The supine hip extension to leg curl, also known as a swiss ball leg curl, is a fantastic exercise that strengthens and develops the glutes and hamstrings. While many hamstring exercises primarily target the hip extensors, this exercise targets the knee flexors and helps us bring our heels closer to our glutes.
You need a swiss ball to perform this exercise.
The swiss ball leg curl might be too advanced for beginners. If this is the case, you can perform the swiss ball hamstring press where you press your feet into the ball, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings, and perform a hip bridge, and then lower your body down to the starting position. You can also do basic isometric glute bridges where you perform a hip extension and hold.
The swiss ball leg curl is a great exercise for women of an intermediate fitness level who have mastered the basic exercises that I described for beginners. If a lower body workout is being performed, this exercise can be done after the more advanced deadlifting or hip thrusting exercises have been completed. If a full body workout is being performed, this exercise can be paired with an upper body pulling or pushing exercise. This exercise can also be used to warm up the hamstrings before more advanced exercises like deadlifts have been performed, or it can be used as part of a conditioning circuit. Women of an intermediate fitness level might perform 3 sets of 8-15 reps of the swiss ball leg curl exercise.
Women of an advanced fitness level can perform this exercise the same ways as described for intermediate lifters. They can also make the exercise more challenging by performing this exercise with a single leg, performing negative reps and taking 3-5 seconds to extend the knee, or they can add additional band resistance which will make both the eccentric and concentric components of this exercise more challenging.
There are many benefits to the swiss ball leg curl. How a woman chooses to use a swiss ball leg curl is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much resistance is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, swiss ball leg curls can be used to do any or all of the following:
The supine hip extension to leg curl, also known as a swiss ball leg curl, is a fantastic exercise to hit your glutes and hamstrings. The best part? A lot of exercises that we use to hit our hamstrings train our hamstrings as hip extensors – but our hamstrings are also knee flexors and help us bring our heel closer to our butt. And there aren’t many exercises that train your hamstrings in that way – but this one does! So I am going to show you how to do it now.
You are going to start out lying on your back (I like to put something under my head so my spine is nice and neutral), then you are going to grab a ball and put your legs on it and there are a couple of ways to do it from here. First, you can do it with all one smooth motion so you bridge up, you do the supine hip extension, then the leg curl. You will notice a few things here: I bridge up by driving my heels into the ball, and I keep everything nice and stiff. I’m not hyperextending my spine, I’m not sagging, I just come up so my body is in a straight line and then I pull my heels towards my butt and my entire body continues to lift.
Another way to do it is to do the supine hip extension and just hang out here, so your hips don’t come back down to the ground in between reps. Both of them are quite challenging, it’s just really important that if you do the lift and leg curl for every rep that you are not using momentum to curl the ball towards you.