Have you ever tried to do the reverse Nordic curl? It is arguably the best bodyweight exercise to target your quads and gain serious strength and lower body power.
In this article, we will discuss what exactly is the reverse Nordic curl, how to progress until you can finally do one, muscles targeted, and a workout with this exercise.
Let’s dig in.
- What Are Reverse Nordic Curls and How To Do Them?
- Can’t Do Reverse Nordic Curls? Here Is How To Get There
- Who Should and Who Shouldn’t Do Reverse Nordic Curls
- How Often Should I Do Reverse Nordic Curls
- Benefits of Doing Reverse Nordic Curls
- Mistakes to Avoid
- How to Incorporate Reverse Nordic Curls Into Workouts?
What Are Reverse Nordic Curls and How To Do Them?
The reverse Nordic curl is a powerful lower-body exercise that uses only your bodyweight. It is the opposite of the traditional Nordic curl, an exercise we talked about in extension here.
To perform the reverse Nordic curl, you will need a pad or cushion to kneel on and something to anchor your feet, such as a bench or a partner holding them down. Start in a kneeling position with your feet anchored, and your hands on your hips or in front of you for balance. From this position, slowly lower your body down towards the ground, maintaining a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, and then use your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back to push yourself back up to the starting position.
Can’t Do Reverse Nordic Curls? Here Is How To Get There
The reverse Nordic curl is a challenging exercise that requires good hamstring, quads and glute strength. But if you are not strong enough to do reverse Nordic curls with a full range of motion, fear not.
Actually, this is one of the best things about the reverse Nordic curls as it was explained by Cameron Gill on Stronger by Science.
During the exercise, the training stimulus presented to the quads is related to the resistive torque acting on the knee joints. “The increase in resistive torque throughout the eccentric phase results in the reverse Nordic curl having an ascending exercise strength curve. With this strength curve, the end range of motion (ROM), corresponding to the start of the concentric phase and peak angle of knee flexion, is the most challenging portion of the movement.”
That means that the exercise can be tailored to an individual’s strength by simply restricting the range of motion. Rather than lowering your entire body until your back touches your feet, lower as far as you can and then raise yourself up again utilising your quads and glutes.
Reverse Nordic curls’ intensity may be increased by decreasing the angle of hip flexion maintained throughout the exercise until a neutral hip position is achieved.
Other exercises you may do are the banded reverse Nordic Curl.
Who Should and Who Shouldn’t Do Reverse Nordic Curls
According to physical therapist Dr Marc Surdyka, people shouldn’t try to do reverse Nordic curls if:
- Pain with kneeling
- Lack full knee flexion
- Lack ability to get butt to touch heels comfortably
Other than that, everyone is encouraged to do reverse Nordic curls as they are a safe exercise to target your quads.
That doesn’t mean they are easy. On the contrary, they are very taxing on the body.
How Often Should I Do Reverse Nordic Curls
As a general rule of thumb, you should train as often as your recovery allows you to, always respecting to not train the same muscle twice in a row, one day after the other, as it is while recovering that your muscle will grow stronger and bigger.
The idea is the same for the reverse Nordic curl. However, as this is a somewhat new way to target your quads, and a very difficult exercise to complete with a full range of motion, it will be hard for your body to recover from it.
BOXROX recommends doing reverse Nordic curls once a week with 3 sets of 4-8 reps. Aim for 4 reps if you are new to the movement.
Benefits of Doing Reverse Nordic Curls
The reverse Nordic curl offers several benefits, including:
- Strengthening the hamstrings: The reverse Nordic curl targets the hamstrings, which are important for knee flexion, hip extension, and overall lower body strength.
- Developing glute strength: The glutes are also heavily involved in the reverse Nordic curl exercise, helping to stabilize the hips and contribute to the movement.
- Improving lower back strength: The reverse Nordic curl requires activation of the lower back muscles to maintain proper form and prevent injury. This can help to improve lower back strength and reduce the risk of back pain.
- Enhancing sports performance: Strengthening the hamstrings and glutes can improve athletic performance in activities such as running, jumping, and sprinting.
- Injury prevention: Weak hamstrings and glutes can increase the risk of knee and hip injuries, and the reverse Nordic curl can help to strengthen these muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
Overall, the reverse Nordic curl is a challenging exercise that can help to improve lower body strength and enhance sports performance, while also reducing the risk of injury.
Mistakes to Avoid
Since it is a somewhat difficult exercise to perform with full range of motion, there are a couple of mistakes one should avoid to reap its benefits.
- Arching back too much restricts the range of motion
- Throwing the head backwards
- Internally rotating your thighs
- Sitting on your legs instead of lowering your body backwards
How to Incorporate Reverse Nordic Curls Into Workouts?
As you already know by now, the reverse Nordic curl is a leg exercise that focuses primarily on your quads. So, the natural way to add this to your workout would be to substitute a quad exercise for the reverse Nordic curl.
Some typical quad exercises are front squats, split squats, and leg extension.
If you don’t have access to a gym, this is single-handle the best movement you can do to strengthen your quads without fitness equipment.
As we mentioned earlier, don’t overtrain your quads with the reverse Nordic curls as they are extremely taxing on your muscles. Aim for doing this exercise once a week with 3 sets of 4-8 reps. If it gets too easy, try doing it with your arms elevated above your head or in front of your body to add more tension to your knee flexion.
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- Kneeling down: Kuiyibo Campos on Pexels