How to Regulate TEMPO for Huge Hamstrings

April 16, 2013

Time under tension can be one of the most humbling aspects of strength training.  Time under tension is the total amount of time that the nervous system and musculature must sustain force production (see Sparta Point).

From a coaching perspective, time under tension can also be one of the best tools for improving movement quality.  By slowing a movement down, you eliminate momentum, which often leads to compensation and loss of body position.  Additionally, the sustained contraction magnifies the stimulus for reprogramming movement patterns by emphasizing the importance of sequencing and efficiency over purely the amount of weight moved.  At Sparta, our REPS based maximal strength movements are designed to use time under tension to elicit movement signatureTM adaptations.

The Leg Curl is great movement for athletes who need improved posterior chain strength, hip extension and DRIVE (see Sparta Point).

Coaching Keys

  • Engage abs and glutes to set total body tension
  • Drive hips to the sky and pull heels toward the butt
  • Keep tailbone "tucked" - avoid arching the back

Controlling concentric tempo on the leg curl is especially beneficial for athletes who lack DRIVE and compensate with excessive lumbar movement.


  • Leg Curl - 3 Sec
  • Leg Curl - 6 Sec
  • Leg Curl - 1 Leg - 3 Sec
  • Leg Curl - 1 Leg - 6 Sec 

Think about the goal of your strength exercises, and explore how TEMPO can can improve your movement quality, sequencing, and efficiency.

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