How To Do Straight Leg Raise Exercise Properly

For a basic but very important exercise, the Straight Leg Raise Exercise is that multipurpose workout that can be used as physical therapy for a recovering surgery patient or a much-needed morning stretch to kick start your day.

The workout is termed as basic due to its form and technique but when it comes to its importance and benefits, it is a great workout, especially for the abs and lower back strengthening.

Sometimes we all need that exercise that works our muscles and is less intense.

HOW TO DO STRAIGHT LEG RAISE EXERCISE PROPERLY

No equipment is needed, just yoga or gym mat and you are good to go.

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Sometimes you can do it in your bed the first thing in the morning to stimulate your muscles and release tension from the long sleep.

How to do it:

How To Do Straight Leg Raise Exercise
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  • Lie flat on the mat facing up with your legs stretched out and hands by your side.
  • Bend your left leg at the knee and firmly plant your left foot on the floor. Straighten your back with a small curve at your lower back. This is your starting position.
  • With pointes toes, inhale as you raise upwards your right foot that was still extended in a slow and controlled motion.
  • Do not raise it higher than your bended knee. Engage your core to stabilize the movement and activate the abs muscles.
  • Hold the position for a count of two and then slowly lower your leg back to your starting position as you exhale.
  • Make sure to stretch your leg so that the quadriceps get to stabilize the stretching and activate.
  • Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO STRAIGHT LEG RAISE EXERCISE WORK

QUADRICEPS

The quads muscles get to be the primary muscles in this exercise since it works to extend and stabilize the kneecap when doing the workout.

Just from its name, the muscle consist of 4 individual muscles and one Part of the muscle (vastus medialis) extends and stabilizes the knee cap.

With all these engagements, the quadriceps get to activate more and help in strengthening and developing the muscles.

ABS

Your core automatically kicks into work when doing the Straight Leg Raise Exercise since the muscles are used to stabilize the motion doing the leg raises.

The rectus abdominis and oblique muscles are the muscles often at work when performing the workout, which helps strengthen and develop the muscles.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE EXERCISE BENEFITS

STRONG LEG MUSCLES    

Raising your leg up and down strengthens and develops the quadriceps muscles and hip flexors.

Tightening and engaging the key muscles helps avoid pulling your back muscles, which usually causes back pain, but will help to concentrate on activating the primary muscles and reduce tension on the lower back.

Strong leg muscles helps improve performance in multiple workout same as in sports and daily activities.

CORE STRENGTHENING

As much as you have the other foot for support, the core will still be automatically engaged to stabilize the movement and help maintain a straight leg when raised.

The muscles contracts during the raises, which facilitates muscle fat burning and strengthening of the muscles.

ALTERNATIVES TO STRAIGHT LEG RAISE EXERCISE

IN AND OUT ABS

Just like Straight Leg Raise Exercise, in and out abs works on the quads muscles, hip flexors, lower and upper abs.

When done with a correct form and technique, the mentioned muscles effectively activate.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a workout mat and place your hands behind you.
  • Take up a V-shape position by leaning backwards and raising your legs with your knees bent and shin parallel to the floor.
  • Support yourself with your hands and tighten your core to stabilize the pose.
  • Extend your legs out and then back towards your chest. Repeat the movement until you finish a set.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

BICYCLE CRUNCHES

For your core and leg muscles, bicycle crunches are a great workout for your abdominal muscles and leg muscles.

From its form and technique, the workout takes up a lot of the muscle energy mostly since it works on multiple body muscles and almost every body part is in motion.0

How to do it:

  • Lie flat on your back on a mat and raise your legs a few inches off the floor.
  • Place your hands at your temples as you raise your upper body half way. This is your starting position.
  • Bend the left knee moving it towards your right side as you simultaneously push your right elbows towards your incoming left knee. The motion should be as if the elbow and knee meet up in the middle. Crisscrossing.
  • Retract back to your starting position and repeat the motion with your right knee and left elbow.
  • The motion should be done in a smooth and controlled movement as if you are riding a bicycle by how your hands and legs are interchanging.
  • Your breathing should be even with each movement.
  • Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

STRAIGHT LEG RAISE EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

BENDING THE KNEE

Raising your extended leg will mostly feel like your leg muscles especially the thigh muscles are on fire and extremely painful. Which only proves you are doing it right.

The pressure may feel a lot and you may bend your knee to lessen the tension. Try as much as possible to maintain a locked knee by starting with fewer reps then progress with time.

FAST MOVEMENT

Raising your leg in a faster motion is outright cheating in the workout. Feel your leg and core muscles contract and stimulate as you slowly raise and lower your leg in each rep.

Allow your muscles to activate with each movement.

CONCLUSION

Straight Leg Raise Exercise is more of a beginners exercise and for people who prefer to maintain a lean body with lean strong muscles especially for women rather than bulk muscles.

A simple workout that isolates the leg muscles and helps to improve lower body strength and burn fat in the muscles.

Before hitting the gym to use the extremes, start by stretching your leg muscles with this workout to activate them so that you may see progress after a while.