The isolation training which is primarily targeted at the hamstring and calf muscles is what is referred to as the leg curls. This exercise is performed using a levered lifting bar fixed on a machine on the gym bench. The standard version of leg curls is done while the trainee lies flat on the stomach with the ankles safely tucked under the padded roller.
Leg curls are mainly done to improve the flexibility of hamstrings and generally make the leg muscles stronger as well as making other muscles stronger. To do a leg curl you need to lie on the machine and pull your legs up towards your buttocks . As you pull your legs towards your buttocks, you will subsequently pull the pulley system that is part of the machine. As you return the feet down, there will be a resistance shift which helps in training the buttocks, thighs and the front of the shin.
If you are looking for a better balance, stamina and general health you need to work on training your hamstrings. Strong hamstrings also help a lot when in the gym doing different workouts since you will have better balance and stamina to do the various exercises.
The other benefit of leg curls and subsequent strong hamstrings is that they help people to avoid injury. As your body ages you can be prone to back pain, joint and knee problems but having regular leg curls help to prevent such.
Regularly performing leg curls together with other workout exercises have also been known to help in weight management, prevention of chronic pain as well as the improvement of cardiovascular strength.
You can modify the leg curls based on what is available in your gym. Using a new ergonomic machine is recommended if you think you might strain your back. To reduce lower back pressure; modern curl machines enable you to bend your hips as you perform the exercises.
You can also perform the hamstring curls while you sit or lie down. Trainees who prefer to do their leg curls in the prone position work harder to maintain their hips and legs against the bench. People who have neck or lower back pain are advised to do their leg curls in a seated position as this provides support in addition to preventing overextension .
When you are fine with basic hamstring curls; you can add more weight gradually to build more muscle. Always remember that leg curls are intended to make you perform better and be stronger, and as such, you should be careful not to put too much weights. In case you feel pain on the addition of weight, you are advised to shift to less weight which is more comfortable until you have developed the needed strength for that weight.