Leg Curl Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Isolation
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • None
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Hamstrings Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The lying leg curl is a great exercise to isolate the hamstrings. Set up for the leg curl by selecting the weight you want to use on the stack and adjusting the padding to suit your leg length.
  2. Lay face down on the machine. The padding should be positioned just above the back of your ankles. If it's higher than that, adjust the length.
  3. Tense up the hamstrings by taking the weight slightly off the stack. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  4. Squeeze the hamstrings and curl the weight up as far as possible.
  5. Squeeze the hamstring hard, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. Common mistakes with the leg curl are; moving the weight up and down too fast and not using a full range of motion.
  2. Always control the weight throughout the set. Don't use momentum to move the weight up, and don't allow it to drop back down quickly.
  3. Always use a full range of motion by curling the weight up as far as possible and lowering it as far as possible without the weight dropping on the stack.

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14 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 04/26/2015 - 05:37

Hello everyone,

I have a problem. I work out at home with a bench that has a leg curl/extension hinge. When I place the pad behind my ankles I can't get a full range of motion (over 90 degrees) at the concentric portion of the movement, but when I move down to try and get a better range of motion I often find my hips coming off the bench and/or my lower back curling backwards. Can someone please tell me what I should do? I am around six feet tall.



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Posted Wed, 06/18/2014 - 16:50

Can I do the seated leg curl instead?

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Posted Sat, 06/14/2014 - 01:55

Hi, I am only 5 Ft 5 Inch Tall..
my thigh size is 22inchs..
and i want to lose fat from that part..

but i think if i would do this workout...it won't help! right!?

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Posted Mon, 01/27/2014 - 21:10

Do you add weight after each set or use a consistent weight through all sets? Thanks

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Posted Fri, 03/29/2013 - 18:09

What does "double drop set" mean?

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2013 - 10:31

what would be a sub for this excluding squats with free weights?

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Posted Wed, 08/05/2015 - 16:38

Seated leg curls will be a sub for this. ;-)

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Posted Fri, 11/23/2012 - 13:57

How I figure out the weight to start?, do I increase the weight or the repetitions?, when I should increase it?. how many times a week I should this exercise?

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Posted Thu, 10/25/2012 - 12:36

I realize that I've been doing this slightly wrong now, thanks alot!

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Posted Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:34

Is there a way of doing these work outs without the use of machines because am doing this at home

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Posted Wed, 11/21/2012 - 07:40

You can buy leg weights with straps that can offer a similar workout, but they usually are not heavy enough and often a waste of time. However, you can sometimes get lucky and get these machines for a good deal from a secondhand shop, be it online or your local store. I just swapped the exercise out for weighted squats.

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:02

Hi Steve. Is there a good alternative for leg curl?

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 09:06

The stiff leg deadlift is a popular choice. Also, check out our database of hamstring exercises for more options:


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Posted Mon, 10/08/2012 - 12:06

I actually use the modified hamstring raise.