4 Of The Best Leg Curl Alternatives

Leg Exercises

If you are getting tired of doing the same old leg curls for you hamstring, the good news is that you can still tone the hamstring, the glutes, and the entire leg by engaging in alternative exercises. These leg curl alternatives can be done at the gym or even at home in some cases.

It’s great to utilize some of the machines at the gym, but you want to really know what you are doing. Not only that, but you want to be certain that you are using the right ones.

Here we look at the best leg curl alternatives, how they work, and why they can help you so much.


You hear so much about these, and with good reason. The only challenge with these exercises is that you have to ensure that you are using proper form. You want to move yourself up and down through the exercise by using your legs and nothing else.

How to Perform a Deadlift

  • Stand with feet hip width apart
  • Grip the bar with an overhand grip just outside where your knees are positioned.
  • Place your feet under the bar so the bar is half way between the heel and your toes.
  • Keeping your back flat, lower yourself down using the glutes and hamstrings to do so.
  • Once you are lowered to a bent over position, you want to use the same leg muscles to power you back up.
  • The bar should almost graze up the shines.

It sounds simple enough, but using only your legs can be challenging and take some getting used to. If you’re doing it right then you will feel it very quickly.

Deadlifts are an excellent way of toning the lower half and works much more efficiently than leg curls. You can add weights or even go to a standing deadlift using only one leg to support you as you get used to the movement. Deadlifts are an excellent part of any lower body workout, and so long as you perfect your form you can get a lot out of them.


Kettlebell Swings

If you aren’t used to using a kettlebell then you may have to work at the motion. The idea is that you move up and down in a bent over position, but you use the hips to push up and out. This is very different from other lower body movements, and can take some practice.

As you move through this use a “pop” at the top to push the hips forward as you swing the kettlebell. Try this without the kettlebell to get used to it, and see how the swinging motion is so different than a deadlift or similar type of exercise.

Start small with the kettlebell until you get a handle on the form, and then you can continue to increase your weight. Kettlebells are an excellent way of getting in cardio plus strength training. Kettlebell swings are a fundamental movement in this area, and will help to tone the leg.


You probably won’t realize the extent of how helpful a bridge can be until you try it. The move is simplistic, but the impact is far reaching. This tends to be looked at as a yoga pose or a simpler type of stretch, but this has a lot of potential attached to it.

You lie on your back with your feet hip width apart, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Then you lift the lower half off the ground using the glutes to do so. You then hold the bride position at the top, and then slowly move back down to starting position using the glutes again to do so.

Advanced: For a more advanced workout you can go to a one legged bridge, add weight for extra intensity or try variations of this.


 You can get deep into the muscle tissue with this movement, and it’s easy enough to do almost anywhere. The bridge is a great

Stability Ball Hamstring Curls

Using a stability ball works as an excellent alternative to the machines at the gym, and they are also much more accessible. In this case you are going to lie on your back with your feet on top of the stability ball.

Then you are going to move the ball up towards you and then back down, using only your hamstrings to do so.

You can try variations of this using one leg, adding weights, or even lifting the ball into the air with your hamstrings. This takes time and some getting used to but it can create an excellent foundation for toning and sculpting.

Advanced: You can try variations of this using one leg, adding weights, or even lifting the ball into the air with your hamstrings.

Even if you’ve been addicted to the leg curl machine for years, now is the time for change. These are all excellent alternatives to the leg curls that you have been performing for years. Not only that, but they will really help to tone, sculpt, and get the whole lower half in on the act. This is how you tone your legs in the most effective way possible!