Nordic hamstring curls are great for learning eccentric control, anterior core stability, and concentric posterior chain strength. Often overlooked, this under utilized exercise can also be used as a cue for teaching a client or athlete proper squatting mechanics. Many clients or athletes can perform the eccentric or concentric phase of a squat properly. However, take a look in between the two phases, you’ll typically see a full fledged extension based compensation. Most notably, compensations will be observed at the pelvis, lumbar, and cervical spine. The dissociation created leaves the client or athlete with pain or a complete lack of understanding of how to properly squat.

Instead of over-coaching and using classic cues such as “glutes tight,” “drive through the floor,” and “engage your core,” allow the client or athlete to recall the proper pattern. Tell them to push the hips back and allows the knees to come forward to squat and stand as “one unit.” Having them recall the properly executed “one unit” motion of the nordic hamstring curl should be enough to produce a squat with congruency between the hips and thorax. This sensory paradigm produces an effective, stronger, and non-compensatory movement pattern.