Machine Leg Curl

An anatomical drawing highlighting the muscles worked during a Lying Leg Curl exercise for the Hamstrings.

I’m not a big believer in using machines. This is especially true for the wrestlers I train. However, there is one machine that I like- the machine leg curl.

Are there better ways to train the hamstrings? Specifically, exercises that have a better carryover to performing on the mat?

Yes, I would definitely suggest other options.

However, another consideration to lifting, other than performance enhancement, is injury prevention.

The Machine Leg Curl has been shown most effective at producing the highest level of EMG activity in the biceps femoris.

The biceps femoris is the lateral (outer most) hamstring muscle. It is most commonly used for knee flexion (bringing your heels toward your butt).

Why is it important to strengthen this muscle with leg curls?

Especially considering we know that hip extension is the more important movement produced from the hamstrings?

It is my belief that by strengthening the biceps femoris, you will increase the lateral (outside) stability of the knee.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find research to support my assumption. On top of that, the injuries a couple of the wrestlers I train sustained were all during “funk” situations (contact injuries).

There is a lot of research on strength training minimizing non-contact injuries. Non-contact injuries occur most often when you’re running, landing, or moving explosively and tear something.

It’s a lot harder to train for contact related injuries simply because of the unpredictable nature. I mean, think of how your leg may get twisted around in a funk roll.

So, while it is my belief that machine leg curls will help increase the lateral stabilization at your knee, I can’t promise they’re going to make you injury proof in a match.

Anyway, enough with the boring stuff. Here’s what you came for, a cool video of me demonstrating!

Please note that this video shows the exercise without a hold. Sometimes I’ll program the Machine Leg Curl to have an added hold. If that’s the case, hold the bottom position (where your shins are perpendicular to the floor) for 2-3 seconds.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


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