How To Do Side Lying Leg Lifts Properly

You still can target a host of muscles all through your body with the side lying leg lifts.

Since they are a bodyweight exercise, the lifts work through your lower back, core, glutes and hamstrings.

There are a lot of benefits that this exercise comes with. Moreover, performing the lifts is easy even for a beginner.

This article takes you through all the critical aspects of the workout. Here are steps to follow in performing the side lying leg lifts.

  • Lie on your left side on a yoga mat.
  • Place a little towel or the palm of your right hand beneath your head to keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Keep your chin tucked in throughout the workout.
  • Stabilize your upper body by placing your left hand on the left hip or in front of your waist.
  • Tuck in your pelvis and your lower your ribs.
  • Activate your core.
  • Without locking your knees, stretch your legs and remember they are stack together.
  • Maintain a straight line alignment.
  • Lift your left leg around 10–15 inches away from your right leg while keeping your alignment.
  • Pause at the height of the movement.
  • Slowly bring your leg back up to the beginning position.
  • Repeat the steps with the opposite side.

WHAT MUSCLES DO SIDE LYING LEG LIFTS WORK?

As stated earlier, the side lying leg lifts work a host of muscles in your body. They include the following.

CORE

There are two primary functions of the core muscles.

  • Allow the spine to take on less weight.
  • As well as transferring force from the lower body to the upper body, they also do the opposite.

Core strength helps you avoid injury and while performing the lying leg raises.

HAMSTRINGS

The hamstrings help with the movement of your knees and hips during the raise.

HIP FLEXORS

Hip flexors located on top of the thigh and aid in hip rotation.

GLUTES

Your glutes support leg raising by enabling hip rotation. They also hold your pelvis in place, thereby giving you better balance.

LOWER BACK MUSCLES

Lower back muscles assist in supporting the spine. The erector spinae – which is part of the lower back muscles – helps elevate, arch, and bend your lower back.

SIDE LYING LEG LIFTS BENEFITS

There are numerous advantages to performing side lying leg lifts as part of your strength training regimen.

Here they are.

STRENGTH

The gluteus minimus and gluteus medius muscles, which are responsible for pushing your leg away from your body, gain more strength.

You also build core strength from this side lying leg lifts because they activate your core, abs and hip flexors.

MOBILITY OF THE HIPS

Leg raises can help strengthen the hip abductor muscles to lift your leg away from your body.

MUSCLE ENDURANCE

Your glutes, core, hamstrings, lower back and hip flexors become more solid.

ALTERNATIVES TO SIDE LYING LEG LIFTS

While the side lying leg lifts are excellent in working your lower body muscles, consider the following variations.

How to do it:

  • Make a fist and extend your arms out before you, or place your hands on your hips, to begin.
  • Make sure to maintain a straight posture with your toes pointed forward.
  • Lift your right leg off the floor with the foot flexed.
  • Shift the weight to your left foot.
  • Breathe in, then breathe out.
  • Bring your left knee up to meet your right knee and repeat the process.
  • Repeat for 10-12 repetitions on the other side, then move to the other side.

SIDE LYING LEG RAISE WITH WEIGHTS WITH WEIGHTS

You repeat every step of the leg lift but with weights this time. The load tied on your leg interchangeably creates more resistance.

How to do it:

  • Fix a lightweight at ankle level on your left leg.
  • Lie on your left side on a yoga mat.
  • Place a little towel or the palm of your right hand beneath your head to keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Keep your chin tucked in throughout the workout.
  • Stabilize your upper body by placing your left hand on the left hip or in front of your waist.
  • Tuck in your pelvis and your lower your ribs.
  • Activate your core.
  • Without locking your knees, stretch your legs and remember they are stack together.
  • Maintain a straight line alignment.
  • Lift your left leg around 10–15 inches away from your right leg while keeping your alignment.
  • Pause at the height of the movement.
  • Slowly bring your leg back up to the beginning position.
  • Repeat the steps with the opposite side.

SIDE LEG LIFTS ON STABILITY BALL

The side leg lifts on the stability ball powers up the outer part of the thigh. It also leads to more stability in your core.

How to do it:

  • Place the ball under your right knee while kneeling on your right side.
  • Place your right side against the ball and your right arm snugly around the ball.
  • Extend the left leg as far out to the side as possible.
  • Ensure that the right leg remains bent on the ground at all times.
  • Gradually raise and lower the left leg.

SIDE LYING LEG LIFTS MISTAKES TO AVOID

Side lying leg lift mainly push your leg away from your midline and they are a terrific workout for your lower body.

However, you may easily make the following mistakes.

  • Keeping your legs half straight as it leads to more strain on your back.
  • Locking your knees and hip misalignment. The knees should relax and soft.
  • Failing to keep a straight back as you exercise.
  • Raising the leg too high misdirects focus of the target muscle. Lower your leg when you feel pain in your lower back or obliques.
  • Not keeping your core tight builds more pressure on your back.
  • Breathe in when lifting the leg, and breathe out as you bring it down.

CONCLUSION

Incorporating side leg raises into your workout is a simple and effective technique to build your hips, thighs, and lower body. You enjoy better balance and posture. It is easy to learn and enjoyable too.