The Seated Hamstring Curls is a dynamic lower body workout that isolates the hamstrings muscles and effectively works on strengthening and developing them.
Strengthening of the hamstrings helps to have strong knee flexion when working out or bending. The joints get little to no tension while doing the curl movements.
The back of the thigh muscles are best when strong and developed because that way, you are less to get injuries and knees get strong and stabilized.
HOW TO DO SEATED HAMSTRING CURLS PROPERLY
You will be using a curl machine so ask for assistance with set up from your trainer/gym instructor. Remember to use weights that best match your strength.
How to do it:
- Sit on the curl machine and rest your back on the backrest.
- Position your legs below the lap pad and adjust it so that it is securely holding your legs in position. Your ankles should rest on top of the lower pad.
- Make sure the lap pad is resting on your lap and your toes are facing forward. Hold the side handles firmly, straighten your back against the backrest and brace your core. This is your stating position.
- Exhale as you flex at the knees while contracting the hamstrings and push the lower lever inward until it is back enough.
- You will start to feel your hamstring muscles begin to burn and contract more.
- Hold the position for a second or two and slowly release the tension back to your starting position as you inhale.
- The motion it to be done in a smooth and controlled movement to maintain a good breathing pattern and allow muscles to activate effectively.
- Your upper body should be still throughout the movement.
- Do 2 sets of 6-10 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SEATED HAMSTRING CURLS WORK
Hamstring muscles helps us to sit, stand, run and stabilize the body as you squat. In this exercise, the hamstring is responsible for bending the knee and extension of the hips.
When you push or pull the lower lever inward, the hamstrings jump into action since these back of the thigh muscles control your leg movements and they begin to contract and activate as you pull inward.
Hamstring with glutes combination works so well to reduce muscle fat and work on strengthening the lower body, which helps to create body and muscle balance.
Most muscles work in pairs, which is a great way to activate and facilitate growth. The glutes on its own also helps in providing stability when doing the workout.
Same outcome too, hamstring with calves pairing. The calves contract and activates when pushing or pulling the lower lever inwards, which also the hamstring takes part in and creates the paired work to accomplish the movement.
SEATED HAMSTRING CURLS BENEFITS
STRONGER AND BIGGER HAMSTRINGS
Seated Hamstring Curls enhances strength and increase muscle growth, which increases knee stabilization and lower body explosive movements.
Improving the health and strength of the hamstrings helps to improve and maintain healthy joints even when working out or in your day-to-day activities.
Strong hamstring muscles gives your thighs a good shape with how defined and toned the muscles have been.
INCREASE LOWER BODY ENDURANCE
Strong and developed lower body muscles especially the leg muscles increase momentum and endurance especially if you are an athlete or a fitness enthusiast.
Endurance when working out, walking or even doing normal activities increases which means there is less fat on your muscles and you feel lighter and more fit.
STRENGTHEN KNEE JOINTS
The tension of the weights is subjected to the hamstrings while the knee joints get to develop and become strong because the knee flexor, which are the hamstring muscles, activates and strengthens.
This protects the knees from risky injuries when working out or even through accidents because the muscles around it are strong and more flexible.
ALTERNATIVES TO SEATED HAMSTRING CURLS
An amazing alternative for Seated Hamstring Curls and improves the hamstring and glutes to the extreme.
The exercise has a different form and technique but works on the same muscles much better and that is why this should be your first alternative.
How to do it:
- Start by placing a weighted barbell in front of you.
- Hinge at the hips, slightly bend at the knees and grab the barbell in an overhand grip. Straighten your back and look forward.
- Lift the barbell until you are fully erect with it in your hands and tighten your core. This is your starting position.
- Lower the weight by hinging at the hips until you feel a stretch at your hamstrings and your glutes start to feel like they are on fire. The barbell should not rest on the floor but hang from your hands.
- Maintain a straight back and face forward.
- Hold the position for a few counts and then drive your hips forward using the hamstrings until you are back to your standing position.
- Do 2 sets of 4-8 reps.
GLUTE HAM RAISE
From its angle, the workout looks like an airborne superman exercise. It may look hard and painful, which is true but still, your hamstrings will appreciate it.
The workout stretches and works your hamstrings and glute effectively that one set will have you feeling like your leg muscles have done millions of extreme workouts.
Glute ham raise are the type of bodyweights workout that effectively activate your muscles and facilitate growth and development.
SEATED HAMSTRINGS CURLS MISTAKES TO AVOID
USING EXCESS WEIGHT
Excess weights give a high probability to muscle tears or joint dislocation. To avoid this, use weights that will not give you a straggling experience but rather a more activation and fat burning experience.
This way, your focus is more on proper form and technique, which facilitates muscle activation and growth.
MOVING TOO FAST
When doing Seated Hamstring Curls, moving fast is skipping the muscle contraction and stimulation part to just finishing a set. It does not make sense nor does it help you gain anything.
Slow and controlled movements helps you feel the muscle contractions that help to burn fat and lead to muscle growth and strengthening.
Seated Hamstring Curls exercise guarantees you well-toned and strong hamstrings. It works to strengthen and help improve muscles balance on the lower body.
Hamstring injuries are common, such injuries are stiff muscles due to sitting for too long, pain from working out before stretching the muscles and so on.
Working on the muscles helps reduce such common injuries and helps to stretch and increase the muscle flexibility.