Looking for a few ways to get more out of that classic hamstring movement, leg curls? You’ve come to the right place. Follow these tips and you’ll start to see those leg biceps growing like they never have before!
Select the weight
This is perhaps the toughest part of this movement. Go too heavy, and you’re only heaving the weight. Go too light, and you are wasting your time pumping. Select a weight that will allow you to complete 10 to 12 repetitions, then add ten pounds each break.
Watch your speed
Some bodybuilders will slam through a set of hamstring curls with very fast quickness. It might look good to use that much weight, and feel good to be done at the end of a quick set, but the truth is that you’re not going to look that good by only giving your hamstrings half a workout. Move slowly through the sets, allowing for at least 2-3 seconds on the ascent and descent of every set.
Contract at the top
When you reach the peak of the movement – the point where you’ve curled the weight to the top, stop for a moment and flex your hamstrings. Then, slowly lower the weight down, from the top to the lying position. This contraction of the hamstrings is very similar to the flexing of the bicep at the peak point of a set of dumbbell biceps curls. You always flex your biceps during those sets, right? Kinesthetically, the hamstrings are to the legs what the biceps are to the arm. Train (and flex!) them accordingly!
Rest between sets
Since this is an exercise which allows for fast recovery, some bodybuilders tend to wait about 60 seconds then complete their next set. While this may be useful for cardiovascular goals, it’s not the best path to take when your goal is the addition of new muscle mass to your frame. Instead, you should be waiting a full 3 minutes between sets of leg curls. With all this time to rest them, you’re going to be surprised at the amount of strength you bring to the table when the next set rolls around!
Go live with five
With most exercises in the gym, we stop after completing four sets. It’s sort of that unwritten rule in the gym, right? Not anymore. Anytime you complete a hamstring movement, you will want to use a full 5 sets. This will ensure you are going beyond anything you’re used to. The human body is an incredibly adaptive organism. If you continually force it to finish 4 sets, it will grow only to a point where it can handle 4 sets. If you make it complete 5 sets, then you’ve pushed the growth forward even more. And one day, you will probably need to bump it up to six sets when the growth halts!
Follow with stretching
If you want to alleviate soreness as much as possible, and facilitate as much growth as you can, then you’re going to want to stretch the hamstrings after each set. Stand perfectly upright, and flex them as hard as possible against the ground. Break up that lactic acid!
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