A Brief History of the Nordic Curl

A Brief History of the Nordic Curl - The Nordstick

Nordic curls have become incredibly popular in the 2020s. You might have seen them all over social media and in various fitness circles, praised for their robust benefits. Let's start with a simple truth: Nordic curls are fantastic. Their difficulty level makes them both aspirational and psychologically engaging, turning every session into a challenge and an achievement.

The Rise of Nordic Curls

Nordic curls, until recently, were not the most accessible exercise. The image of needing a gym partner to hold your feet down while you painfully inch your body toward the floor might come to mind. But those days are behind us, thanks to innovative solutions like the Nordstick, which makes performing Nordic curls simpler and more practical for everyone, whether you're an athlete or a regular gym-goer.

Why Nordic Curls Stand Out

This exercise is renowned for its eccentric focus, meaning it primarily works by lengthening the muscle under tension—known as an eccentric contraction. This type of muscle work is critical for building strength, enhancing muscle flexibility, and significantly reducing the risk of injuries. A recent study even suggested that Nordic curls could improve hamstring flexibility as effectively as traditional stretching while also increasing muscle strength (Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research). This dual benefit makes Nordic curls a powerhouse for both fitness enthusiasts and athletes.


An excerpt from "Exposition of the Swedish Movement Cure"
Source: The Wellcome Collection

The Historical Roots

The first recorded mention of what we now call the Nordic curl can be found in George Herbert Taylor’s 1860 book, Exposition of the Swedish Movement Cure. This method was part of a "medical gymnastics" system developed during the early 19th century. Originating as part of the physical culture movement, this movement emerged as nations sought to bolster their populations’ physical readiness in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars.

This eventually led to the development of physical therapy, massage therapy, sports science, and gymnastics—now there’s something I bet you didn’t learn in history class. 

How Nordic Curls Enhance Modern Fitness

Fast forward to today, the benefits of Nordic curls extend far beyond the gym. Incorporating this exercise into your routine can improve everyday activities by enhancing your lower body strength and stability. This can make walking up stairs, lifting heavy objects, and even playing with your kids easier and safer.

The Role of the Nordstick

Enter the Nordstick: a simple, affordable tool that allows you to perform Nordic curls at home or anywhere else. This device eliminates the need for a partner and provides a stable anchor for your feet, enabling you to focus on the exercise itself. With the Nordstick, performing Nordic curls becomes a more streamlined, effective workout, allowing you to experience the numerous benefits of this challenging exercise.

Next Steps in Your Nordic Curl Journey

As we continue to explore the effectiveness and evolution of the Nordic curl, stay tuned for our next post, where we'll dive into modern scientific research that underscores the historical intuitions about this exercise’s benefits. In the meantime…


Start experiencing the transformational power of Nordic curls.

Happy curling!


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