Leg Raise | How is it done? Benefits and Common Mistakes

By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.

Leg Raise

Il Put raise it is a great exercise to train the abdominal muscles. The rectus abdominis is the muscle most involved in the flexion movement of the spine, in particular the focus is on the lower portion of this muscle.

This does not mean that there are high abs and low abs, it rather means that the muscle fibers of the lower portion of the rectus abdominis are mostly recruited. There are studies that measure the activity of a muscle under stress and it has been found that in the movements in which the trunk flexes on the legs, the activation of the upper area of ​​the rectus abdominis is greater.

In spinal flexion movements in which the legs flex on the torso, the activation is greater in the lower fibers of this muscle.

Execution and Errors

The movement is relatively simple. From a position of hang (hanging from the bar) contract the abdominals and flex the lower back bringing the legs upwards until they touch the bar.

Then return to the starting position in a controlled manner and without excessive oscillations. In the initial phase of the movement it is necessary exhale deeply and contract the abdominal transversus, this will give a greater activation of the abdominals and at the same time will also train the transversus with greater benefits in terms of aesthetic results and stability.

The pelvis must not form an angle which then closes with the legs. It is as if the lower part of the body rolls upwards; the pelvis must form a curve. This is important because the function of the abdominals is to flex the spine. If only the legs are raised upwards, the abdominals work only to maintain stability and not actively to perform this movement.

If, on the other hand, the lumbar region is flexed, rolling the pelvis upwards, the rectus abdominis actively works as a flexor of the spine.

In the first case the contribution of the flexor muscles of the pelvis is predominant, in the second case (the correct one) it is still present but very small.

Movement must always be controlled and focus on contraction of the abdominal muscle rather than moving the body from the starting point to the starting point.

Don't focus on number of repetitionsrather on the quality of these repetitions. When you feel that you are starting to lose correct execution, finish the exercise because there is no reason to keep doing repetitions that do not lead to benefits.


The leg raise is an exercise that allows you to stimulate the abdominals effectively. The reasons are manifold.

? High range of motion. More muscle fibers are therefore recruited.

? The legs represent a heavier weight than the torso, consequently a leg raise will undoubtedly be a more effective exercise than a crunch.

? Strong stress in the eccentric phase of the movement. In this movement the range of motion is high and the weight lifted is also high. This allows the eccentric phase of the exercise to be heavily overloaded and this is a key point in stimulating hypertrophy.

This overload, combined with the activation of a greater number of muscle fibers, leads to greater muscle tone at rest


Probably not all of them manage to perform correctly a repetition of a leg raise, this is because it is not an easy exercise. You can therefore start with the same movement but keeping the knees bent rather than the legs straight.

As you progress you can gradually extend your legs progressively increasing the difficulty. It is important to always proceed step by step and never do exercises that you are unable to do correctly.

Execution is key, if you miss that then there is no longer any reason in the exercise from which you can no longer benefit.

When you can successfully perform up to 12-15 repetitions of this exercise you can move on to more difficult variations. You can add weight by squeezing a dumbbell with your feet. You can also add an extra movement to this exercise: in the position of maximum contraction, extend the pelvis by contracting the buttocks.

This leads to a hang position upside down. Then flex the pelvis and return to the position of maximum contraction of the leg rise. Perform the movement in a controlled manner. The movement of extending the pelvis, bringing it up, obliges to maintain a firm and stable position and therefore to have control of the position.

Then flexing the pelvis is necessary control movement with your abs and return to a position of maximum contraction of these.

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