T Nation

Alternatives to leg curls

Have a knee injury that is healing slow, the doc said lateral and medial ligament sprain, but I’m thinking it’s more of a tear, cuz it’s been 3 weeks and it still smarts (so I’m gonna go back and see a better doc…).

So it’s still too tender to do any flexion with load. Squats are OK to do, no pain, but I can tell my hamstring strength is fading (can’t sit back as well as I used to). I used to do leg curls on the machine (largely to save my back for squats and deadlifts).

Did a search, seems Russian deadlifts, good mornings and other stiff legged deads are the only “no or low flexion” options.

What do you all prefer?
I tried some stiff legged deadlifts last night and am sore, but I havent worked hams for about a month now so I don’t know how effective they were…

And, since I’m always looking for ways to forego the machines, this seems like a good opportunity to do that for hams.

two suggestions:

1.try johny roman’s “compound deads”:
lift the bar like a regular deadlift, (sit back as far as you can for max hamstring stimulation) and lower the bar as in the SLDL.RDL version until you reach the end of your range in the hip, and then sit back to put the bar on the floor. (reset after each rep)

  1. one legged back extension - realy “kick” your hill into the support when you go up for max hamstring work.

You can live without leg curls for years and have massive and strong hamstrings.


Malcolm, you know my opinon. Nothing beats a session of Romanian Deads and good mornings. Keep working on them and you’ll see what I was telling you last night. Did you check out:

Coach D has written plenty on this stuff, too.

or you can do what CGB said :slight_smile:

Thanks guys, Romanians it is.
Maybe GS’s routine when I get my Romaninas downpat.

glute, not a bad way to hit the hams. Good way to overload them. Sometimes instead of lifting from the floor, I just take the bar off the rack and do my romanians, so I’m not overloading my back, just my hams and I go just as heavy as I do for deads. Kills the grip, too. Same as John’s version, without the intial pull from the floor.

Malcolm, those pull throughs we discussed are a great addition too.

Seated good mornings, two benchesso that butt and thighs are supported to the knees. force to extend hip from flexed hip is by driving thighs down and some through ankle. balls of foot off the ground. Hell I don’t really know if it is helpful, but it is a fun variant.

As Mr Dahmer used to say…

" The dead stiffies did it for me…"

A leg workout that doesn’t contain stiff-leg deads jsut doesn’t cut the mustard for me. Moderate weight with good form, and you’ll walk with a respectable stagger come morning.

“you’ll walk with a respectable stagger come morning.”

I did 3 sets of 20-25 rep pull throughs with our very own b33fcake last night as a finisher and I can’t sit down, let alone walk properly. Love that quote.

Soreness is not indicative of effectiveness.

Wide (very wide) stance squats will also help.

right on Ike.
gauge your progress by a more (albeit less manly :-)) scientific tools, like leg girth and stength.