As I try to get myself into better shape, one of my favorite go-to exercises is the Lying Leg Raise. Although Exercise.com states that it’s an intermediate workout, it can be done by the novice – as long as you’re not trying to get an excessive number of reps. For example, I am completely out of shape and I can only do three sets of 10 without running out of steam to lift my feet.
The Joy of the Lying Leg Raise
What started me on this exercise was that I was getting bored with trying to do sit-ups. I wanted to mix it up a bit in the hopes of keeping myself focused. After all, boredom is what drives many people to give up on fitness. Many of you might only be able to do the same routine every week without it seeming monotonous. Luckily, Exercise.com has a myriad of core workouts that I can do to help strengthen my body. Yes, I know…I am starting to sound like an advertisement. I just really love this website.
Each repetition of the lying leg raise works on the abdomen. You’re putting strain on these core muscles in order to lift your feet up off of the ground. You’re also working out your hip flexors – those are the muscles on the outside of your thighs. Nearly any workout that consists of constantly moving your legs will help strengthen these.
Focus of the Activity
Like many other exercises, the lying leg raise is centered around repetition. This means that each time you lift your legs up and put them down again equals a count of one. Currently, my record is 17 – but remember, I am also 270+ pounds of out-of-shape 40-year old. I got a long way to go. However, I plan on beating this record next week during my fitness challenge.
How to Do This Exercise:
- Lay flat on your back. I use a yoga mat for just about all of my exercises as it’s far more comfortable than my floor.
- Place your hands under your butt to provide support. Personally, I hold onto 10 pound dumbbells on either side of my body for support. This makes it easy to jump into a dumbbell floor press after the set of leg raises.
- Lift your legs together until they’re vertical, or at least as close to vertical as you can get. I am severely out of shape and I am able to get my legs vertical as demonstrated in the video below.
- Lower your legs back down, but do not touch the floor. This keeps the abdomen constantly flexed throughout the routine.
When doing this exercise, I don’t get winded or feel pain in my abdomen. Instead, I simply do not have the strength to continue lifting my legs after so many reps. It’s an exercise that can be done virtually anywhere – whether you’re at home or in the office. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of leg room as you don’t want to kick a printer or smash into a co-worker.
Below is the actual video that is used on Exercise.com. I make no claims regarding it, and it’s very informative regarding how to do this exercise without hurting yourself. For those looking for an easy-to-do core workout, this may be something that could be added to your routine.
Not As Easy As You Might Think
If you’re new to the lying leg raise, or exercise for that matter, don’t expect to whip out 20 or so reps. It can get tiring after a while. I know not everyone is going to be as out of shape as I am. However, don’t be disappointed in yourself if you can only reach 10 in each set. That’s how I started and increased the number over time.
This is only one of the many core exercises I love to do. During my weight loss in 2014, I recorded this workout more than 40 times – and I plan on running it up another 40 or so. If you want to view my progress as I build myself up, feel free to check out my profile. If you need help keeping motivated, don’t be afraid to send me a message. I’m always eager to help others stay the course when it comes to a healthier lifestyle.