Curling Specific Fitness | Leg Power and Drive

If you watch curling at the elite level today, it is not uncommon that you see double runbacks and peels as a staple to most teams. But how do they generate that big weight successfully and consistently you may ask? Power and control, thats how. Being a female who is only 5’3 and around 118 pounds, it can take a lot of strength to generate enough power in my delivery to make those big weight shots. So where does that power come from? Let’s find out: 

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It’s all in the legs! (Ok, there’s more to it than simply legs, but it’s a start!) This is obviously the biggest source of power, as the legs consist of the biggest muscles in the body. Having powerful leg strength is important not only in curling, but in many other sports as well. Powerful legs drive the swing in golf, baseball, football, tennis and many others. Here are my top 4 workouts for strong powerful legs! (In no particular order)

4. Deadlifts 

This is definitely one of my favourite lifts to preform.  

  • Stand in front of the loaded barbell with an appropriate weight.
  • Keeping your back as straight as possible, bend your knees, lean slightly forward to grab the bar using shoulder width overhand grip. This is the starting position of the lift. Personally, I find it difficult to use an overhand grip. I use an alternating grip (one hand over, one hand under) or you could use lifting straps. 
  • While holding the bar, start the lift by pushing with your legs while simultaneously getting your torso to the upright position. Exhale. Once you’re in the upright position, push your chest out and contract your back by bringing the shoulder blades back. You should now be standing straight up in attention. .
  • Now to lower, bend at the knees while simultaneously leaning the torso forward at the waist. Make sure to keep the back straight while doing this to avoid injury. When the weights on the bar touch the floor you have now completed a repetition.

  • ****To target the hamstrings, try a Romanian deadlift. The movements are similar. Keep the back and arms straight at all times and use your hips to lift the bar without bending the knees as much as in a squat or normal deadlift. (Knees should be slightly bent) Engage the hamstrings until you feel tension and release back to the starting position.

Caution:

  • If you have back issues I would recommend substituting this with another exercise. 
  • If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never round the back because this can cause back injury. 

3. Single Leg Bench Lunges

This exercise will target mainly the glutes and quads. 

  • Start by standing about 3 feet in front of a flat bench or boss ball (depends on preference/hip flexibility) with your back towards the bench. 
  • Move one foot back so that your toe is resting on the bench. The other foot should remain stationary right in front of you. Keep your head up as well as your back straight and chest out. 
  • Inhale and you slowly lower into a lunge until your thigh is parallel with the floor. 
  • Contract your quadriceps and elevate yourself back to the starting position as you exhale. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. Don’t forget the other leg!

2. Hip Thrusts 

Glutes, glutes, glutes!

  • The easiest way to get into the starting position is to begin seated on the ground with a flat bench right behind you. (The shorter you are, the harder this may be. Trust me, I know) Have a loaded barbell over your legs. You can put padding on the bar so that it doesn’t hurt your hips in this lift. 
  • Roll the bar up so that it sits right above your hips. Lean back on the bench so that your shoulder blades are resting on the bench. 
  • Begin by driving through your feet while extending the hips vertically right through the bar. Let your body weight be supported by your shoulders against the bench. Extend the hips as far as possible and return the movement back to the starting position. 


1. Squats

Squats are a staple in any leg strengthening program. For curlers, these are a must because it will work on hip flexibility as well as explosive hip power. 

  • This exercise should be performed in a squat rack with safety bars (for obvious reasons). To begin, set the bar on a rack that is just below shoulder level. Load the bar, step under the bar and place it on the back of your shoulders just below the trapezius muscle. 
  • Hold onto the bar using both arms at each side and lift the bar off the rack using your legs and core. 
  • Step away from the rack and position your legs shoulder width apart. Changing your toe position will alter which muscles are directly hit. I would recommend to start pointing your toes just slightly outward. 
  • Begin by slowly lowering the bar by bending the knees. Make sure to maintain a straight posture with your chest and head up. Continue to lower until your thighs are at least parallel with the floor, or just a little less than 90 degrees. (DONT CHEAT!) Also make sure to keep your knees in a straight line with your toes, making sure they don’t go over. 
  • Begin to raise the bar back up by contracting the quads and pushing off the floor with the heel of your foot (not your toes) until you get back to the starting position. 

Caution:

  • If you have back issues I would recommend substituting this with another exercise. 
  • If you have a healthy back, ensure perfect form and never round the back because this can cause back injury. 

Of course there are endless exercises that target the muscles used in curling. Stay tuned for more workouts geared towards our amazing sport! 


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