Reverse nordic curl is an exercise that you can’t fail to add to your bodyweight exercise routine. The workout can be easy to perform, but it requires specific positioning to get the most out of it.
Reverse nordic curl primarily targets your hips flexors and quadriceps. It works to strengthen and also lengthens the muscles. It involves kneeling and lowering your body backward with your hips fully extended.
The exercise is beneficial for strong quadriceps and improves quads and hips mobility. It also helps reduce injury risks and reduce lower back pain.
To perform the exercise, you need a mat for your knees.
HOW TO DO REVERSE NORDIC CURL PROPERLY
You can tuck your toes underneath you or keep your feet flat to perform the exercise. Choose the one you are that suits you.
- Kneel on the mat with your knees and feet brought together approximately hip-width apart for a novice. If advanced, you can place them slightly outside the hip-width.
- Keep your knee, hip, and shoulder aligned to avoid flexing forward or arching your back. Also, you can keep your arms on the sides, then raise your hand over your head or place them on your chest for an advanced level. The hand positioning increases the intensity of the exercise.
- Engage your abs as you exhale and slowly bend back towards the floor. Squeeze your glutes and abs more when making a move.
- Lean back as far as you can control and squeeze your quads to return to the original position. Push your hips as you get back to the initial position and maintain tight glutes and abs. That completes one rep.
REVERSE NORDIC CURL MUSCLES WORKED
The reverse nordic curl exercise works out the quadriceps muscles, emphasizing the rectus femoris. It also targets your hip flexors.
The quadriceps means “four-headed,” comprising four individual muscles. The muscles are rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.
They are large fleshy muscles that cover the front and sides of the thigh. They are some of the largest and strongest powerful muscles in the body.
Also known as quads, they are powerful extensors of the knee joint. They help make lower body movements such as walking, jumping, squatting, and running. They are also responsible for hip flexion.
Toned and strong quads help to improve your knee stability reducing knee injury risks. They also help in improving sports performance and ease daily movements.
You squeeze your quads to keep them activated during the reverse nordic curl. In addition, the quads help extend your hips to maintain a straight form throughout the exercise.
Hip flexors muscles group near the top of your thighs in the pelvic area. The hip flexors are responsible for the flexion of your hips and bending your knees towards your hips.
Tight hip flexors can stretch or tear when you make sudden movements. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep them worked out.
Exercised hip flexors are beneficial in making explosive movements like running or jumping. They also help you exercise or make moves without the risk of injuring your lower back.
In reverse nordic curl, they play a significant role in keeping your hip extended for an effective workout.
BENEFITS OF REVERSE NORDIC CURL
LENGTHEN YOUR QUADRICEPS
The reverse nordic curl involves the contraction and length-tension of your quadriceps. The knee flexion keeps the rectus femoris stretched when your hips are extended. Therefore, stretching your quadriceps increases your quadriceps in shape and size.
IMPROVES YOUR HIP FLEXORS AND QUADRICEPS MOBILITY
Muscles contractions increase the length of the muscle fibers, which increases mobility. Maintaining extended hips throughout the reverse nordic curl workout improves your hip flexors and quadriceps mobility.
HELP IN REDUCING INJURY RISKS AND LOWER BACK PAIN
Tight muscles can cause and increase injuries and tear when sudden movements are made. Exercising on the hip flexors and quads helps to avoid muscle stiffness. This reduces the risks of injuries and also prevents lower back pain.
STRENGTHENS YOUR QUADRICEPS
Exercising the quads and the hip flexors helps to keep them strong and lengthened. As you lower yourself backward in reverse nordic curl exercise, your knee experiences an extensive range of motion. The quads become more activated, increasing their strength to help complete the movements.
ALTERNATIVES TO REVERSE NORDIC CURL
Below are similar exercises that you can add to your workout routine that target similar muscles.
STABILITY BALL HAMSTRING CURL
The exercise targets your glutes and hamstrings. You will need a mat and a stability ball.
How to do stability ball hamstrings curl:
- Place the stability ball on the other end of the mat as you lay on your back on another end.
- Place your heels and the bottom of your calf muscles on the ball. Put your palms facing downwards with your arms fully stretched on your sides. Keep your elbows on the ground near your body for stability.
- Engage your core as you clench your buttocks and lift your hips off the ground.
- Keep your body elevated as you pull the ball towards your butt. As you do this, pull your heels towards you flexing your hips and knees to ease the movements.
- Pull the ball to a point you can control and slowly return it to the start position. Stretch your legs at the end this move. That counts as one rep. You can decide to do up to 20reps.
LYING DUMBBELL LEG CURL
The exercise targets your hamstring and requires a mat and dumbbell to perform. You can also use an inclined bench or leg curl machine.
How to do lying dumbbell leg curl
- Lie with your stomach on the mat and place a dumbbell between your feet.
- Breath in and raise your feet with the dumbbell, slowly bending your knees.
- Take it as far as you can towards your butt.
- Slowly lower your feet back to the start position.
REVERSE NORDIC CURL MISTAKES TO AVOID
AVOID ARCHING YOUR BACK
Failing to maintain a straight hip, knee, and shoulder alignment reduces your range of motion during the reverse nordic curl exercise. It also puts pressure on your lower back. To avoid this, maintain a straight spine throughout the movements.
ROTATING YOUR THIGHS INWARDS
In reverse nordic curl exercise, you might be tempted to rotate your thighs inwards when lowering to the back. However, the movements will cause pain in your lower back and even the knee. So instead, rotate your thighs outside to help activate your quads.
INCONSISTENT RANGE OF MOTION
Your range of motion will benefit you to get the most out of the exercise. Keeping the motion constant helps you fully engage the muscles and have an efficient workout. Also, this is determined by your feet’ positioning and placement.