Since the lower portion of the stomach is such a problematic area for so many people, this is an extremely common lower stomach exercise. The upright leg lift exercise is both easy to do and when done properly, it’s quite effective – done properly being the key words. Unfortunately, people rarely seem to perform the upright leg lift exercise to its full potential. By simply elevating your legs (as most people do), you’re actually targeting your hip flexors more than the abdominals.
Sure, the abs are recruited, but they’re recruited as a movement stabilizer more than anything. To get a more effective abdominal contraction, you’ll need to perform what’s known as a pelvic tilt. As the name indicates, this is accomplished by tilting your pelvis (hip bones) upwards throughout the movement execution. If you combine the pelvic tilt movement with an inhalation (draw your navel in towards your spine), you’ll properly perform what’s known as an “abdominal set”.
Doing this will protect your lower back, activate the deep muscles within the core and it will also ensure that you get the most from each contraction.
Get A Free Workout Program
Detailed Workout Programs Designed By Certified Personal Trainers.
Get Them Now!
- Grasp handles with a neutral grip and rest forearms on the padding provided. Perform abdominal set.
- Exhale and elevate your legs while making sure to rotate your pelvis forward. Your lower back should slightly curl off the padding.
- Inhale and lower your legs back down to starting position at a controlled speed.
- Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.
When performing the upright leg lift exercise, extending your legs throughout motion will increase the difficulty of the movement.
In addition to extending your legs, additional resistance can also be added by placing a medicine ball between your inner thighs.
By rotating the legs to the side (bringing your knees towards your elbows) you can target the oblique muscles (sides).
The upright leg lift exercise can also be performed while lying with your back flat on the mat/floor.