5 Essential Steps to Master the Nordic Leg Curl exercise: A Comprehensive Guide

Getting Started

The Nordic Leg Curl exercise, or the Natural Glute Ham Raise, is a potent method for enhancing the posterior chain with a primary focus on the hamstrings. This comprehensive guide is designed to assist you in mastering this effective exercise, discussing its myriad benefits, correct technique, prevalent errors, and various modifications suitable for all fitness enthusiasts.

Nordic Leg Curl exercise

Understanding the Nordic Leg Curl exercise

The Nordic Leg Curl exercise is an eccentric hamstring activity that demands minimal equipment yet yields maximum gains. It comprises a kneeling movement with your feet secured and your body descending towards the ground. This action exerts significant tension on the hamstrings, promoting growth and strength.

Why Opt for the Nordic Leg Curl?

  1. Boosted Hamstring Strength and Size: The Nordic Leg Curl is a top-tier workout for targeting the hamstrings, leading to enhanced strength and hypertrophy.

  2. Augmented Athletic Performance: Regular execution of Nordic Leg Curls can boost sprinting speed, jumping capability, and overall athletic prowess.

  3. Avoidance of Injuries: The Nordic Leg Curl exercise aids in fortifying the hamstrings and achieving muscle balance in the lower body, thereby helping deter common athletic injuries.

Executing the Nordic Leg Curl exercise Correctly

Adhering to proper form while performing the Nordic Leg Curl is essential to harness its benefits fully and prevent potential injuries. Here’s a breakdown of the steps:

  1. Setting Up: Kneel on a cushioned surface with your feet secured under a sturdy object or held by a partner.

  2. The Descent: Maintain a straight line from your knees to your shoulders while lowering your body towards the ground as slowly as possible, resisting with your hamstrings.

  3. The Ascent: Once you’ve lowered as far as you can control, use your hands to push off the ground and aid your hamstrings in returning to the starting position.

Common Mistakes and Their Solutions

Avoid these frequent errors when performing the Nordic Leg Curl:

  1. Rapid Movements: Descend slowly to increase tension on the hamstrings.

  2. Back Hyperextension: Maintain a straight line from your knees to your shoulders throughout the exercise.

  3. Avoiding Assistance: It’s perfectly acceptable to use your hands to assist in pushing off the ground during the ascent.

Modifications of the Nordic Leg Curl exercise

If you’re a beginner or find the Nordic Leg Curl too challenging, consider these modifications:

  1. Eccentric-Only Nordic Leg Curl: Descend as in a regular Nordic Leg Curl, but instead of pushing back up, let your body fall forward and use your hands to return to the starting position.

  2. Banded Nordic Leg Curl: Attach a resistance band around your waist and secure it behind you to assist with the exercise.


The Nordic Leg Curl exercise is an intensive yet rewarding workout that can significantly boost hamstring strength and size, enhance athletic performance, and lower injury risk. By mastering the correct technique and avoiding common mistakes, you can safely integrate this effective exercise into your fitness regimen for optimal results.

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