You might consider your leg days hardcore if they are filled with squats and thrust variations that you can load up with a mountain’s weight or lungs that stretch the length of your gym. However, the most difficult lower body exercise you are likely to neglect is a bodyweight movement that is fairly simple: the Nordic thigh muscle curl.
Pro-athletes like soccer stars Tyreek Hill and Saquon Barkley and bodybuilders like Nsima Inyang have all shared footage of themselves tackling the deceptively difficult maneuver, which requires you to lower your torso from a kneeling position to the floor and then fire your thigh muscles to to lift. back yourself up without using your hands for support. UFC Hall of Fame fighter (and sometimes Marvel star) Georges St-Pierre is the youngest figure from the sports world to get into the action.
St-Pierre shared a short clip of himself performing a few repetitions of the exercise on Instagram. He is clearly challenged by the movement in the video, and gets excited when he nails the maneuver. “NORDIC CURL … I finally did it ✅💪,” he wrote in the video’s caption.
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St-Pierre has hired online fitness coach Ben Patrick, aka kneesovertoesguy, who appeared in the cut and observed how the former fighter nailed the representatives. Patrick is known for it a proponent of the exercise, after also being associated with Inyang’s effort.
If you want to add Nordic curls to your own workouts, you need to be prepared for an uphill climb. “You have to completely dominate the eccentric (lower) part of the movement or you will fall flat on your face, and the concentric (lift) part requires a ton of pure thigh muscle strength period,” says Men’s health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS “It’s also that rare bodyweight thigh muscle movement where you focus on bending at the knee instead of stretching at the hips, as you do during deadlift-style movements.”
Rather than trying to begin the full version of the exercise, focus first on the eccentric (reduced) portion of the movement. Take your time to descend, then use your hands to push yourself back. Once you are able to own the eccentric, you can try to take your hands off the equation for one iteration – then build from there.
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