Exercise Vault: Slideboard Hamstring Curls

The exercise I am showing today is one that you probably have not seen before. One reason you haven’t seen any one doing a Slide Board Hamstring Curl is because it uses some equipment that isn’t in your typical gym. The super, creative name gives away the piece of equipment that you need to make it work; a slide board or some type of sliding disks, like furniture movers or paper plates, are used to put this exercise into action. Both pieces of equipment are awesome. With them, you can do a ton of exercises that can really add variety to your training.


Not to worry though! There are other ways of making this work without a slide board, furniture movers, or paper plates (even though everyone should be able to get their hands on some paper plates!) so I will present another option as well.

This exercise will provide a good training effect for everyone too. It has a few progressions that will keep people from all levels of fitness grabbing their hammies after the last rep saying, “That was brutal!” With that said, this exercise would be more of an assistance exercise, it would be placed later on in your training sessions after your big, most important lifts like, dead lift, squat, or some heavy single leg work. When done properly, it can also double as some extra core stabilization work.

3 sets of 8-10 reps does the trick depending on your level of fitness, the intensity you want to train your hamstrings at, and how badly you want to smoke your hamstrings to finish your work out. Ok, the quicker I show you these exercises the quicker you can stop relying on the hamstring curl machine as the sole piece of equipment that can build some strings that Jimi Hendrix would be proud to shred on! HA! Yea… i just said that!

So, Because I don’t have a slide board at the gym I train at either, all of my demonstrations except for a couple will be done using furniture movers. They are called “Moving Men” and they in the picture above. To make it nice and simple the name of the exercises still uses the word “slide board” even though you may not be using a slide board. Honestly, you can name it what you want; the concept is the most important thing here.

Slide Board Hamstring Curl Variations: In all these variations, you will want to maintain a tight, braced core and a good bridge with full hip extension. There should be a straight line from your knees to your shoulders in the start position.

This is the easiest variation and would be suitable for a true beginner. It lowers intensity by removing what would be considered the concentric/shortening portion of the exercise, and allows the athlete/client to gain strength and control by using on the eccentric part of the lift only. An added benefit would be good gluteal activation and the start of the learning process for hip hinging and hip extension exercises because the client would be doing a supine bridge on each rep.

This variation is the next step up from the eccentric only exercise. It is the same set up, but we add to the mix the concentric/shorting of the hamstring part of the exercise.

The final variation of this exercise would progress from the previous version by adding some load with a band. If you don’t have a band, you could also put the disks under a weight plate and perform the exercise with your feet on top of that weight plate.

Slide Board Hamstring Body Curl Variations:

These variations require some kind of surface that enables you to slide a bit (an actual slide board would be nice!). At my gym we have wood floors, so I placed a small towel under me to decrease friction. If you know of another way, feel free to let me know! Again keep a tight, braced core through out the exercise and a bridge with full hip extension in the start position of each exercise.

In this variation of the exercise, you want to still focus on keeping a tight core and a solid bridge. Push yourself with your feet to eccentrically load the hamstrings and then use your hamstring to pull your body back to start position.

SOUND WARNING: I think there is a vacuum running in the background. This variation can get brutal quick, fast, and in a hurry. Depending on how strong of a band you are using and how many reps you want to squeak out.


Give these exercises a shot, and tell me what you think.



Thanks for reading!

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