Stability Ball Leg Curl
If you have access to an exercise ball then you should try the lying exercise-ball leg curl. Stability ball leg curl will take your hamstrings for a ride while forcing your core muscles to maintain a solid posture. Isolating hamstrings is tough, but this exercise is a good candidate, as the position makes it very hard for the glutes to help out. In this exercise you will use your own body weight to target your hamstrings. Both your abs and lower back muscles will need to work overtime to keep your torso tight. Plenty of athletes and celebs use stability (swiss) ball leg curls as part of their leg workouts. This exercise is a screamer, but when you get good at it, you will be very happy with both your hamstrings and core development.
Other names for this exercise
- Exercise-Ball Supine Leg Curl;
- Ball Leg Curl;
- Stability Ball Leg Curl;
- Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls;
Exercise Instructions: How to Perform Stability Ball Leg Curl
STARTING (INITIAL) POSITION: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your heels (or ankles) resting on top of an exercise ball. Keep your legs straight and toes pointing up. Getting comfortable with the ball takes time and lot of practice. Make a bridge by picking your glutes up off the ground. In other words, press your heels into the ball while raising your hips off the floor. Keep your body straight, legs fully extended, so that your body, the ball, and the floor form a triangle. Your weight will be on your shoulders and heels.
EXECUTION (MOVEMENT): Flex your knees and bring your heels in toward your buttocks (pull the ball toward your butt) while keeping your hips elevated. Allow feet to roll-up on to ball. Pause for a moment at the top of the move (when fully flexed) and return the ball slowly to the start.
Stability Ball Leg Curl Video Demonstration
This video will show you exactly how to perform stability ball hamstring curl safely and effectively.
Additional Tips for Stability Ball Leg Curl
- Be careful not to press down into the floor with your head and neck.
- Make sure the hips remain elevated throughout the entire movement. Don’t let your hips drop as knees bend.
- Keep your core muscles engaged all the time.
- If it is too difficult to balance, spread your arms out to the side.
- Attempt the single-leg curl only after you’ve mastered the double-leg curl.
- One Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl. Hold the uninvolved leg at 90 degrees and in an elevated position off the ball while performing the exercise with the opposite leg. This variation works the hamstrings harder and engages the core stabilizers.
Muscles Engaged in Standing Hip Extension
Although this exercise targets your hamstrings, it requires several other muscles to work in cooperation with your hamstrings.
Main (target) muscles: hamstrings, glutes
Synergists: gastrocnemius, sartorius, gracialis, popliteus
Stabilizers: gluteus maximus, erector spinae
Antagonists stabilizers: tibialis anterior, rectus abdominis, obliques