Exercise Video of the Week: The Nordic Hamstring Curl

by Jordan Syatt February 23, 2015

Simultaneously one of the most excruciating and effective exercises I’ve ever tried, I’m excited to introduce you to the Nordic Hamstring Curl.

Similar to the Glute-Ham Raise in that strengthens the hamstrings in both primary functions (hip extension and knee flexion), when programmed correctly the Nordic Hamstring Curl can function as an outstanding regression, alternative, and even progression to the GHR.

Unfortunately, most lifters completely botch the technique and subsequently get little-to-no benefit out of the movement. 

To put an end to the confusion once and for all I’ve created the brief instructional video below along with a list of technique points and programming considerations.


The Nordic Hamstring Curl


Technique Points

1. Keep your glutes squeezed tight the entire time and do not let your hips flex/hinge backwards throughout the whole drill. 

2. Control the eccentric (lowering) portion for about 3-5 seconds on every rep. Do Not just free fall towards the floor.

3. Initiate the concentric (ascending) portion by lightly pressing with your arms. Use as much upper body as you need to get started but no more than that. Keep constant tension on the hamstrings the entire time. 

Programming Considerations

Frequency: 1-2x/week 

Intensity: On a scale of 1-10, difficulty should be a 7-9 on a regular basis. Do Not go to failure.

Sets & Reps: 3-5 sets of 5-8 repetitions per training session. Feel free to go into higher repetition ranges (8-12+) but seriously modify intensity (i.e. use a quicker eccentric) so you don’t excessively strain the hamstrings

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

Did This Help?

If the instructional video and information helped you better understand the Nordic Hamstring Curl and how to use it, don’t forget to share it with your lifting buddies so they understand it too.

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Talk soon,


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