The Strength Curve
But what is a strength curve, exactly? Well, it’s the mathematical representation of the amount of tension a muscle exerts on a given exercise on any given point within a range of motion. This in turn will let you know where the exercise is hardest and where the potential weak points are.
Let’s take leg curls as a demonstration in the case of hamstring training. These exercises have a linear descending strength curve. This means that exercises with this type of strength curve are easy at the start of the concentric phase and harder at the end. Typical examples of this are rows, chin-ups and of course lying and standing leg curls.
This is exactly why we designed our leg curl machines with a cam that is specifically created to provide a slight ease of the tension at the end of the movement, where most people will hit the hardest part of the strength curve, a.k.a the sticking point. This design led to strength coaches like the late Charles Poliquin, a top expert in strength development, to rave about the design of the Atlantis Strength cams and use their leg curl machines in the development of their athletes.
See For Yourself
If you want to experiment with different strength curves in your own workout: give this giant set a try:
A1 – PW322 Assisted Glute-Ham Raise, Ankles in dorsiflexion, toes neutral; 3 x 4-6 @ 4010 tempo; rest 10 seconds
A2 – C106 Lying Leg Curl, Ankles in dorsiflexion, toes pointing inward; 3 x 4-6 @ 3011 tempo; rest 10 seconds
A3 – C108 Seated Leg Curl, Ankles in plantar flexion, toes pointed outward; 3 x 6-8 @ 3011 tempo; rest 10 seconds
A4 – D215 Reverse Hyper; 3 x 10-12 @3011 tempo; rest 10 seconds
A5 – D828F 45º Back Extension Barbell held in a wide grip; 3 x 12-15 @ 3110 tempo; rest 120 seconds
Let us know how you limped into new gains!