Home Fitness We Found The Best Nordic Bench (2024)
We Found The Best Nordic Bench (2024)
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We Found The Best Nordic Bench (2024)

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The Nordic curl is a popular exercise thanks to Ben Patrick, or the “The Knees Over Toes Guy,” and his revolutionary training methods. To refresh your memory, Nordic curls strengthen your hamstrings, which in turn improves your athletic performance and “bulletproofs” your knees.

A Nordic bench is an essential piece of home gym equipment for anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of this nearly magical exercise.

Fortunately, there are now more than a few solutions available to meet a variety of demands. You can choose from an assortment of high-quality benches, multipurpose machines, and easy-to-use attachments.

In this extensive roundup review of the top Nordic benches, you will find the best product in each of these categories.

Best Nordic Bench

Freak Athlete Nordic Hyper GHD

Pros

  • This bench combines 6 machines into one
  • Allows for Nordic curl regressions
  • Can be stored upright to save even more space
  • The price provides excellent value if you consider it replaces a few different machines

Cons

  • Bulkier than other Nordic benches because of the extended functionality
  • Costs more than dedicated Nordic benches.

Best Nordic Bench

Freak Athlete Nordic Hyper GHD

Most versatile nordic bench combines 6 machines into 1 giving ultimate home gym efficiency.

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Freak Athlete Nordic GHD

No other bench can compare to Freak Athlete’s Nordic Hyper GHD in terms of its ability to target the complete posterior chain and strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and back.

Here is what this bench can turn into:

  • Glute-ham developer (GHD)
  • Adjustable Nordic bench
  • 45° back extension
  • Reverse hyper machine
  • Hip thrust bench
  • Sit-up bench

That means you can swap out six pieces of equipment for just one. The machine measures 56 inches long and 23 inches wide, making it larger than most other benches on the list.

Although the $1000 price tag may appear high, it’s a great deal if you plan to buy the other equipment this is meant to replicate.

While each mode functions effectively, the standout features are the Nordic bench and the adjustment levels, which allow regressions.

If you have other equipment, such as a back extension or reverse hyper machine, they are probably better suited for the specific exercises than the Nordic Hyper all-in-one.

However, no other bench is even close in terms of versatility. 

I view The Nordyc Hyper as a mid-tier machine quality-wise. There are better products available, and there are much worse.  If you are looking for a complete solution for your posterior chain and core, the Nordic Hyper GHD is the best choice in my opinion.

Best Runner-Up Nordic Bench

Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension V2

Pros

  • 9 different incline angles.
  • Can be transformed into a back extension machine.
  • Easy to store upright and save space.
  • Heavy-duty construction provides excellent durability.

Cons

  • The padding could be a lot better.

Best Runner-Up Nordic Bench

Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension V2

Use code “TIBBAR10” for 10% OFF

A more cost-effective nordic bench option that still offers a variety of exercises.

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Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension V2

The runner-up spot is occupied by the Tib Bar Guy’s Nordic Back Extension bench, which is among the most outstanding home gym equipment available. While most benches suitable for Nordic curls are not very versatile, the Tib Bar Guy bench excels in that area.

First of all, if you are a beginner and cannot perform a full Nordic curl, you can begin with regressions and work your way up to 0 degrees. There are nine levels of regression between 45 degrees and 0 degrees.

Furthermore, the bench can be converted into a back extension machine, complete with a top cutout for added comfort and lengthy grips for support. A hip thrust/split squat basis is the Tib Bar Guy Nordic’s third purpose.

The fact that this Nordic bench folds flat and stores upright saving up a ton of room in your home gym, is a significant feature that further persuaded me to rank it so high on the list.

The Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension bench is normally $699, but you can still order it for $499.

Given its versatility, sturdy build, and convenient storage, it is definitely worth the money. The only reason I have ranked the Nordic Hyper GHD higher is because it provides even more exercise possibilities.

Best Budget Nordic Bench

Tib Bar Guy Nordic Weight Bench

Pros

  • Super cheap.
  • Doubles up as a weight bench.
  • Can be used by beginners and advanced Nordic curl practitioners.

Cons

  • Quality is subpar to other benches.
  • It lacks a foot plate, which all better benches have.

Best Budget Nordic Bench

Tib Bar Guy Nordic Weight Bench

Don’t want to splash on an expensive nordic bench? Replace your weight bench with a nordic option.

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Tib Bar Guy Nordic Weight Bench

With Nordic Benches frequently costing more than $600, the Tib Bar Guy Nordic Weight Bench, at $240, is the best budget option.

This simple bench can be used by anyone looking to improve their Nordic curl, from beginners to advanced athletes. Beginners can use the regression adjustments, while skilled users can test themselves with inclined Nordic curls.

These features and the price would likely be enough for this product to enter our list, but there is more. As the name suggests, this also doubles as a weight bench.

This simply means it may be used for all the upper body exercises you would perform on a standard inclined weight bench. If you are just starting to build your garage gym and don’t yet have a weight bench, this product can be a great two-in-one solution.

It’s important to know the quality matches the price, and the Nordic Weight Bench is not suitable for a commercial gym. The materials are inferior to commercial benches, but it will work just fine for a home gym and someone not bench pressing 200 kg. 

Another con is the lack of a footplate, so your feet can move freely when performing Nordic curls. Overall, there are better Nordic benches and many better weight benches, but this is a good choice if you want both in one unit at an affordable price.

Best 2-in-1 Nordic Bench

Shogun Nord-EX

Pros

  • A 2 in 1 machine for Nordic curls and back extensions.
  • Manu adjustment options for both exercises.
  • Commercial grade quality.
  • Compact a portable enough for a home gym.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Best 2-in-1 Nordic Bench

Shogun Nord-EX

The sturdiest Nordic bench and back extension combo for heavy lifts and large individuals.

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Shogun Nord Ex

The Shogun Nord-Ex is marketed as the ultimate posterior chain training solution, and this statement is not far from the truth. It is a commercial-grade, two-in-one glute-ham development machine that incorporates the best features and materials into a piece of equipment small enough for a home gym.

The item is equally effective as a Nordic bench and for back extensions. Depending on your degree of skill, you have several options for adjusting both exercises.

The materials, craftsmanship, and finish are all professional gym-quality, so if you get this one, you won’t need to buy another glute-ham bench in your lifetime.

High quality always comes at a cost; in the case of the Shogun Nord-EX, it’s $1,000. When seen as a two-in-one, the price appears more justified. Either way, this is a premium product geared for people who can afford it.

Best Nordic Bench For Small Spaces

Freak Athlete Nordic Mini Pro

Pros

  • The most compact Nordic bench.
  • Low price for a high-quality product.
  • Can be used by bigger athletes regardless of small size.

Cons

  • No regression options.
  • You need to use weights for counterbalance.

Best Nordic Bench For Small Spaces

Freak Athlete Nordic Mini Pro

A compact nordic bench for an apartment or small gym space.

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Freak Athlete Nordic Mini Pro

While most other options on the list are more compact than a traditional Nordic bench, the Nordic Mini Pro is the most minimalistic solution for individuals looking to save room or money.

The Freak Athletes portable alternative is 40 inches long, weighs 45 pounds, can be kept upright, and has wheels, making it the ideal Nordic bench for small spaces.

The compact size has some drawbacks, and the Min Pro is less stable than a full-size bench. Freak Athlete understands this and has included a weight plate holder at the back for up to 90 pounds to counterbalance heavier athletes.

The Nordic Mini Pro has a full-size foot plate and adjustable, highly comfortable ankle foam padding.

Because of its small size, regressions are not an option, making the Min Pro unsuitable for people who cannot do a full Nordic curl. However, at $250 and with the most portable design, this is the best Nordic bench you can buy for small places.

Best Nordic Bench For Beginners

Tib Bar Guy The Nordic Pro

Pros

  • 8 levels of regression adjustments.
  • Durability and high-quality materials at a reasonable cost.
  • Suitable for upright storage.
  • Allows for a full range of motion Nordic regressions.

Cons

  • Can only be used for Nordic curls.

Best Nordic Bench For Beginners

Tib Bar Guy The Nordic Pro

A simple no-frills Nordic bench for beginners to start with easy regressions and to progress.

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Tib Bar Guy The Nordic Pro

The Tib Bar Guy has perfected their Nordic bench game, earning another spot on our list. This time, the Nordic Pro takes the best Nordic bench for the beginner’s category.

This Nordic bench is basic yet elegant. The 8 adjustment levels make it suitable for beginners, allowing you to begin with the simplest regressions and progressively graduate to a full Nordic curl.

In addition, unlike some of the other models on the list, the design allows for full-range regressions rather than just partial reps.

The Nordic Pro provides excellent value. At $299, it is comparable in quality and workmanship to more expensive models.

Another advantage of this bench is its compact size and vertical storage options. Most beginners might want to pick the Nordic Weight bench because it is less expensive, however the Nordic Pro is far superior for Nordic Curls and has better quality.

The Nordic Pro’s regression arms and affordable price make it an ideal addition to any beginner’s garage gym.

Best Dedicated Nordic Bench

Rogue Floor Glute Bench

Pros

  • As a full-sized bench, this provides the best experience for Nordic curls.
  • High-quality materials guarantee exceptional durability.
  • More compact than commercial GHD machines.

Cons

  • No exercise variety. You can only do Nordic curls.

Best Dedicated Nordic Bench

Rogue Floor Glute Bench

Heavy duty flat Nordic bench for the hardcore lifters. No adjustments but wide enough to allow any size lifter.

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Rogue Floor Glute Bench

The Rogue Floor Glute bench is best suited for those with a fully functional garage gym and the room and funds to invest in a single-use piece of equipment.

The Rogue Floor Glute flawlessly performs only one function: Nordic curls. Unlike other, more compact options, where your head and chest are in the air, this 62-inch-long full-size bench allows you to stay above the bench the entire time.

The bench is made from 11-gauge steel and has a laser-cut footplate and laser-cut side plates with the Rogue logo. Although it is mid-range ($600), you are paying that amount for a piece of equipment usable for a single exercise.

The Rogue Floor Glute is the best no-frills bench available if you have the floor space and are searching for a full-sized, dedicated Nordic curl bench of the highest caliber.

Best Nordic Attachment

Tib Bar Guy EZ Nord

Pros

  • Easy to use, and it turns a weight bench into a Nordic bench.
  • A cheap way to do Nordics if you already have a weight bench.
  • Much more comfortable than Nordic straps.

Cons

  • Lacks a foot plate to press your feet against.

Best Nordic Attachment

Tib Bar Guy EZ Nord

No need for a dedicated Nordic bench, just attach this to your weight bench.

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Tib Bar Guy EZ Nord

While there are compact benches on the market, none of them can compare to the size and portability of the Tib Bar Guy EZ Nord. With this easy add-on, practically any regular weight bench may be converted into a Nordic bench.

Two straps make it simple to install and remove the system. It’s one of the most convenient and portable options for Nordics, and it’s constructed from sturdy steel.

Although there are even lighter Nordics straps on the market, they are not convenient. The EZ Nord’s premium ankle and shin protection ensures that this notoriously difficult exercise is at least tolerable.

This $99 option is great for those who frequent a commercial gym without a dedicated GHD machine or already have a standard bench at home.

Benefits Of A Nordic Bench

Nordic benches are used to isolate the hamstrings. These muscles are massively important in all kinds of athletic movements but are not very easy to train.

Nordic curls are one of the most effective and difficult exercises for hitting the hamstrings, and dedicated benches allow you to perform Nordic curls in the best possible way.

Here are some benefits of doing Nordic curls, accompanied by supporting clinical studies.

Increase Angle Of Peak Torque

Beneficial eccentric adaptations include preferentially targeting Type IIX muscle fibers [1], considerable strength gains [2], and changing the length-tension relationship up and to the right to improve force generation at longer muscle lengths [3].

It accomplishes this by joining sarcomeres in series, which lengthens muscle fibers and results in longer hamstrings.

These are all beneficial adaptations for explosive athletic movements.

Reduced Risk Of Injury

Numerous studies have been conducted on the Nordic hamstring curl and its ability to prevent sports injuries. Unfortunately, several studies have compared the Nordic hamstring exercise to no hamstring training instead of other exercises and training methods.

All of this teaches us that doing something is better than doing nothing.

However, a meta-analysis of Nordic hamstring research shows a 51% reduction in hamstring injuries compared to a control group or continuing regular activity [4].

Supramaximal Eccentric Training

Eccentric adaptations can only be simulated with loads that exceed the concentric one-rep maximums. The Nordic hamstring curl falls into this category because you can only lower yourself and not curl back up (unless you are extraordinarily strong).

How To Pick The Best Nordic Bench

Nordic Bench

Versatility

The first and second points are intertwined and essential when selecting a Nordic bench.

They were initially built for only one purpose—Nordic curls—but many models available today may be converted into other machines, usually for back extensions.

This is ideal for home gym owners with limited floor space or those who cannot afford separate machines. I chose the Nordic Hyper GHD as the best Nordic Bench for a home gym because it combines 6 machines.

If you don’t need that much versatility, the Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension is the perfect solution, combining the two primary machines for the posterior chain at a much more affordable price. 

Size

The size of the Nordic benches impacts their stability and the floor space they take up. Bigger benches, such as the full-sized Rogue Floor Glute, provide more stability and comfort, but they also occupy the most space.

Foldable solutions that can be sorted upright, like most benches on this list, are ideal for a compact home gym. When selecting a Nordic bench, you must make a decision and sacrifice something.

Smaller and more adaptable benches save room and money by eliminating the need for extra equipment, but full-sized dedicated machines are always superior at the exercises for which they were designed.

Stability & Construction

The third point relates to the first two. As previously said, the larger the bench, the more stable it will be. Nordic curls are challenging, and any instability on the bench makes them even harder.

Furthermore, the bench’s structure will determine its durability. Higher-quality steel, welds, and assembly almost assure lifelong durability for a home gym.

Price

The price of Nordic benches might vary considerably. From $100 for the EZ Nord to $1000 for the premium options, you must analyze everything described above and select the deal that best balances adaptability, size, and price.

Frequently Asked Nordic Bench Questions

What is The Best Bench For Nordic Hamstring Curl?

The best bench for Nordic hamstring curls depends on your needs. A specialized full-sized bench, such as the Rogue Floor Glute, is ideal for full curls, but it is not recommended for beginners because it cannot be used for regressions and takes up a lot of space in a home gym.

Products like the Tib Bar Guy Nordic Back Extension strike an optimal balance between adaptability, portability, and pricing.

Do You Need a Nordic Bench?

The Nordic curl is a highly effective exercise for building the posterior chain in the lower body, resulting in improved sports performance and fewer knee issues. To execute Nordic curls, you will need a Nordic bench or, at least, an attachment like an EZ Nord or a Nordic strap to adapt a conventional bench.

There are different ways to execute Nordic curls- with a partner, bands, or others, but the best option is to use a dedicated bench.

Are Nordic Curls Better Than RDLs?

Each exercise provides a different purpose. Nordic curls are more effective at producing a supramaximal eccentric stimulus while also targeting the lower and inner hamstrings. The Romanian deadlift is superior for training the hamstrings at extended muscle lengths and targeting the upper and outer hamstrings.

Summary

As someone who struggles with space in my home gym, I appreciate the Freak Athletic Nordic Hyper GHD’s insane versatility and have chosen it as the best Nordic bench.

However, the list I’ve curated has options for different budgets, needs, and spaces, so choose according to your situation.

Best Nordic Bench

Freak Athlete Nordic Hyper GHD

Most versatile nordic bench combines 6 machines into 1 giving ultimate home gym efficiency.

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Freak Athlete Nordic GHD

References

  1. Douglas, J., Pearson, S., Ross, A., & McGuigan, M. (2017). Chronic adaptations to eccentric training: a systematic review. Sports Medicine47(5), 917-941.
  2. Douglas, J., Pearson, S., Ross, A., & McGuigan, M. (2018). Effects of accentuated eccentric loading on muscle properties, strength, power, and speed in resistance-trained rugby players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research32(10), 2750-2761.
  3. Brughelli, M., & Cronin, J. (2007). Altering the length-tension relationship with eccentric exercise. Sports Medicine37(9), 807-826.
  4. Van Dyk, N., Behan, F. P., & Whiteley, R. (2019). Including the Nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes. British journal of sports medicine, 53(21), 1362-1370.

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James de Lacey James is a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. He owns Sweet Science of Fighting, is a published scientific researcher and has completed his Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. He's combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.