Seated Leg Curl
The seated leg curl is a popular isolation exercise that targets the hamstrings. When referring to a “pin loaded” machine, it means the machine uses weight stacks with a pin to select the desired weight, as opposed to plate-loaded machines where you manually add weight plates.
How to Do a Seated Leg Curl on a Pin Loaded Machine
- Sit on the machine with your back firmly against the padded support.
- Adjust the seat, if possible, so that the axis of the machine aligns with your knee joints.
- Place your legs on top of the padded lever, ensuring the pad is just above your ankles.
- Adjust the leg pad, if the machine allows, so it fits snugly against your lower legs.
- Select the desired weight by inserting the pin into the weight stack.
- Grip the handles on the sides or front of the machine for stability.
- Start with your legs fully extended in front of you.
- Exhale and flex your knees, pulling the padded lever toward your glutes.
- Curl as far as comfortably possible, ensuring a good contraction in the hamstrings.
- Inhale and slowly return your legs to the starting position, ensuring a controlled movement.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions.
Hamstrings: The group of muscles on the back of the thigh, consisting of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus.
Calves (Gastrocnemius): Assists in the flexion of the knee.
Benefits of the Seated Leg Curl
Targeted Hamstring Development: The seated leg curl isolates the hamstrings, making it an excellent exercise for targeting this muscle group.
Joint Health: Strengthening the hamstrings can provide better support for the knee joint, potentially reducing the risk of injuries.
Improved Posture and Balance: Strong hamstrings improve posture and enhance balance and stability.
Functional Strength: The hamstrings play a vital role in everyday activities like walking, running, and jumping.
Variety: The seated leg curl offers a different angle and tension compared to lying leg curls, adding diversity to leg workouts.
Using Excessive Weight: Too much weight can lead to poor form and potential knee strain.
Rushing the Movement: Ensure a controlled motion throughout the exercise to maximise muscle engagement and prevent momentum-based movements.
Incomplete Range of Motion: For maximum benefits, fully extend the legs at the start and curl them as far as comfortably possible during the contraction.
Lifting Off the Seat: Keep your thighs and glutes firmly on the seat throughout the movement.
The seated leg curl on a pin-loaded machine is a convenient and effective way to target the hamstrings. As with all exercises, proper form and technique are essential for safety and maximising benefits.