warm up your legs and strengthen your abdominals and lower back. This exercise is also beneficial for stretching your hamstrings.
When you raise your leg in this exercise, your other leg may lift off the floor. Make sure that your other leg remains on the floor throughout the exercise. It is also important to make sure that you keep both of your hips on the floor throughout Leg Raises
. To avoid arching your neck, you should lengthen your neck by tucking your chin toward your chest.
Only raise your leg until you feel a comfortable stretch. It is more important to keep your lower back pressed into the floor and your shoulders relaxed down than it is to raise your leg as high as possible. Even if you are flexible, make sure you do not move your leg past a 90-degree angle with the floor.
You should use caution performing Leg Raises
if you have problems with your neck or lower back.
What can I do to make this exercise easier?
|Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet together.|
|Place your arms on the floor at your sides, with your palms facing down.
(Your arms should be straight, but your elbows should not be locked.)
|Tuck your chin toward your chest to lengthen your neck.
(Your shoulders should be relaxed and down.)
|Exhale and press your lower back into the floor.
(Make sure your lower back remains pressed into the floor throughout the exercise.)
|Flex your right foot.|
|Inhale and lift your right leg toward the ceiling.
(Keep your leg straight, but do not lock your knee as you raise your leg.)
(Your leg should not move past a 90-degree angle with the floor.)
|Exhale and lower your right leg back down to the floor.
(As you lift and lower your leg, press through your heel and visualize your entire leg lengthening)
|Repeat steps 6 and 7 three to eight times.|
|Repeat steps 1 to 8 for your other side.|
To make Leg Raises easier, begin the exercise with one leg bent and the sole of your foot on the floor. Keep your foot on the floor as you raise and lower your other leg. This modification also helps to keep your lower back pressed into the floor, which protects your lower back from strain.
How can I make Leg Raises more challenging?
Once you feel comfortable raising one leg, you can perform the exercise raising both legs at the same time. As you perform this variation, remember to keep your lower back pressed into the floor and your shoulders relaxed. If you need extra support for your back, you can place your palms face down under your buttocks. Raise and lower your legs six to ten times. This variation makes the exercise more challenging for your abdominals and lower back.