How To Do Reverse Leg Lifts Properly

Reverse leg lifts are exercises that are comfortable to perform in various forms and places. It involves raising your legs towards your back, and it has multiple variations.

To perform this exercise, you can use a machine. On the other hand, you can decide to do it on a mat, bench, sturdy object like a chair, or even on your bed!

The bigger concern is how effectively you engage the muscles targeted by this exercise.

The muscles target the lower back muscles and your glutes, hamstrings, and spinal erectors to a lesser extent.

It also activates the lower and upper abs, quadriceps, and hip flexors.

Reverse leg lifts are strength-building exercises that strengthen your glutes and improve your hip mobility. They also help to stabilize the core and give you balance.

HOW TO DO REVERSE LEG LIFTS PROPERLY

We will choose the lying down workout, which is efficient, affordable, and can be easily incorporated into other workouts.

  • Lay down your mat and get on all fours. Place your arms shoulder-width apart with your knees under your hips.
  • Keep a straight spine and maintain it throughout the exercise. Your neck should be in line with your head. This will be your start position.
  • Engage your core and tighten your abs. Straighten your right leg behind to raise it to the hip level as you squeeze your glutes.
  • Avoid raising your leg above your hips. Instead, keep breathing between the movements.
  • Slowly lower the leg back to the original position. Repeat with the left leg to complete a set.
  • You can try the exercise with the leg bent at the knee to alternate the exercise routine. Perform 10-12 repetitions.

REVERSE LEG LIFTS MUSCLES WORKED

The reverse leg lifts primarily focus on your lower back muscles, also activating your glutes and hamstrings. It also activates your cores, legs, and arms.

LOWER BACK MUSCLES

The muscles include the latissimus dorsi and the erector spinae.

Latissimus dorsi is a large and flat muscle that covers the width of the middle and lower back. It’s also referred to as the lats. The muscles connect the bone of the upper arm to the spine and the hip.

The lats are responsible for extension, abduction, flexion, and internal rotation of the shoulder joint. They also help in protecting and stabilizing your spine. Moreover, they provide strength to your shoulders and back.

Exercising the lats improves your posture and helps with shoulder and arm movements.

The erector spinae is also one of the back muscles. The muscle helps in the extension, lateral flexion, and rotation of the spinal joints.

Exercising the erector spinae increases strength in your movements and workouts. Strengthening this muscle helps to make explosive movements and rotations.

In reverse leg lifts, the lower back muscles help to stabilize your spine during lifts. As a result, they help maintain a straight spine throughout the exercise.

Working your back muscles helps prevent injury and reduces lower back pain. It also helps maintain a good posture shaping your abdominal area into an admirable one.

GLUTES

They are also referred to as the butts or the hips. They are the longest and strongest muscles in your body. There are three glute muscles; gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

They are responsible for the movement of the hip joint. They ease the abduction and extension of the thigh. Additionally, they facilitate the thigh’s adduction, external rotation, and internal rotation.

The glutes help you push your body forward in day-to-day activities and keep you upright.

Exercising the glutes improves your pelvic alignment and helps prevent knee injuries. For example, in reverse leg lifts, you squeeze your glutes to help you lift the leg to a hip level. It also supports your back during the movements.

HAMSTRINGS

Your hamstrings are muscles on the back of your thigh from the hip inserted to the knee. They consist of hamstrings tendons that attach to your pelvis, knee, and lower leg bones.

Hamstrings help your hip and knee movements while tilting your pelvis, walking, or bending your knees.

They also help in preventing knee injuries and lower back pain. Additionally, they are responsible for your flexibility and posture.

Strong hamstrings increase your flexibility and improve your body posture. They also help in the smooth functioning of your hips, back, legs and knees. In addition, the hamstrings increase your overall leg strength.

BENEFITS OF REVERSE LEG LIFTS

Like any other physical activity, reverse leg lifts have great outcomes for your body if done right. This exercise is the best fit for beginners.

1.      IMPROVES BODY BALANCE AND POSTURE

The reverse leg lifts focus primarily on muscles responsible for your upright posture. Therefore exercising the muscles helps improve and increase your overall body balance. In addition, the muscles like the erector spinae and the glutes are responsible for your posture. Therefore, they are targeted during the workout.

2.      HELPS IN LENGTHENING AND TONING YOUR MUSCLES

Stretching your muscles helps to lengthen them and keep them toned. Muscles such as the hamstring, if well-exercised, remain stretched, reducing injury risk and lower back pain. Likewise, activating the glutes increases muscle mass, improving your body shape, especially the butts.

3.      IMPROVES YOUR SPEED, ENDURANCE, AND AGILITY

Fast speed, endurance, and agility are core values for the best athlete. Reverse leg lifts help to increase and improve the values by targeting muscles such as the hamstrings and hip flexors.

4.      IMPROVES YOUR HIP MOBILITY

The hips provide a stable foundation for the spine to keep the body upright. Therefore, excellent hip mobility is essential for proper movements and great posture.

The reverse leg lifts help achieve this by targeting the hip flexors muscles. The muscles are responsible for lower body movement.

ALTERNATIVE TO REVERSE LEG LIFTS

V-UPS

V-ups are an alternative workout that targets similar muscles as the reverse leg lifts. The exercise requires just a mat to alternate the workout without moving.

How to do V-ups:

  • Lay your back on the mat, bring your arms above your head, and fully extend. Keep them aligned with your head; don’t let them touch the ground.
  • Then, with your legs straight, lift them over the ground bringing them towards you. Simultaneously raise your arms to touch your toes and lay back down. Repeat the moves.

L-SIT

Like the two exercises, the L-sit also requires a mat to be performed. It also targets the same muscles.

How to do L-sit

  • Assume a seated position on the mat. Place your palms to the ground facing the ground and a little ahead of your hips on each side.
  • Press the floor with your palms to lift your butt off the ground. Keep a rounded back and don’t shrug your shoulders. You should fully extend your arms on your sides. Hold this position for seconds, and then lower back to the original position.

REVERSE LEG LIFTS MISTAKES TO AVOID

1.       AVOID FAST MOVEMENTS

For the effectiveness of the exercise, perform the movements in a controlled manner. This helps to engage and work out all the targeted muscles.

2.       AVOID ARCHING YOUR BACK

Keep a straight spine throughout the exercise. Arching your back will bring unnecessary stress to your lower back muscles leading to back pain.

3.       AVOID SWINGING YOUR LEGS

Move your legs in a straight movement. Swinging your legs will fail to activate the targeted muscles. Therefore, the reverse leg lifts will not be effective.