Jake Purdy
2023-10-26

Nordic Hamstring Curl

The Nordic Hamstring Curl, renowned for bolstering hamstring strength, often poses a challenge for many athletes to execute with a full range-of-motion (ROM) without some form of support. This aid can come from machines, resistance bands, or even the arms—much like a push-up—particularly during partial reps where the full ROM isn’t used. Tracing back to historic foundations, the Nordic Curl is far from a modern “fad” exercise. Its inception was in 1860, documented by George Herbert Taylor in “Exposition of the Swedish Movement Cure,” emphasizing its use and endorsement by strength training professionals for over a century, underscoring its significance in hamstring strengthening and lower body injury prevention.

Assisted Nordic Curls

Pictured above is an example of a cable assisted Nordic Hamstring Curl, The Nordic Plate Attachment was added to the ATR Cable Column and the knees are suspended on an Alpha Bench. These 3 products together allow athletes of various hamstring strengths to perform full ROM Nordic Curls. Assisted Nordics can also be performed with a band but it is hard to progress with a band as you often have to make large jumps from a thick Green band to a Purple band half its size, compared to the cable stack where you can micro adjust each week until you can do a full ROM Hamstring Curl. 

Pictured above is an example of band assisted nordic curls these can be performed with The Nordic Plate and a Box/Bench at any 3×3″ rack with 1″ or 5/8″ holes. Using a cable for assistance is ideal but a band can be a great substitute especially in full team settings where you have more athletes than machines. This also allows the athletes to train at the rack station, keeping them focused and on task not walking across the room and getting distracted on the way. 

partial nordic curls

Pictured above is The Nordic Plate and Alpha Bench being used for partial nordic curls. The bench ins inclined to the  to the 30 degree setting. This allows the athlete to perform Nordic Hamstring Curls without assistance as they do not have to complete the full ROM. Below, The Alpha Bench is adjusted to a 45-degree setting, allowing the athlete a shorter, easier descent.

other ways to perform nordic curls

Pictured above are Nordic Curls being performed with a Dual Utility Roller and Balance Pad on an Alpha Half Rack. Pictured below is an example of Nordic Curls being performed with an Alpha Single Roller and Balance Pad. Our 4 way hole racks allow you to add various attachments at various heights allowing athletes to stay at the rack station longer causing the workout to be more efficient. 

Both of these are good options for Nordic Curls but they have a major disadvantage, The Nordic Plate has a foot plate hence the name. This footplate is import for locking the athletes feet in, similar to how they are on a GHD machine. This allows the athlete to have something to dig into when performing the movement which feels much better. The Nordic Plate also allows you to use a bench so if you do not have a pad for your knees you can still perform the movement comfortably. 

Conclusion

There is no doubting that The Nordic Hamstring curl is one of the elite posterior chain building exercises and specifically for Hamstring development. Often only more trained athletes or very athletic/elite athletes can perform full ROM nordics without assistance.

We decided to make a dedicated product for Nordic Curls after seeing and hearing how many athletes cannot perform full ROM nordic curls. One of the issues with progressing to full ROM nordics is that they are very difficult to train without assistance. You can do nordics the normal/old school way, feet held by a partner, pad or strap while the athlete descends as much as they can before catching themselves with there arms and pushing back up. This does not train the full ROM especially at the bottom of the movement which is also the most difficult portion and where the greatest adaptions need to take place to perform a non assisted full ROM rep.

By adding the plate to a cable column or lat pull down athletes can easily add assistance and progress in 5 or 10 LBS increments. I started using 80 LBS on the cable column or 40 LBS of assistance due to the 2:1 ratio for 3 sets of 10, 3 months ago. Now I am using 20 LBS on the cable column or 10 LBS of assistance for sets of 10 and hit my first non assisted rep. Click here for video proof of my progress. If you would like to see my lifting account checkout @straydog_jake. 

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