Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls: Proper Technique, Training, and Programming

by Jordan Syatt December 29, 2014

Do you like being sore?

Me too.

Others think it’s weird.

But to us meatheads it’s like crack…but healthy…sort of (Is Muscle Soreness a Good Thing?).

You know what I mean.

Anyway, if you like being sore (or strong, or badass, or the owner of a monstrous pair of hamstrings) swiss ball hamstring curls are your new favorite exercise. 

Unquestionably one of the most challenging movements I use with both myself and my clients, swiss ball hamstring curls train both primary functions of the hamstrings (hip extension and knee flexion) at the exact same time.

swiss ball hamstring curlsWant to see how to do it?

In the short video below I show you exactly how to perform swiss ball hamstring curls as well as discuss a number of the most commonly made technique-related errors.

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls: Technique Points

1. Keep your glutes squeezed tight the entire time and do not let your hips drop towards the floor. Hips fully extended!

2. Control the eccentric (lowering) portion as much as possible. Do Not let your legs just “drop” on the way down.

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls: Programming Considerations

Frequency: 1-2x/week 

Intensity: On a scale of 1-10, difficulty should be a 5-9 on a regular basis. Do Not go to failure.

Sets & Reps: 2-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions per training session. Lower repetition range (8-10) for strength and higher repetition range (12-15) for hypertrophy/endurance. 

Workout Placement: Near the tail end of your training session after your main lower body movements (squats, deadlifts, etc). 

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls: Progression Model

1. Start with a large(er) physio ball.

2. Progress to smaller and smaller physio balls as you get stronger. 

3. Finally progress to val slide leg curls where your feet are essentially on the floor.

4. At this point, cycle back to the physio ball and progress to single-leg leg curl variations and follow the exact same progression until you get to single-leg leg curls on the val slides. At that point you will be the ultimate badass. 

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