Nordic Hamstring Curls: Benefits for Strengthening Your Glutes and Hamstrings

Nordic hamstring curls are a challenging but effective way to build strength in your lower body and avoid injury.

Find out how to do Nordic hamstring curls and why they are great for your hamstrings and glutes.


If you are looking for a new way to add fun and challenge to your lower body workout, you have come to the right place.

It is important to note that Nordic Hamstring Curls are not for the weak of the heart, as they require a high degree of strength, balance, and coordination.

But if you master this exercise, you will reap the benefits:

  • Stronger glutes & hamstrings
  • Improved posture
  • Reduced risk of injury

This post will cover everything you need to know about Nordic hamstring curl, how to do it right, the benefits, and how to change it to suit your fitness level. We will also answer some of your most common questions about this exercise.

What are Nordic hamstring curls?

Nordic hamstring curls are natural glute-ham raises, Russian leg curls, or harop curls. They are an eccentric exercise, meaning you are lengthening your muscles under tension.

Eccentric exercises are great for building muscle mass and strength and improving your flexibility and mobility.

How to Do Nordic Hamstring Curls?

Nordic hamstring curls

You will need a partner or a sturdy object to anchor your feet to perform Nordic hamstring curls. You can also use a resistance band or a strap to assist you if you find the exercise too difficult. 

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Kneel on a mat or a soft surface with your feet together and your toes pointing down. Have your partner hold your ankles firmly or hook them under a heavy object like a bench or a sofa.
  • Engage your core and keep your back straight. Place your hands on your chest or behind your head.
  • Slowly lower your torso forward as far as possible, keeping your hips and knees in line. Resist the gravity with your hamstrings and glutes.
  • When you reach the lowest point, use your arms to push yourself back up to the starting position. You can also use a resistance band or a strap around your chest to help you pull yourself up.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Keep your movements slow and controlled.
  • Do not let yourself fall or bounce back up.
  • Breathe out as you lower yourself, and breathe in as you lift yourself.
  • Keep your neck neutral and avoid arching or rounding your back.
  • If you feel pain or discomfort in your knees, stop the exercise and consult a doctor or a physical therapist.

Benefits of Nordic Hamstring Curls for Your Glutes and Hamstrings

Nordic hamstring curls are one of the best exercises for strengthening your glutes and hamstrings. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect from doing this exercise regularly:

Increased muscle mass and strength

  • It targets the entire posterior chain.
  • It includes the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and calves.
  • Working these muscles in an upward motion encourages more muscle fibers to grow in size and strength.

Improved performance

Having stronger glutes and hamps means you can run faster, leap higher, squat higher, and do better in sports and everyday activities.

They will also help you stay balanced and stable and improve your posture and alignment.

Reduced injury risk

  • It can help you avoid some of the most common injuries like hamstrings, ACL tears, back and knee pain.
  • When you strengthen the muscles that hold your joints in place, you can lower their strain and make them work better.
  • It can also help you be more flexible and give you more range of motion, which can help you avoid muscle tightness and imbalance.

How to change Nordic hamstring curls to suit your fitness level?

The Nordic Hamstring Curl is a challenging workout that focuses on the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core.

You will need a partner or something strong to hold your legs in place and maybe a mat or cushion to keep your knees safe.

Here are a few ways to adjust to fit your body type.


  • You can begin with a partial range if you are new to this exercise.
  • It means you do not have to drop your hips to the floor.
  • Instead, you can stop halfway down or at an angle that is comfortable for you.
  • You can use your hands to help you up or use a resistance band to wrap around your hips and hold it in place in front of your body.
  • It will help ease the strain on your hamstrings.


  • If you are starting, lower your body as low as possible to the floor, then lift yourself with your arms.
  • You can also glide up and down with a Swiss ball or slider under your chest.
  • It will open up your range of motion and test your hamstrings more.


  • If you are more experienced, you can go down to your knees and pull yourself back up without using your arms.
  • Add some weight to your chest, like a medicine ball or plate, to make it harder.
  • It will take a lot of muscle and strength from the hamstrings and core.

Alternatives To Nordic Hamstring Curls

Nordic Hamstring Curls are an excellent exercise for those who don’t have a partner and don’t want to anchor their feet to a hard surface.

However, if you don’t, there are plenty of other exercises you can do that will work your glutes and hamstrings.

Some of these exercises include:

  • Glute-Ham Raises
  • Swiss Ball Leg Curls
  • Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
  • Reversible Hypers

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I do Nordic hamstring curls?

It all depends on your fit and what you are trying to achieve. Generally, Nordic Hamstring Curls should be done at least once a week, but you can do them more often. You can do them independently or mix and match them with other lower-body exercises. Sets and repetitions can vary depending on how well you are doing.

How many Nordic Ham curls do I need to do?

The answer to this question depends on your fitness level and goals. The general rule of thumb is to begin with three sets (6 to 10 repetitions) and work up to more reps as you build strength. You can also challenge yourself in other ways, such as with drop sets, super-sets, or pyramids.

Takeaway Message

Nordic hamstring curls are a great way to build strength and reduce injuries. It works your glutes and hamstrings in a way that causes them to lengthen under pressure, which helps them grow and become more robust and flexible.

You will need a partner or something to hold your legs in place, plus strength, balance, and coordination. If you find it too hard, add a resistance band or strap to make it easier.

You can use it to run faster, jump higher, and squat more profoundly, and it can help prevent injuries like hamstring strains, lateral ACL tears, lower back pain, and knee pain. Go and see what it can do for your fitness and health!