Strong Hamstrings, No Machines

Training at home? Here are two exercises requiring minimal equipment that get the job done.

No leg curl machine? No problem. You can train hamstrings using a stability ball or a suspension trainer.

This leg curl focuses on a full range of motion, with both concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) portions being of equal intensity. You’ll also get some nice core engagement, especially using the ball.

Stability Ball

Suspension Trainer

Since this exercise manipulates your own weight, the resistance throughout will vary and, in this instance, create a strong peak contraction.

How to Do It

  • Lay on your back with your heels, either inside the straps or on top of a ball.
    Place your arms flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips and engage your core to stop any unwanted swaying to either side.
  • Drag your heels toward your hips. Keep those hips fully extended in a bridged position until you can no longer mechanically bring your heels back any further.

Hold for a moment at the top to show control and promote full engagement of the hamstrings, then slowly control your heels back to the starting position.