Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Lying leg curls and seated curls are both exercises that work the hamstrings. However, which is better at targeting the inner hams? The more popular of the two is the lying leg curl. It is the go-to move for hitting the  back of the thighs.

Lying Leg Curls

There are a few ways to make the most of this exercise. First, keep a slight bend in the legs at the start of each repetition. The slight bend will not only maintain constant tension on the hamstrings, but it also helps to protect the knee joint from injury. Second, for the majority of the set, try to keep hips down and close to the bench while focusing on the hamstrings. Third, avoid trying to look up from the prone position. Protect your cervical spine by keeping your head neutral and eyes focused forward to alleviate neck strain.

Seated Leg Curls

The seated leg curl puts an immediate stretch on the hamstrings. Many leg curl machines allow you adjust the settings for the back support, the quad pad and the arm for your legs. You want to avoid over-extending your legs at the start of each rep and keep the quad pad snug to your quadriceps. A snug position helps to keep your legs in position throughout, but just loose enough to allow some room to move. Last, the back support should allow for solid support of your lower back. Some lifters sit up or bend forward holding tight to the support bar in front of them. This position puts an even greater stretch on the hamstrings at the start of each rep. It is fine to use this position as long as when you sit back your support is properly placed to support the lower back.

Which Has Advantage?

The seated leg curl has the advantage. When doing seated leg curls, your legs are bent at the hips about 90 degrees in relationship to your torso. This motion stretches the inner hamstring muscles more than lying leg curls. So, if your inner hams are lagging behind, just take a seat.