Lying Leg Raises

If you are trying to find ways to train your core outside of traditional crunches and sit ups, you definitely will want to read our article on hanging leg raises.

But perhaps you are not yet strong enough to perform that exercise, or you do not have a pull up bar to perform them on. If either of these is the case, then you should consider adding lying leg raises as one of your core training exercises.

This article will walk you through how to do lying leg raises, and how to modify them to make them more challenging as you get stronger.

How To Do Lying Leg Raises

To begin the lying leg raise, you will need to lie down on the floor (incidentally, this is a great exercise to do at home!). Lie down on your back as if you were going to go to sleep.

Place your hands palms down on the floor next to your hips. If this is the first time you’ve done this exercise, you can actually place your hands underneath your hips, which will support them and make the exercise a little easier.

Now, lift your feet off of the ground and point your toes. Raise your legs until they are perpendicular (forming a right angle; straight up and down) to the floor.

Return your feet to the starting position just off of the floor, and repeat. You have just performed your first lying leg raise!

Mistakes To Avoid

There are a few mistakes to avoid when performing lying leg raises.

First, do not perform them too quickly. Going to fast will make it seem like you are working harder, but you actually aren’t, and you are opening yourself up to injury.

Go slow and steady! This actually puts greater demand on the abdominal area, and you will get a better workout this way.

The second mistake to avoid is arching your back. When you lower your legs, you should not have a lot of space between your back and the floor. If you do, you are not doing the exercise properly.

Tip: Tuck your chin into your chest and look down toward your toes. This will help put your spine into proper alignment for the exercise.

How To Make Lying Leg Raises Even More Challenging

As you get stronger, you will want to make this exercise more challenging, so you continue to progress and avoid stagnation. Here are three great ways to do just that.

First, the further your hands are from your hips, the harder the exercise will be. Eventually, you should be able to put your hands and arms straight out, as in a crucifix position.

Secondly, you can add a hip thrust at the top of the movement. All you have to do is drive your toes to the sky when your legs are straight up and down. Make sure you are actually lifting your hips and butt off the ground when you do this!

Lastly, you can add a hold at the end of a set. Let’s say you just did a set of 20 reps. Instead of just stopping and taking a rest, you can suspend your legs off the ground (at the starting position), and hold them there for as long as you can.

This adds another level of intensity, and is very challenging!

However you decide to perform them, lying leg raises are a fantastic addition to your core training routine!

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