If the leg curl machine is in use, this bodyweight exercise using a gym ball will help you build and strengthen your hamstrings and glutes, work your core and improve your balance and flexibility, making it one of the best leg exercises.
- Your head and shoulders should be on the mat.
- With your feet together on top of the ball and your arms by your sides, ensure your body is in a straight line from shoulders to heels.
- Raise your hips and drag the ball towards your backside with your heels, keeping your body straight.
- Pause for a moment at the top of the move and return slowly to the start.
Variation: Single-leg gym ball leg curl
Each leg has to work twice as hard to stabilise your bodyweight on the wobbly ball.
- Keep one leg lifted throughout the move.
- Raise your hips and drag the ball towards your backside with your heel, keeping your body straight.
Variation: Gym ball hip raise and leg curl
A combination move that starts by exercising your hip flexors at the tops of your thighs and then moves on to target your hamstrings.
- Start with your back flat on the floor and your calves resting on the ball.
- Raise your hips until your body is straight from shoulders to heels.
- Drag the ball towards your backside with your heel, keeping your body straight.
Variation: Double medicine ball leg curl
Two legs, two balls. Extra co-ordination is required to pull off this move, making your core work hard to keep your body straight.
- Place a medicine ball beneath each calf.
- Drag them both beneath you until your heels are on the balls.
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Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.