The Leg Raise
Everyone loves a good sit-up or crunch burn, but those movements only do so much for your core strength and achieving those “six-pack” abs. This is because the range of motion for those movements is limited, only targeting your upper abs instead of your entire core.
While there are a ton of exercises that you can add to your regimen while you’re at Transcend, one of the movements we love, due to its versatility, is the leg raise. More than just an “ab” exercise, its benefits include: full core strengthening, hip stability, and lower back strengthening.
If you’re looking for a new way to challenge yourself during an ab blast, try these variations of the leg raise below:
Single leg raises on the floor:
If you are just starting out with leg raises, single leg raises are a great place to start. Lay down on a mat and bring your feet together, legs straight and your arms straight at your side, hands pressing into the mat. Take a deep breath in and push your lower back into the mat.
Then push your right heel into the ground as you raise your left leg into the air. As you raise your leg, keep your back pressed into the ground. Keep your left leg straight and point your toes as your slowly lower your left leg back toward the ground. Only lower your leg as far as you can while keeping your back pressed into the mat, avoiding leaning to one side. Repeat for 10-15 reps for 3 sets.
Double leg raises on the floor:
Lay down on a mat and bring your feet together, legs straight and your arms straight at your side, hands pressing into the mat. Take a deep breath in and push your lower back into the mat.
Raise both legs straight up into the air as far as you can keeping your legs straight and your hands pressing into the mat. Then, while squeezing your abs slowly lower your legs down back toward the floor. Only lower them as far as you can while keeping your lower back pressed into the mat, then return your legs to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 reps. Try 3 sets of 10-15 reps for 3 sets and then increase reps as you get stronger.
Weighted leg raises:
Once you’ve mastered the double leg raises and feel like adding a new challenge, try a weighted leg raise. Take a light medicine ball or light dumbbell (trust me it doesn’t take much weight to increase the difficulty!) and place the ball or dumbbell between your feet. The set up is the same as the double leg raise. Slowly raise your legs off the floor while squeezing the dumbbell or medicine ball between your feet the whole time- remember to keep your back flat on the mat!
If you have any questions or are looking for even more variations, grab one of our trainers and we’ll be happy to work with you!