Oh Leg Lifts, How I Loathe Thee!

That’s the happiest face I could muster while practicing leg raises!

I’ll admit, as much as I love calisthenics, I don’t necessarily LOVE practicing every move! Like many people, I often fall into the trap of only practicing my strongest moves, but ultimately we all NEED to work on our weaknesses. That’s the only way we will be able to move past our plateaus.

There are many benefits to practicing leg raises, like decompressing your spine while you hang from the bar. If you sit at a desk all day, this can be a great way to counter all that flexion and create space between the vertebrae. It’s also a great stretch for your hip flexors! Go ahead and try hanging, it feels amazing!

Strengthening your midsection will also help support your low back and decrease back pain. Make sure you practice slow, controlled reps and avoid using momentum so you can properly target the abdominal region.

Hanging from the bar is also an effective way of developing your grip strength, since your hands will support the weight of your body during the exercise. Some people actually find this to be the most difficult part. If this is an issue for you, I suggest breaking down a high number of reps into smaller sets of 5-10.

If you are unable to perform full toes to bar raises, start with hanging knee raises til you build up the strength and flexibility to do so! If standard hanging leg raises are too easy, try them with just one arm!

Good luck! Have a diesel day and thanks for tuning in, Ninjas!


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