Bending the legs lying down in the trainer also known as “Hamstring curls” will help to tighten and harden the leg muscles. There is a leg trainer in most gyms, and not only men, but also women like to work with it, which makes their legs become even more attractive and defined. The exercise is relatively easy, but there are important points that you cannot ignore in order to achieve the desired result.
Description and benefits of the exercise
Due to the fact that the thigh muscles are responsible for bending the legs are rarely used in everyday life, just like the quadriceps are small in people who do not train them specifically.
To make the body look symmetrical and for the muscles to develop evenly, it is necessary to work out this muscle group. The best option is precisely the bending of the legs lying down, as the muscles in the process of performing this will be trained qualitatively.
The muscles involved
The exercise works out the muscle groups of the legs, so it is not surprising that a lot of athletes always work in the gym with such a trainer.
There are from 640 to 850 muscles in the human body and 200 of them are involved during walking.
This is an isolated exercise on the rear muscle of the thigh. For this, it was especially popular within the training programs of female athletes.
Additionally, the popliteal, calf and thin muscles are included in the work. In addition to them, the anterior tibial and rectus muscle of the thighs work as stabilizers.
How and how much to bend your legs
Despite the external simplicity of performing hamstring curls, the technique of performing this exercise is not always correct for those who are engaged. But it depends on this, whether they will get a result or just waste their time on this machine.
First of all, you should adjust the trainer for yourself. The angle of inclination of the leg supports should be adjusted so that the limbs move freely with the support and when the athlete lies down on the bench, they lean on the padded roller.
This is the starting position of this exercise. Additionally, you need to position the roller so that it leans slightly below the heel. And, of course, determine the weight you need for yourself.
- You need to lie down on the bench of the trainer and put your feet against the padded roller;
- The pelvis should be tightly pressed against the bench and the hands should take hold of special grips or handles;
- When inhaling, the legs should be bent so that the roller goes to the buttocks. After reaching the maximum load point, you should stop for a short time so that the hamstrings receive a load on exhalation;
- On the inhale, slowly, but without haste, they descend down to the starting position.
At the lower point, the knees do not fully straighten, otherwise you can cause injury to the tendon of the inner side of the thigh.
Tip: Pumping and building the hamstrings can be hard for many beginners due to the absence of the muscles use. Many people use the non-steroidal Clenbuterol to increase their endurance levels and strength within this exercise, while promoting fat loss to become more defined. While other beginners who strive for the big mass growth of the legs size and volume use supplements such as Dianabol in order to promote mass increases in strength and also much faster recovery times.
The number of repetitions and the training program
The number of repetitions directly depends on the level of training of the athlete and on the goals that they are pursuing. You need to start with less and gradually increase the load. For example, if the goal is to burn fat, then a beginner will need to perform 2-4 sets of 13-25 repetitions.
The break between sets in this case should be 1-2 minutes in duration. The weight should be selected so that you have enough strength to perform the required number of repetitions. There is no need to try and repeat what experienced athletes do on the first day.
Bending the limbs while lying down is a formative exercise, so it is recommended to perform it after the basic exercises to build up the mass of the muscles of the lower parts of the body.
Tips and recommendations
In order to learn how to perform hamstring curls correctly, here are the main mistakes that novice athletes make.
The main mistakes of beginners
The main mistakes that are made by beginners include the following:
- Full extension of the knees at the lower point. It is not recommended to do this, as the load on the muscles is not preserved;
- Uncontrolled “walking” of the limbs. The legs should be quickly lifted up and slowly lowered down, controlling the movement at all times. Thus the load will be optimal and the training will become more effective;
- The knees hang off the bench during training. This is unacceptable, because it is fraught with injuries;
- A lot of weight for beginners. There is no need to get carried away with excessive loads. At first it may seem that it is easy to perform this exercise, but it is worth considering that a heavy load can damage the hamstrings to an unprepared person.
Interesting fact: The first bodybuilding training machines were invented in Sweden in 1857.
Features of the exercise
Despite the general simplicity of the exercise, there are still a number of features that are worth paying attention to:
- You need to firmly press the pelvis to the bench and fix the body;
- Hands firmly hold on to the special handles of the trainer;
- The legs should be brought high enough so that they almost touch the buttocks;
- The downward movement is slower than the upward movement;
- The knees do not need to be straightened at the bottom point, so that the muscles are tense all of the time during the exercise.
Before going to the gym, it is best to consult with a doctor to analyze the state of your health and build a training program on this basis. There are no special contraindications for hamstring curls.
It is only worth noting that the exercise is not recommended for people who have diseases of the knee joints. It is important to monitor your sensations during training. There should be discomfort, as the muscles are in constant tension, but pain should not be allowed to occur.
What can replace the exercise
If there is no such trainer in the gym or you want to have an alternative for home training, then you can perform other exercises that work out the same muscle groups.
One of these will be the lifting of the legs from the standing position back. It activates the back of the thigh, buttocks, calves and lower back. In addition, it will also develop the flexibility and the ability to balance.
Bending the legs at home can be done lying on the floor. At the same time, the body is pressed tightly to the floor, the hands are folded under the head, a dumbbell is held between the feet. The effect of such an exercise will be almost identical to what is performed on the trainer.