6 inches exercise is an easy-to-do isometric exercise that works on your abs. It is also known as leg raises or floor raises.
To do the 6 inches exercise:
- Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs stretched out and your arms by your sides.
- Pull your navel towards the floor.
- Contract your abs to lift your head and shoulders off the floor.
- Keep your lower back on the floor at all times.
- While lifting your head and shoulders, lift your legs straight off the floor until they are about 6 inches off the ground.
- Hold this position for three counts, relax your legs then repeat.
- If you have difficulty raising both legs, lift up one leg off the floor while the other one is bent at the knee.
- Try doing two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
For maximum results from the 6 inches exercise, you need to do it at least three times a week.
What muscles do 6 inches exercise work?
This is a workout that you can do without weights. It may not seem as engaging but it does work on a number of muscles.
It primarily targets your abs. These are the muscles at the front of your abdomen, what gives you a six-pack.
It is also considered reverse crunches.
The exercise helps strengthen your core which helps keep you balanced and stable.
These are two abdominal muscles. There are internal obliques and external obliques. These muscles help your trunk flex and rotate. The external oblique is thickest and runs from the lower ribs to the iliac crest.
The internal oblique lies under the internal muscle which originates from the iliac crest and ends at the pubic bone.
This exercise can help tone these muscles and reduce fat around the area.
This exercise can help strengthen the quadriceps. These are the muscles at the front of the thigh.
Additionally, this exercise is used to stabilize people with instability. It can also be used to rehabilitate a knee injury.
The exercise is used to strengthen your core. The core is made up of many muscles from the diaphragm to the paraspinal muscles at the back and the gluteal muscles.
Your core muscles are used for stability, balance and helping move your arms and legs.
Strengthening your core using this exercise helps reduce the risk of injury when doing day to day activities.
Benefits of 6 inches exercise
There are numerous benefits to this exercise.
1. Reduce the risk of injury
This exercise strengthen muscles in your torso and legs. Strengthening those muscles helps reduce the risk of injury when you are lifting, pushing, walking or running.
Strengthening your core also helps you remain fit for other exercises. This reduces the risk of developing injury when doing more intense exercise.
2. Reduce the risk of lower back pain
As mentioned earlier, this exercise helps work on your lower back muscles.
Doing it regularly helps reduce the risk of lower back pain, back injuries and back strain during your day to day activities.
3. Increase your flexibility and strength
Repetition of this exercise helps increase your ab definition.
Due to the increased support that your core receives from this exercise, you can improve your flexibility.
4. Increase your hip agility
Doing this exercise helps increase your hip flexor agility. When you do bent-knee or straight leg 6 inches exercise, you engage your hip joints.
However, this should be done in moderation or after consulting your doctor if you have arthritis or recovering from a hip injury.
Alternatives to 6 inches exercise
You can add variations to this exercise or use different exercises to work on your abs to alleviate boredom.
Monotony can make you feel discouraged when doing an exercise. This will help keep you engaged and energized to do your workouts.
1. Leg Marches
To do this exercise:
- Lie on your back with your knees raised, feet flat on a flat surface and arms by your side.
- Lift your backside until your body is in a straight line.
- Without straightening your leg, press your supporting heel into the ground then lift one leg off the ground.
- Bring the knee straight to your chest until it’s in line with your hips.
- Return your foot and repeat with the other leg.
- Do this 20 times.
This exercise helps target your core, glutes and hips.
2. Glute leg lifts
This is a good alternative to the 6 inches exercise that targets the core. It also works on your glutes, hips and hamstrings.
To do this exercise:
- Lie on a bed or bench belly down.
- Slide until your legs hang off the bench. Your hip bone should be about six inches from the edge.
- Engage your core and lift your navel away from the bench.
- Keep your heels together and your toes apart. Lift your legs upward without arching your back too much.
- Lower halfway and do it at least 20 times.
6 inches exercise mistakes to avoid
To ensure you are doing this exercise correctly, avoid the following mistakes:
1. Arching your back
When you arch your back, you don’t engage your abs. Your hips are doing all the lifting.
This can also put strain on the lower back which can lead to pain or injury.
Ensure your lower back stays on the ground.
2. Putting your hands under your hips
Some people may suggest putting your hands under your lower back can help make the 6 inches exercise easier.
Unfortunately, this can lead to an arched lower back.
3. Flexing your neck
Don’t lift your neck when doing this exercise. It can lead to serious strain or soreness in the neck muscles.
To avoid this mistake, leave your head on the ground.
4. Doing it too fast
If you do this exercise too quickly, you could be relying on gravity and momentum rather than your core.
Doing it slowly helps you keep your core engaged and enables you to maintain good form. This minimizes the risk of injury.
5. Holding your breath
Make sure you exhale when lifting and inhale when bringing your legs down.
This exercise is brilliant for people who want to work on their abs and strengthen their backs. However, it is important to consult your doctor first if you have a history of back pain.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]