Kiernan Shipka Is Practically Levitating While Doing This Leg Curl Workout

Her trainer, Harley Pasternak, says that in over 28 years of training, he's never seen someone do this workout as well as Shipka.

Kiernan Shipka Is Practically Levitating In This Video of Her Leg Curl Workout - NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 15: Kiernan Shipka attends Build Series to discuss the series "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" at Build Studio on October 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/WireImage)
Photo: Getty Images

You're probably already familiar with Kiernan Shipka's flair for ~magic~ in her hit Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. But the 21-year-old actor just proved she can bring that magic to her workouts, too. Her trainer, Harley Pasternak shared a video of Shipka performing Nordic hamstring curls — one of "the most challenging and intense isolated hamstring exercises you'll ever do," according to Pasternak — and she's basically defying gravity in the clip.

ICYDK, Nordic hamstring curls involve kneeling and placing both legs between leg-curl cushions, then lowering your body forward with control until your palms touch the floor. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, if you want to understand just how hard it is, look no further than these videos of Game of Thrones star Lena Headey and record producer Benny Blanco (both of whom also train with Pasternak) attempting the exercise. Spoiler: They struggled.

But Shipka? Somehow she nailed it with ease — on her first try too, Pasternak wrote in his post. "In over 28 years of training people, I have never seen a person do Nordic curls as well as @kiernanshipka," shared the trainer. (Remember when Sophia Bush conquered this leg workout with a smile on her face?)

Pasternak — who's also worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Jessica Simpson, and Halle Berry— tells Shape that Nordic hamstring curls work more than just your hamstrings. The eccentric exercise (meaning a movement that involves lengthening, rather than shortening or contracting, the muscle fibers) is also killer for your calf muscles, and they no doubt require some serious core strength to keep yourself from falling flat on your face, he says.

While Shipka's workout involved leg-curl cushions, Pasternak says you don't necessarily need that equipment to pull off the exercise. "You can have a partner sit on your heels, you can slip your heels underneath a barbell that is solidly lodged, and sometimes I even use the seat on a cable lat pulldown machine to do this exercise," he explains. (Here's another no-equipment leg workout you can do at home.)

No matter which method you try, Pasternak warns that this move is not for beginners and that you'll want to keep safety top of mind to prevent injury. You don't want to lower to the ground uncontrolled or risk having your feet slip out, he notes.

That said, if you do want to try this at home, Pasternak suggests holding a broomstick out in front of you to "control the rate of descent and help yourself up if you don't have the strength to do the movement properly at first" — a pro tip that sounds like it would definitely be Sabrina Spellman-approved.

Looking to work up your hammie strength before jumping into these leg curls? Try these hamstring exercises that aren't deadlifts, and you're sure to work up to Shipka's level in no time.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles