How To Do Heels To Heaven Exercise Properly

Heels to heaven is an exercise that attacks your lower abdominal muscles. Though it may look simplistic, it provides quite a challenge to most people.

Required equipment: Mat (optional)

  • Lie on the floor; make sure your shoulder blades are tucked down your back, and your spine is outstretched and flat against the floor.
  • From that position on the floor, lift your legs straight up with your feet flexed, stopping when your legs are perpendicular to the floor.
  • With your arms on your sides and your palms on the floor for stability, pulse your rear up and down so that you are lifting your heels towards the ceiling
  • If you wish to make the heaven to hills exercise a little more challenging, try to limit your range of motion during the pulses keeping it between one and two inches for each pulse. The smaller pulses engage your deep abdominal muscles a tad more as they try to control the movement within this range.
  • For those who are more advanced and want more of a challenge. Though it requires more coordination, you could crunch upwards or twist sideways as you pulse. This makes the exercise work your entire core instead of just your lower body. To twist, bend your arms at the elbow and bring one elbow to the opposite knee with each pulse, alternating it.
  • Remember not to hold your breath, continuously breathe throughout the movement.
  • Make sure to keep your abs engaged throughout the workout to hold the correct form and work the intended muscle.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

If regular heel to the heaven proves to be too hard, raise your fingers as you do the exercise and push them down or place your hands under your glutes as you do your workout.

You could even put your hands behind your head though they should be bent at your elbows and flexed to push behind your neck, find one of these three hand placements that make it easier and more comfortable for you.

WHAT MUSCLES DO HEELS TO HEAVEN WORK?

Heels to heaven touch mainly on muscles on your midsection, such as your upper and lower abs. They also work your obliques along the side of your body.

BENEFITS OF HEELS TO HEAVEN

STRENGTHEN YOUR CORE MUSCLES

Heels to heaven activate most of the primary muscles throughout your abdomen, including your transverse abdominis, your rectus abdominals (which most people refer to as the six-pack muscles), your upper and lower abs.

All are activated when you pull your legs up at a ninety-degree angle and as you resist them from touching the ground on their way down.

INCREASES STABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY

With practice and more reptation of the exercise, it will enhance the stability of your lower back, the flexibility in your hip flexors, and increase their range.

OVERALL BODY FAT REMOVAL EXERCISE

Heels to heaven mostly burn the fat that’s usually present around your lower abdomen and your gut. Due to the extensive strain on your lower abs, keep your legs straight and upright at a ninety-degree angle and resist their weight as they fall. The activation of your obliques also helps burn the fat along the side of your abdomen.

EASILY ACCESSIBLE AB EXERCISE

With no equipment required to perform the exercise, it becomes a great exercise to include in your home workout routine, or wherever work out for it also requires very little space.

ALTERNATIVES TO HEELS TO HEAVEN

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

If you want a more fast-paced and engaging cardiovascular exercise, you may want to try mountain climbers.

This exercise also engages your lower and upper abs. However, it works out a more extensive range of muscles from your calves, glutes to your triceps, which you use to keep yourself upright in the press-up position.

Steps:

  • Get into a push-up position with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Make sure your body is straight and level, and your shoulders are not crunched
  • Engage your core and lift your left foot between your hands to about your chest level return it immediately and go back to the push-up position, then repeat the motion with your right foot.
  • Do as many as possible within the span of thirty seconds to a minute, depending on your lever

Remember that only one foot is on the ground, and it is to be done on a flat surface for maximum results.

BEAR CRAWLS

You require a little more space to do for this exercise since it is not stationary. If space is limited, you could move forward and backward instead of just forward.

Steps:

  • Get on all fours lifting your knees off the ground slightly.
  • Step forward with your left hand and right foot, then your right hand and left foot.
  • Draw your navel in towards your spine, keep your back straight for maximum results, and avoid injuries.

Remember to keep your core fully engaged during the workout.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE DOING HEELS TO HEAVEN

SWINGING YOUR LEGS BACK AND FORTH

Carrying the momentum of lifting your legs and using it to rock back and forth in the air past the perpendicular angle you are supposed to create is a common mistake.

Instead, once your legs create a perpendicular angle to the floor, push your heels towards the ceiling keeping this angle.

NOT ENGAGING THE CORE

Keeping your core engaged throughout the exercise is paramount since it is mainly the target muscle and should be used to lift your legs together with your obliques.

BENDING YOUR KNEES AS YOU LIFT YOUR LEGS

Shortening your legs as it is put causes less activation of your lower score because it reduces the weight of your legs exposed to gravity.

This makes the workout easier and causes less challenge to your lower abs. Keep your legs straight as you lift your heels towards the ceiling and back down.

CONCLUSION

There is only one significant downside to doing heels to the heaven exercise. That is, it may cause lower back and neck injuries mostly brought about if you do not use the proper form.

Otherwise, this exercise will heavily work your lower and upper abs, including your obliques. It will add your overall muscular strength and toning your physique even more.