Exercise of the Week: Closed Chain Leg Curl

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The Closed Chain Leg Curl is a great exercise to vary your training regime. It will provide a full body workout, all in one exercise! The movement is performed from straps which are mounted from a horizontal beam (Suspension Training). You can use Roman Rings, a TRX or an Ultimate Instrument. These ’nasty’ pieces of equipment can be purchased off the internet or in some sporting stores.

The primary muscles involved in the Closed Chain Leg Curl are the hamstrings, glutes and forearms. Your hamstrings are activated in this exercise when your knee is in flexion (bending). Your glutes will be activated throughout the entire movement as your hips should be completely extended. The suprising fact is that your forearms will be on fire as holding the majority of your bodyweight for 6-8 controlled repetitions will prove to be difficult. To add an extra challenge, you are more than welcome to add a piece of equipment called ‘Fat Gripz’ to the handle. This basically makes the handle harder to grasp, therefore increasing the load on your forearms.

To execute the movement, grasp the handles with straight arms while your feet are resting on a bench. You entire body should now be hanging from the ground. Make sure your hips are fully extended towards the roof. Now you can begin to flex your knee so that your upper body moves towards your feet and the bench. After you have felt a ‘horrible’ contraction through your hamstrings you can slowly (aim for 4 seconds) return to the starting position (a full body hang). As your hamstrings contain mainly fast twitch muscle fibres, you should aim for 6-8 repetitions at a slow, controlled tempo.

Any questions please leave a comment! Remember, this is a difficult exercise. Safety first!

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