you've ever done concentration curls for your
biceps, you know exactly how intense the contraction
can be. If you've ever done them without your
arm braced against your leg, you know that the
contraction can be even stronger. This exercise
gives you this kind of intense contraction for
the hamstrings. The execution of the exercise
also provides a great inner thigh workout!
do this exercise, you will need either a chin-up
bar (if your grip is strong) or a hanging abdominal
chair (the one that has a back-rest and two padded
arm rests but no seat - used to do leg raises).
Your legs will be hanging free as you're doing
Ab Chair variation will eliminate grip strength
as a factor, allowing you to concentrate completely
on your hamstrings. The chin-up bar hanging, however,
will help to greatly improve your grip strength.
with a fairly light dumbell to get an idea of
how the exercise works and what amount of weight
you can use for it.
a dumbell horizontally between your ankles with
the front plates at the top of your feet and the
handle directly between your ankles and pinch
your feet together to support it. It is this pinching
that will really hit the inner thighs hard.
- Set the
dumbell directly between your ankles.
- The front
plates will be on top of your feet.
- The back
plates will be directly behind your heels.
- This set-up
anchors the dumbells effectively - be
sure to squeeze your feet together hard
to anchor the dumbell (and work the inner
comes the tricky part. You will need to reach
up and hang from the chin-up bar or set yourself
in the Ab Chair while keeping the dumbell pinched
in between your feet. You can stand on a bench
or box to do this exercise or you can also do
this in reverse order.
Set the dumbell
on the bench or box, get into hanging position/ab
chair position, then reach out with your
legs and pinch the dumbell between your
You will need
to stand the dumbell on end in order to
accomplish this. You won't be able to get
your feet under the dumbell plates otherwise.
Alternatively, you can have a spotter set
the dumbell between your feet while you're
sure you have a good grip on the bar/chair then
leg curl the dumbell up behind you. Squeeze your
hamstrings as hard as you can at the top (you
most likely won't have a choice at this point!)
then lower the dumbell back down slowly. The movement
is an exact duplicate of the bent-over, free-hanging
dumbell concentration curl for the biceps of your
should feel a strong contraction in your hamstrings
from the curl movement and a good burn starting
in your inner thighs from the effort of keeping
the dumbell pinched and supported.
prevent forward motion of your knees, have a spotter
brace your thighs so you don't swing forward during
the movement. Keeping your thighs from swinging
forward (and your hips from flexing) also serves
to keep the hip extended throughout the movement,
which will increase the contraction.
you don't have a partner available to brace your
thighs, you can accomplish this in the power rack.
Set another bar at thigh level in the rack so
you can use that to brace against.
variation of the Hanging Dumbell Leg Curl is to
almost do a hanging knee raise with a dumbell
between your feet. Your knees will come slightly
up in front and you'll pull the dumbell straight
up, not in an arc like in the regular version.
version involves your hip flexors so you must
concentrate on pulling the dumbell straight up
to your butt as high as you can, pulling up with
your hamstrings rather than with your hip flexors.
The hip flexor assistance and improved leverage
will allow you to use much heavier weight for
this version of the exercise.
the Hanging Dumbell Leg Curl a try on your next
leg training day. It's certain to give you one
of the strongest contractions you've ever felt
in your hamstrings.
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