One of the essential exercises for a firm backside is leg lifts exercise. You can do many variations to work your different muscles, but what’s great about this exercise is that it doesn’t require any equipment, and it only takes a few minutes out of your day. Here we will teach you how to perform the basic leg lifts to tone those lean muscles!
What is Leg Lifts Exercise? Leg lifts, often known as leg raises, are a type of abs isolation exercise. These are strength training exercises. You work your upper abs and your lower abs by elevating your legs over your torso. Leg lifts target your lower abs because they raise your legs off the ground.
This abdominal exercise is like V-ups, except it does not require you to move your arms. We know this exercise as “hanging leg lifts” or “hanging leg raises” because we usually do it while hanging from a bar. Leg lifts are excellent for toning your abdomen and core muscles. Furthermore, it also helps form more muscular abs, increased stability and strength, losing belly fat, and body toning. In addition, leg lifts aid in toning your stomach by entirely isolating the rectus abdominis muscle.
How to Perform Leg Lifts?
Begin with two-three sets of 10-15 repetitions for leg lifts. Choose sets and repetitions depending on your ability to maintain excellent technique throughout all sets and repetitions. Following are steps to do leg lifts properly:
- Begin by lying flat on your back on an exercise mat with your legs straight. Place your hands behind your glutes or place your arms at your sides with palms facing down.
- Throughout the action, keep your chin tucked as if you were cradling an egg beneath your chin. Your ribs should be down, and you should tuck your pelvis.
- Lift your legs off the ground and point your toes away from your body while engaging your core. This is where you should start all repeats.
- Lift your legs 3-5 inches away from your starting position while keeping your alignment. At the top of the movement, take a breather.
- Slowly lower your legs until they are just above the ground, maintaining your core engaged and your body in contact with the workout mat. At the bottom of the movement, come to a complete halt.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Muscles Involved in Leg Lifts
The leg lift is a bodyweight exercise that works all of your muscles, including lower and upper abs, hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, and hip flexors. However, the muscle it targets will depend on the form you use and your starting position.
To target the rectus abdominis muscle on the front of your abdomen, use the leg hip raises. In this exercise, you raise both your hips and legs. Then, hang from a high horizontal bar, bend both your hips and knees as you lift your knees to your shoulders, or maintain your knees relatively straight as you raise your feet to the bar.
You can get the same outcomes by performing comparable actions while clutching parallel bars or lying on a bench. We also call lying leg-hip lifts reverse crunches.
Furthermore, several machines can assist you in lifting your knees to your chest, allowing you to target your obliques more directly than other leg lifts. For example, in a twisting leg lift crunch machine, your knees rise and move to one side as your torso falls in the opposite direction.
Similarly, to shift the focus of leg lifts to the hip flexors, use the same actions you used for leg hip raises but don’t raise your hips. For example, in a hanging straight leg-hip raise, you bend your hips to lift your legs into a horizontal position, but you also elevate your hips, pushing your feet up and leaving your legs in a vertical position.
In this exercise, you can target the iliopsoas muscles surrounding your hips and lower back, but it also works other hip flexors and some hip abductors. In addition, you can intensify most leg raises by carrying a dumbbell between your feet or wearing ankle weights, just as other bodyweight leg lifts. But when performing exercises where your feet elevate directly above your body, avoid using a dumbbell.
Physical Skills it Improves.
Leg lifts are a great way to improve the strength and definition of your abs, as well as the control you have over your core muscles. Changing your leg’s position from bent to straight changes the workout’s focus and targets different abdominal muscles.
Leg raises are a great way to reduce the risk of back pain, back strain, and back injury while doing other workouts or everyday activities. Leg lifts strengthen the lower back while also increasing flexibility and strength because they focus on the lower abdominal muscles.
Various forms of this exercise improve the agility, flexibility, and support of hip flexors. As an abdominal and core exercise, leg lifts also provide increased back support.
- The most common blunder made by leg lifters is the arching of the back. But when your lower back rises off the ground, the emphasis changes from your abs to your hip flexors. Your abs won’t gain many benefits because they are not lifting the burden at that point. This arching puts more strain on your lower back joints, ligaments, and bones, which can lead to pain or injury.
- When doing leg lifts, you have probably heard it’s good to put your hand under your tailbone for extra support. While this change may make the exercise feels easier for some people, it frequently results in you overarching your lower back.
- Another common blunder is people stretching their necks as hard as they can off the ground. It might put stress on your neck, causing soreness and pain.
Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program if you have a past or pre-existing health issue. However, you can also do leg lifts while sitting on the chair if you have knee problems, arthritis, or other impairments. You can do it:
- Sit in a chair. Place your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Make sure your back is straight.
- Raise your right leg by extending your right knee. Return to your original starting position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
At last, pay great attention to your body when exercising, and stop immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort. Incorporate correct warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your training regimen to get the maximum benefits and see continuous growth and build body strength.
Last word on leg lifts exercise
The leg lift is a bodyweight exercise that will work your lower and upper abs, hamstrings, lower back, quadriceps, and hip flexors. This article has shown you two different leg lifts to target various muscle groups on your abdomen, depending on your most important muscles. Have you achieved success with this exercise? Let us know how it went in the comments!