl the dumbbell up towards your buttocks. 
  7. Raise the dumbbell as far as comfortably possible or just past 90 degrees. 
  8. Pause for a moment and then lower the dumbbell in a controlled manner back to the starting position.
  9. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. Start the exercise by using a very light weight. You will want to keep you upper body and upper legs as still as possible throughout the movement. Using a dumbbell that is too heavy for you may cause your body to jerk or swing which can lead to injury.
  2. You can have a training partner place the dumbbell properly between your feet if you have a hard time lifting it from the floor.
  3. Always make sure that the dumbbell is completely secure between your feet before beginning the movement.
  4. Focus on moving the weight with your hamstrings utilizing a full range of motion. 

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10 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 06/24/2017 - 16:43

Pretty dangerous if you do not do the right form. If you have knee problems I would suggest an alternative excercise. Yet, if you do it right you won't be able to stand up for days :P Great workout.

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2016 - 03:15

Is there any way to do this without the use of a bench, such as off a bed or chair?

Thank you.

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 01/25/2016 - 09:25


If have access a physioball, I would recommend these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APokXtUhFzc

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 02/01/2016 - 09:29

Yep, an excellent choice actually. I would highly recommend those.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 01/30/2016 - 20:35

Thanks Mike,

I am unable to inflate my medicine ball I have though, could an exercise like hamstring sliders be a good substitute? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5tmLdIG_TI

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:38
Mini hulk

I use a resistance band and I put my feet in the band and I curl up one leg at a time while my other leg holds the band down. I like this exercise better, it looks better, thanks

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:32

I don't have a bench at the moment, can this exercise be done with my legs dangling off the side of my bed?


No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:29

I don't have a bench at the moment so can I do this exercise with my legs dangling off the side of
my bed?

Thank you.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 16:17

I hadn't actually thought of this, but seems pretty genius! Maybe I will use some tape to hold the weights up! Will be sharing with our readers.


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Posted Tue, 06/05/2012 - 18:15

This is hard part. My dumbbell always fall off from my feet over and over again.
Your video is so great. I have to try to start over.
Thank you for your videos.