Most people do lying leg raises on the floor, which will work your abs if done correctly. In this tutorial, we show you how to make them 2 x more effective by doing them on a bench (or your bed).
Doing lying leg raises on a bench will pre-stretch your abs before you complete the raised part of the exercise. This causes better loading on the lower abs under tension and works them much harder.
The most important part of this exercise is to make sure you keep your legs relatively straight throughout and rolling your pelvis under and up as you raise your legs. If you raise your legs by bending them, you will target your hip flexor muscle instead of your lower abs.
Take a look at our video tutorial below to see the fine form points of this exercise, and if you need something to print off and take to the gym, you can find our step-by-step exercise technique further down this page.
Lying leg raise – Step-by-step technique
- Step 1: Start by lying on a bench (or your bed) with your hips just off the edge and your feet down so your tip-toes are on the floor. Breathe in.
- Step 2: As you breathe out, raise your legs up towards you, rolling your pelvis under and up to engage your lower abs.
- Step 3: As you reach the top point, your lower back should be slightly off the bench and you should feel a squeeze in your abs.
- Step 4: Breathe in as you slowly lower your legs back down past the point of the bench, so you get the stretch in your abs again. (Your toes do not need to touch the floor, and your lower back should not arch too much)
** Pro Tip #2: As you complete the exercise, think about rolling your pelvis on the raise and not over-arching your back on the lower.
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