The leg raise is a great exercise for your core, but it can also be a great way to build your six-pack abs. The exercises are simple, and you can even do them at home!
Leg lifts are one of the most underrated fitness exercises. They aren’t generic and more popular than your regular sit-ups and crunches, but leg raises are a great way to work your core, hip flexors, and strengthen your back muscles without risking destroying your spine. vertebral.
Leg elevation progressions are also often overlooked, so we’ve put together this definitive guide for all fitness levels; from beginners to advanced.
Why lift your legs?
Stronger hip flexors
Do you feel weak and tight in your weak flexors? While stretching can help to some extent, strengthen this area using leg raises will give a better result. Tightness is a manifestation of weakness, which is why raising the legs is perfect for solving the problem.
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Crunches and sit-ups have their place, but it’s mostly for beginners. You don’t want to and don’t need to make hundreds of them.
Leg lifts provide a progressive exercise that will always be a challenge wherever you are on your fitness journey. Exercise targets your entire rectus abdominis in its full functions which are perfect for building bigger abdominal muscles.
Base transferable strength
The hollow body position at the bottom allows maximum resistance of the body line. Strength gains are transferable to many Swedish gymnastics movements that can lead to More advanced calisthenics training.
The hanging leg raise is by no means an easy exercise, but it is easy to adjust the intensity to initiate progressive overload. Leg lift has many variations, so you can start applying it to your routine at any level.
Stabilization of the scapula
Whether you choose the suspended or supported variant, you must perform the movement with a sunken shoulder blade. This trains the muscle to switch to stronger pull-ups, dips, and other movement patterns.
When you switch to the hanging leg progression, you need to grab the bar for long periods of time so that you can do reps during your workout. You might not notice it, but your grip gets stronger over time, which is perfect for your pull-up workouts.
General development of core strength
As mentioned earlier, performing the hanging leg lifts helps develop a stronger core and hips (and to some extent, arms and legs). You also realize the other health benefits to have a strong core such as better posture, healthier spine, better balance and much more.
Good back health
Traditional abdominal training typically involves sit-ups and crunches. Studies show that these popular floor ab trainers could damage your back and build the wrong muscle group.
The legs raise, without putting unnecessary pressure on the lower back, mainly target, focus and develop our abdominal muscles.
Suspended Leg Raises vs Support Leg Raises
The two exercises are very related / similar. As you will notice, both exercises require you to lift your legs, engage your lower abs and hip flexors. The pattern of movement for the lower body is similar.
The main difference is the grip and action of the scapula. For suspended progression, you need to pull back your shoulders for depression. For the progression of the support grip, the scapula is pressed down while pushing down with your shoulders.
The stand / dip leg elevation is a viable option if your grip strength limits you when performing reps or if you are more interested in the push component with the given difference in scapula position.
Perform the exercise that suits your goals.
Pull or pull handle
Your grip on the bar could slightly affect your workout especially when you start the lifting movement.
A pull handle minimizes back swinging so you can maintain vertical body alignment as you lift your hips. But this grip is a bit more taxing on the shoulders and arms due to the forced external rotation.
A pull-up grip is a bit more comfortable on the shoulders and arms, but has a tendency to lean backwards which takes the strain off your abs and hip flexors and puts more load on your lats.
Choose a hold that allows you to follow a strict form.
The lie raises
Beginners can start the journey lying down. Once you have mastered this exercise, you can move on to the suspended variation.
General rules of form
Performing any progression and variation in leg elevation, whether it is stretched, plunging, or hanging leg raises, requires proper form. This is the only way to get the most out of exercise.
Take note of these tips below and strive to avoid mistakes and make mistakes.
- Move slowly and in control. Avoid the use of momentum
- Depressed scapula
- Complete full range of motion for specific progression
- Avoid leaning back with your upper body
- Choose an appropriate variation for your skill level
- Keep the posterior pelvic tilt in a low position
- TO BREATHE! Inhale upwards then exhale downwards
- Point your toes (unless you are using your feet to hold a dumbbell for weighted variations)
- For an elongated progression, keep your lower back resting on the floor before lifting your legs.
- Roll your hips forward.
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