Top 4 Leg Curl Alternative Exercises to Mix it Up [2021]

One of the most popular exercises for gaining leg and glute definition are leg curls. They are simple, easy for beginners to do with proper form, and really are just plain effective.

Both seated leg curl exercises and lying leg curl exercises can be done on a machine found in nearly any gym you visit.

Seated leg curls are popular with new gym-goers while lying curls are somewhat more advanced, though they work the slightly different muscle in the legs, thighs, and hamstrings.

Despite being very effective exercise variety is the spice of gym life, and trying some alternatives can really round out your whole workout regimen.

Here are the top four-leg curl alternatives that nearly anyone can do safely and successfully.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are slightly more advanced, and therefore you should start off carefully with them. A surprising number of people do not do this correctly and the range of motion involved makes it easy to injure yourself. That being said, with proper form kettlebell swings are incredibly useful as an alternative to leg curls.

There are two main positions in a kettlebell swing – the squat-like start and the erect finishing position with arms out.

Swings begin in the finishing position. Here you will stand with each foot apart, wider than hip-width and closer to outside the shoulders. Toes can be pointed straight or slightly out depending on comfort. You will hold the kettlebell in your hands firmly but with a loose grip to allow the kettlebell handle to move in the fist. You will hold your arms out in front, parallel to the ground.

Question: What is an alternative to lying leg curls?

Answer: If you are usually doing lying leg curls or leg curls on the side, you can also try seated leg curls, reverse lunges, sumo squats, and also donkey kicks. These are all equipment-free exercises so you can do them home.

Question: What are leg curls good for?

Answer: Leg curls are primarily good for strengthening your hamstrings, but these exercises can also strengthen your other muscles, provide better flexibility, and also get rid of back pain and knee pain as well.

Question: How many leg curls should I do?

Answer: This depends on the level of training you previously have done. So, if you are just beginning, it’s recommended that you do 15 reps, and after a few weeks, double the amount to 30 reps per session, and in a month, do one session of 30 reps then a short break and continue with 30 again.

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