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Nordic Curls VS Hamstring Curls: Explained
Training

Nordic Curls VS Hamstring Curls: Explained

10 MIN READ
BY Tifani Esco

PUBLISHED ON Jun, 14, 2024

Nordic Curls or Hamstring Curls?

Is one better than the other? What are the benefits of each? Which one should I be doing?

These are the questions we most commonly hear when we talk about Hamstring Curls and Nordics.

Today, we are going to answer all of these so that you have a full understanding of each for your training.

Nordic Curls

Nordic curls work by training the hamstrings in their lengthened position.

This means that the hardest part of the movement is when the hamstrings are stretched and under load.

See below, Benji is doing a Nordic Curl and he is approaching the bottom part of the movement. This is where the hamstrings are almost fully stretched. This will also be the hardest part of the movement.

When you are in the end range, or stretched portion of a movement, your tendons and ligaments start to come in and do most of the work rather than your muscles.

The benefit here is that you are increasing the ability of your muscles to handle load under length. You are also strengthening the tissues that help to hold your joints together.

Consistently training Nordic Curls has the potential to:

  • Reduce your chance of getting injured
  • Increase hamstring flexibility
  • Decrease pain
  • Increase speed

Now let’s talk about Hamstring curls...

Hamstring Curls

Hamstring curls are more popular out of these two movements for a few reasons:

  • They are generally easier to do.
  • The machine to do them on is more commonly found in gyms compared to a Nordic Bench.

Hamstring curls work by challenging the muscle in its shortened position. This means the hardest part of the movement is at the top.

At the top of the movement, as shown above, is where the muscle will be working hardest.

The tendons and ligaments don't work as hard here compared to how much they work during long-range movements like the Nordic Curl.

Hamstring curls are good for

  • developing size
  • overall strength
  • increasing blood flow to the area

They can also be used as a warm-up or recovery tool for Nordic curls!

Do a few sets with very light weight and moderate-high reps as an effective warm-up or recovery for Nordic Curls.

Which one should you be doing?

The answer is both!

Hamstring curls and Nordics work the hamstrings in different ways.

Since they have completely opposite strength curves, they can both offer unique benefits in different ways.

They create different adaptations, and when trained together, will offer amazing benefits.

If you are looking for elite hamstring size and strength, train them both together.

Not sure where to start with Nordic Curls? We've got you covered! See our complete guide on getting started with Nordic Curls here.

The best tool for hamstring training:

Hamstring curl machines and Nordic Benches are not only expensive to buy separately, they take up a TON of space.

Even then, if you’re lucky to find one that doesn’t take up as much space, it’s still taking up precious gym real estate while only being good for one movement.

The Nordic Hyper is an 8-in-1 space-saving machine designed to train the entire posterior chain, including the hamstrings!

You heard that right. You can hit:

  • Nordics
  • Back Extensions
  • Reverse Hypers
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Hip Thrusts

and so much more, all from one spot with one machine!

To learn more about the Nordic Hyper’s capabilities, head to our website here.

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