Any athlete who wants to jump higher or sprint faster absolutely MUST be getting their Nordic hamstring curls in.
If you’re not, you’re seriously missing out.
Although Nordic curls can be performed at home with zero equipment, there’s also some fantastic, low cost equipment that’ll make this exercise significantly more effective.
Nordic hamstring curls are quickly becoming one of the most popular hamstring exercises after being popularized by Ben Patrick’s ATG program in recent times.
Mastering the Nordic is something I’m personally working towards and today I’m going to share with you exactly how you can perform this exercise when not in the gym.
Some Equipment Will Help, A Lot!
Although it is possible to do Nordics at home with no equipment (as we’ll discuss towards the end of this article), having some basic equipment is going to make this exercise 100 times more effective and convenient.
Let’s quickly run through the best tools you can get for Nordics and then we’ll look at how you can do them with no equipment.
The Best Option: A Nordic Bench
If you’re really serious about doing Nordics regularly, it might well be worth investing in a Nordic bench, especially since these things are super affordable nowadays.
Be sure to check out my full, detailed break down of the best Nordic benches in 2023. There’s some seriously innovative and super affordable benches on the market that you absolutely must take a look at!
If you’re brand new to Nordics, you’re going to have to do some regression work with a limited range of motion until you’re strong enough to do full Nordics.
TBG’s Nordic Weight Bench is easiest, most comfortable, and safest way to start working on Nordics through the range of motion you’re confident with.
For only a fraction of the cost of a full sized Nordic bench, you can easily do your Nordic regressions at home using the TBG Nordic Weight Bench.
This bench is also perfect for trap 3 raises as well as all sorts of other upper body movements and I can’t recommend it enough!
Use discount code “A1ATHLETE” for 10% off your Nordic weight bench!
Or check out my full Nordic Weight Bench review for more details!
Another great, super affordable option worth looking into is the Nordic Mini bench from Freak Athlete Essentials.
This thing is a truncated, portable Nordic bench that’s quite a bit smaller than a full sized Nordic bench, but it’s also less than half the price!
Check out our full review of the Nordic Mini here!
You can also knock 10% off the price using the discount code “A1ATHLETE”!
After spending hours researching these things, I’ve found that the very Nordic bench that Ben Patrick owns and endorses (see above) is not only excellent quality, but it’s also the most affordable full sized Nordic bench out there.
If you’re a serious athlete who understands how incredibly valuable Nordics are for explosive movements, this is a really smart investment.
I recommend these for athletes who are already pretty close to doing full Nordics, although either of the above 2 benches are also perfectly suited for advanced athletes.
Use An Attachment: The Nordic Bar
Another really affordable option is to consider using a Nordic bar.
If you’ve got any sort of upright post/pole at home, you can attach a Nordic bar to the pole and perform Nordic curls either on a bench or on the ground.
This is way quicker and easier to use than a Nordic strap which can be a bit of a hassle to get on and off each set.
Easily the best Nordic bar on the market is the Nordic Bar from HGG Performance who have made a really practical and durable tool for getting those Nordics in.
Use discount code “A1ATHLETE” for 10% off your Nordic bar!
The Cheapest Way: A Nordic Strap
Using a Nordic strap is one of the easiest ways to start doing Nordics without having to fork out hundreds of dollars for a Nordic bench.
They’re real simple to use: you simply strap your ankles to any exercise bench (you’ll need an exercise bench) and this effectively turns your bench into a Nordic bench.
I’m a big fan of the MR. 1NF1N1TY X Shogun Nordic strap as it’s by far the most durable and robust strap on the market.
It also comes with ankle padding which is a really nice touch.
It’s already exceptionally well priced but if you use discount code “A1ATHLETE” you can get an extra 10% off which makes this by far my favorite option for doing Nordics at home.
If you want to shop around for some other options, check out my article discussing the best Nordic straps of 2023!
Nordic Curl At Home With No Equipment?
There are a couple options if you have absolutely no equipment, but if I’m being completely honest, they’re not very good…
Find A Partner
The easiest way to get your Nordics in with absolutely no equipment is to have a friend apply pressure to your ankles, acting as a counterbalance, while you perform the exercise.
Your friend is essentially acting like a Nordic strap or bar here.
I’m personally not a huge fan of relying on someone to help me with every exercise, but if you’re already training with a partner, then this could be an excellent option.
Wall Nordic Hamstring Curl
Another method to try is doing the wall hamstring curl variation.
The idea here is to dig your toes into the wall and focus on activating your hamstrings as much as possible before you fall to the mat.
You’re pressing your toes into the wall on the concentric phase as well and really trying to pull yourself back up using your hamstrings only.
If you do enough of these, you can actually get some decent hamstring stimulation going.
For the most part, I’m not in love with this approach as it seems like more of a hamstring ‘activation’ exercise rather than a strengthening exercise.
The force generated during these compared to a proper Nordic is virtually nonexistent.
Nordics are so insanely important that you absolutely must find a way to incorporate them into your weekly routine, whether that’s at the gym or at home.
If you can find a spare couple hundred dollars, investing in any of the Nordic benches discussed is going to be the best place to start.
If you wanted to go completely equipment free, you can, but you’re either going to need a partner or to seriously compromise the effectiveness of your Nordics by reducing the range of motion and force output.
Personally, I think investing in some equipment for a behemoth of an exercise like the Nordic hamstring curl is definitely a good idea!
You might also like to check out my favorite nordic hamstring curl alternatives if you decide this exercise isn’t worth the headache.
Also be sure to check out my full list of knees over toes exercises for more inspiration!