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Alternatives to Monkeyfoot Hamstring Curls

Marco A, [02/09/2022 16:59]

Is there a “structural balance number” for Monkeyfoot? Because I don’t have a ham curl machine

Ben Clarfield, [02/09/2022 17:00]

No too risky. It was a fine tool for Covid but not great for knee flexion.

Marco A, [02/09/2022 17:03]

Any other alternatives? i know Nordics work great for long range, not sure what to do for short range

Ben Patrick, [02/09/2022 19:18]

@atg_marco here are some good rules to think with:


50% dumbbell pressing should make you fine for 50% barbell pressing if you desire

50% rows or face pulls to balance out chin ups

And 50% eccentric or long-range knee flexion should be fine to balance you for 50% standard knee flexion. In other words you could go 6 months eccentric Nordic and RDL, then 6 months of hamstring curl machines. And you’d probably do great!

Commercial gyms have ham curl machines. Home gyms usually don’t. A gym membership 6 months a year would be wise for a coach to get to know the hamstring curl machine, seated calf machine, etc.

Areeb Ahmed, [02/09/2022 22:26]

(Asking about MonkeyFoot Hamstring Curls)

Why risky? Possibility of slipping?

Ben Patrick, [02/09/2022 22:27]

Areeb I never got hurt but I stopped advising it because it didn’t feel quite right to me and I did see someone get seriously hurt on it. My opinion… We don’t use our hamstrings for dexterity. So it’s a free weight motion. The hip flexors on the other hand so when we kick etc. The hip flexors direct the leg and foot where to go. So free weight hip flexor ultra safe. Free weight knee flexion riskier. Doesn’t mean it’s “bad” or couldn’t be used. But given how accessible Nordic benches and ham curl machines are, that’s what I advise.

ALSO, RDLs!!!!!! RDLs alone are powerful.

So I personally like using POWERFUL methods that can deliver big results for my body. Nordics going UP are tweaky and I don’t even advise that any more in programming. Going down much less chance of tweak. Have I seen Nordic tweaks? Absolutely.

Have I seen medical grade hamstring soreness from RDL? Absolutely lol! But not SERIOUS injury.

So in seeing a serious injury from a relatively strong guy on the MonkeyFoot, it didn’t sit right with me. Because I never saw a serious injury on a ham curl. At the end of the day though, the SAFEST thing is a great coach.

I don’t believe it’s my place to tell someone what NOT to do. Only show what I do.

For me I’d go like this…

1. No ham machines at all? RDL get jacked

2. Minimal ham machine affordability? Nordic Bench + 45 degree Back Ext. or GHR (which allows knee flexion and hip extension)

3. Best possible?, Nordic, 45 Back Extension, GHR, Lying Ham Curl, Kneeling Ham Curl.

That’s what we had at the OG ATG. All 5 of those. And used all 5 with athletes. And learned that elderly hated getting onto the GHR but loved the 45. Young athletes thrived on eccentric Nordics. And other usage details like that. I forgot we even had a reverse hyper! So we had 6 different ham/low-back pieces. Nordic and 45 wound up being the most bang for buck per the price and ease of use in group classes. GHR takes adjustment with each person. Nordic bench doesn’t. So that’s why I now use Nordic Bench and 45 because they’re cheapest and easiest to get in and out of.

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