Nordic Curls – Protect and Strengthen your Hamstrings

Study Title:

Including the Nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes


Van Dyk N, Behan FP & Whiteley R

Author’s Affiliations:

Aspetar Injury and Illness Prevention Program (ASPREV), Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar; Research Department, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar; Department of Rehabilitation, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar.

Publication Information:

British Journal of Sports Medicine 2019; 53: 1362–1370.

One thing you want to keep in mind – is to maintain a straight back throughout the exercise all the way to the ground. When the hamstrings start to fatigue – the trunk will tend to flex forward.

If this is too difficult – you can do assisted curls by holding an exercise band over the shoulders (secured behind and above you) or a weighted cable at the gym to reduce the forward load.

Clinical Application & Conclusions:

The evidence indicates that overall, the NHE is effective in preventing hamstring injuries – reducing the risk by approximately 50%! The authors concede that the mechanisms by which NHE provides its protective effect are not yet fully understood, however. Other authors have noted increased eccentric strength and suspect that it may be responsible for the positive effect (9), although the evidence is minimal, due to the poor incorporation of NHE into regular training programs. As such, there is a need for improved understanding of the factors relating to the incorporation of the program into training and the mechanisms responsible for its effect.

Let us know if you have any questions.

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YYC Sport and Spine