Happy Curling Newsletter Volume 2 - The Nordstick

Happy Curling Newsletter Volume 2

Getting Started with Nordic Curls

How do we know where to start when it comes to nordic curls? It can be overwhelming to start because there are so many options. The answer is to begin with the end in mind.

We reverse engineer our solution by analyzing what it takes to do a full nordic curl.

The full nordic curl requires significant hamstring strengthening posterior chain strength.

It requires rigidly lowering the body while engaging the muscles of the back of the legs and spine.

So we know that our training has to build the strength to maintain that straight torso and hamstring control.

The best way to get stronger at doing an exercise is doing that exercise or the closest thing to it intensely. Therefore we will try to mirror the nordic curl as closely as possible.

We need to assess to figure out what is the best alternative exercise to start with if we can’t already do a full nordic curl. 

Our assessment tells us where we are on the map.

When you are trying to get from point A to point B. You have to know where point A is. That’s why we test and don't guess. We will use three tests to find our current capacity.

  1. Heel to butt test
  2. Hamstring bridge repetition max test
  3. Isometric nordic curl

Heel to Butt Test

  • Lie on your stomach and bring your right heel as far as you can up towards your butt. If you can't get your heel to touch your butt record from a side view and see how close you can get. Repeat this on the left side.

Hamstring Bridge Repetition Max Test

  • Lie on your back with both knees bent. Slide your feet away from your body so that your knees are bent a little less than 90 degrees. Pull your toes up, drive through the heels, raise your hips up towards the ceiling. Hold that position for two seconds. Slowly lower and repeat this as many times as you can. Record how many reps you get. If you can do more than twelve reps in a row. Repeat this test on one leg at a time and record how many you get on each leg.

Isometric Nordic Curl

  • Start off by setting up in the Nordstick starting position. Once you are locked in, slowly lower your body while maintaining a straight torso. Stop at the point where you start to feel the back of the thighs contracting. 
  • Maintain that position for as long as you can and record the max hold time.
  • If possible record yourself from the side so you can review and make sure your hips and trunk are upright. This will also let you see the distance that you’ve lowered.

Congratulations you've completed the testing and determined what your starting point is. If you've completed the testing you have taken your first step towards a full Nordic curl and a healthier life. Our next newsletter will focus on implementing the initial exercise plan that you'll develop based on your testing.

Going forward, this newsletter will bring in a team of experts to guide you in your journey. However I will chime in on every newsletter with a “tip of the week” or “injury insight” so you can get more from your fitness and rehab journey.

This week’s tip: “Slow but steady wins the race”

Rehab after injury is not a marathon but it is also not a sprint. Rehab is a marathon of sprints. Training is very similar. It is a long process with different phases with different intensity. 

Most importantly:

  • Consistency is key
  • Intensity is key
  • Mindset is key

Ups and downs are guaranteed. If you understand that going in you can handle the first bump in the road. You’ll be able to roll with the punches and come out stronger for it.

If you have any questions I offer free consultations for anyone looking to recover from injury or improve strength. Click the link below if you want to get started.


Happy Curling,



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