Maximizing Your Fitness Routine: Incorporating Nordic Hamstring Curls and Lower Back Extensions

Nordic hamstring curl is a lower-body exercise designed to engage the hamstring muscles using the resistance of your body weight. Incorporating Nordic hamstring curls and back extensions into your strength training regimen offers a host of benefits. Let's explore some of the machines most commonly used to perform this exercise.Nordic Hamstring Curls,Lower Back Extensions

How to MaximizeYour Fitness Routine at Home: Incorporating Nordic Hamstring Curls and Lower Back Extensions

The hamstrings rank among the pivotal muscle groups in the lower body, boasting not only aesthetic appeal but also playing a monumental role in sports and daily life.

Incorporating exercises such as Nordic curls becomes imperative to maintain the strength and well-being of these muscles. This article will guide you on fortifying your Nordic hamstring curl machine and minimizing the risk of injuries, catering to individuals at any fitness level, be it beginners or advanced athletes.

What Is the Nordic Curl Exercise?

The Nordic curl, also known as the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE), is an eccentric workout that involves elongating the muscles. It is performed while kneeling, with the ankles securely strapped, and the goal is to gradually lower the upper body forward.

While there are specific setups designed for this exercise, you can attain similar results using different alternatives, as long as your ankles and knees are securely fixed to a surface, allowing your torso to move freely up and down.

Nordic curls have proven to be instrumental in reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing recovery time from hamstring strains, particularly in fast-paced sports like American football, soccer, sprinting, and rugby. 

How to Perform Nordic Hamstring Curl Machine

Nordic hamstring curls can be executed through various methods. You can choose to work with a partner, secure your legs around a bench using a resistance band, or utilize a dedicated Nordic curl machine.

Irrespective of the chosen setup, the fundamental approach remains consistent: your legs should be firmly anchored, typically around the ankle area, and your knees secured to a stable surface. In this stance, maintain a neutral position for your torso and neck, with your arms positioned either at your sides or held close to your chest.

Initiate the movement by gradually and deliberately lowering your upper body while simultaneously drawing your heels nearer to your buttocks. Your legs should remain stationary, but this motion intensifies hamstring engagement, enhancing the overall difficulty of the exercise.

As you near the ground, use your hands to halt your drop and assist you in returning to the starting position. Depending on your level of strength and expertise, you may eventually be able to do this technique only using the strength in your hamstrings, doing away with the requirement for hand support.

Nordic Hamstring Curl Equipment

Below, we'll explore some of the most commonly used equipment for performing the Nordic hamstring curl:

  • Nordic Hamstring Curl Strap: The Nordic hamstring curl strap has a foot pad at one end and a rubber anchor at the other. It is made of a sturdy material, usually nylon. You put your feet under the foot pad and slip the strap underneath a door, securing it with the rubber anchor as you go. Despite providing less support than other pieces of equipment, Nordic hamstring curl straps are inexpensive, portable, and lightweight, making them the perfect choice for those on a tight budget or for people who prefer to exercise at home or on the road.
  • Nordic Hamstring Curl Machine: Also known as a glute ham raise machine (GHD), the Nordic hamstring curl machine has a metal frame with knee and foot padding. By supporting your knees with the knee pad and keeping your feet in place with the foot pad, this equipment makes Nordic curls more comfortable and stable during the workout.
  • Nordic Hamstring Curl Bench: A Nordic hamstring curl bench is a flat bench with knee and foot pads that provide essential knee support and securely anchor your feet, enabling you to complete the exercise without the assistance of a partner. These benches are a great option for individuals who workout at home with limited space because they are quite small.
  • Lower back extension machine: The primary advantage of a lower back extension machine lies in its intended purpose: fortifying your lower back. This machine targets and bolsters the crucial muscle mass located just above your waist, enhancing their strength and development.

Muscles Targeted by Nordic Curls

The Nordic curl is an exercise specially crafted to maximize the development and strength of the hamstring muscles, among the largest muscles in the human body. Additionally, this movement significantly engages the gluteal muscles, resulting in a comprehensive workout for both muscle groups.

Specific Muscles Worked:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes 


In order to target and develop your hamstrings and glutes, Nordic curls are a terrific exercise that you can do at home. This helps to enhance your posture, stability, and athletic performance. The exercise just needs a few pieces of equipment, but it's important to focus on developing strength and perfecting appropriate form because poor form can cause unintentional muscle activation or even injury. Utilizing a support band is suggested if carrying out the motion only with your body weight is difficult. 



Do Nordic Curls Strengthen Hamstrings?

Indeed, Nordic curls effectively strengthen the hamstrings. They rank among the top exercises for isolating the hamstrings, intensifying muscle tension, and promoting both muscle growth and strength.


Are Nordic Hamstring Curls Safe?

Certainly, Nordic hamstring curls are generally safe for most individuals. For beginners, it's advisable to begin with resistance bands or a limited range of motion to gradually build the strength necessary for the full range of motion and advanced hamstring development.

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