Tight sleek hamstrings go together with toned thighs, hips and butt. The reverse leg curl targets these all-important muscles at the rear of your legs but isn't a particularly popular exercise as one version has you lying on your front with your butt in the air. Other versions are more dignifying, but whichever you choose, your selected weight should enable you to perform the exercise correctly and with adequate intensity to really hit those stubborn and hard-to-get-to hammies.
Depending on your preferences, perform reverse leg curls standing, sitting, or in a prone position. Each involves positioning your body and adjusting the machine so your knees are aligned with the machines' pivot points. With the padded lever positioned just below your calves, curl the lever toward your butt. Standing and sitting leg curls are more comfortable and easier to do as they don't involve clambering onto the machine and adopting the awkward position of lying on your tummy.
Reverse leg curls primarily work the hamstrings running up the back of your thighs between your knees and the lower part of your butt. The muscles of your inner thighs and calves assist your hamstrings perform the exercise. Standing and lying reverse curls also engage your butt or gluteal muscles as stabilizers.
What is a good weight depends on your capabilities. Select a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with good technique and a full range of motion. A full range of motion allows full extension of your lower leg on the negative phase of the movement, and getting the pad near as possible to your butt on the positive phase. As a beginner, focus on perfecting your technique, and getting used to the exercise. Select a light weight that allows you to do 12 to 15 repetitions with the last two or three reps requiring a degree of effort without straining.
A Good Weight
Gradually increase your weights as you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercise. Don't be leery of using heavy weights. The hams typically require a lot of attention, and heavy weights will not make them bigger. Select a weight that allows you to do eight to 12 repetitions, with your hammies burning as you hit the last two or three reps. With lying reverse curls, keep your technique tight, and resist raising your hips to assist you as you squeeze out those last few reps
- ExRx.net: Lever Lying Leg Curl
- ExRx.net: Hamstrings
- ExRx.net: Lever Seated Leg Curl
- ExRx.net: Lever Alternating Standing Leg Curl
- ExRx.net: Lever Standing Leg Curl
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Electromyographic Activity of the Hamstrings During Performance of the Leg Curl, Stiff-Leg Deadlift and Back Squat Movement
Ollie Odebunmi's involvement in fitness as a trainer and gym owner dates back to 1983. He published his first book on teenage fitness in December 2012. Odebunmi is a black belt in taekwondo and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.