Leg Raise is the ab workout that focuses the training on the lower abs.
The correct form should be the following:
- Lie down on the floor or on a flat bench, face up
- If you are on the bench, grab the bench behind your head to find a stable position
- If you are on the floor, put you arms on the floor (cross position or beside your hips) with palms facing down to find balance
- Slightly bend your knees and raise your legs till they reach a vertical position
- Exhale while you do this movement
- Go back to the start position while you inhale
- Your feet shouldn't touch the ground during reps (this avoids abdominal relax)
As for any other exercise it is important to maintain the muscle tension all the time during reps to maximize the results.
It can be done everywhere, at the gym and at home too.
I don't do abs workout at the gym, if I did I couldn't finish my training in 45 minutes (don't train for over 45 minutes! Read the importance of short trainings).
It's the type of exercise that I leave for homework, I usually do it in the spare time, no matter whether it's morning, afternoon or evening.
Here is a picture of the leg raises just to make sure we are on the same page:
This exercise should be performed slowly and you should be careful not to arch your back, which is a common mistake.
Leg Raise Variations
This abs workout can be performed also on the stand or hanging from a bar like shown below:
The difference with these variations is that you put much more work on your flexors.
Sometimes I feel to stop because my flexors fail before my lower abs!
Hip Raise if You Want to Get the Most of It
If you really want to "suffer" and get the most from your abs workout, don't stop when your legs reach the straight up position.
Go ahead and raise your hips too, if you can. It's a very hard exercise.
I suggest to do hip raises on the floor or on a bench. Why? Many people find that doing hanging hip raises hurts their lower back and I think so too.
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