Leg Extension/Leg Curl Alternatives Part 2

John Phillips

The new Leg Curl/Leg Extension machine is almost 3 months old and for the most part people seem to be getting used to it. Of course, there are those that just can’t seem to get used to its motion or action, so I thought I would give some alternatives to the machine.

For Leg Curls:

1. Various Deadlift exercises: These include the Stiff Leg Deadlift, the single Leg Deadlift, and the Romanian Deadlift. These are all great exercises when done properly but if done incorrectly can cause back issues.
2. The Donkey Kick – This is not only a good exercise for the hamstrings but also for the glutes and core. Lying on all fours you kick your leg back and up. Fairly easy for most people to perform.
3. The Nordic Curl – There are only a few people in Oakmont that would be able to perform this exercise as it is meant to be done. There are modifications that can be done to make it a little bit easier and still effective. The true exercise requires you kneel and lock your ankles under something to keep them down, you lower your torso to the ground and then push the body up using your hamstrings. This can also be done with a stability ball or we have an ab roller that has somewhat the same effect.
4. Single Leg Hip Extension – I call this a One-Legged Bridge. You lie back on your back and lift one leg up, using the other leg lift the glutes off the pad and then lower it back down.
5. Kettle Ball Swing – This is another very effective exercise for the hamstrings and glutes when properly performed. Most people use their backs more than the glutes and hamstrings and start feeling it in their low backs. The key to this exercise is to keep the knees bent and push with the glutes.
6. Hamstring Stability Ball Curl – Great hamstring and core exercise when properly performed. Most Oakmonters are unable to perform this in the original form and I have a modification that is quite effective. The original form: you lie back on your back, place feet and ankles on a stability ball, lift your hips off the platform and roll the ball towards your glutes while maintain the lift. Modification would be to keep your hips on the platform and push your feet and ankles into the ball as you roll it back towards your glutes.
7. Lying Dumbbell Leg Curl – This exercise may require an assistant. You lie on your stomach and either manipulate a dumbbell between your feet or have someone place it between your feet, then curl the weight up, keeping your knees on the floor. Be very careful not to lose control of the dumbbell because if could cause injury.
8. Glute Ham Raise – This exercise is very much like the Nordic Curl. Instead of lowering

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