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How should I do straight leg raises?

Straight leg raises are intense abdominal exercises. To do straight leg raises, hold onto a pullup bar that’s high enough that you can’t touch the ground. Keeping your legs straight, begin to bend at the hips, bringing your legs up until your shins are near your face, feeling a contraction in your core. Lower your legs, controlling the descent with your abs. Try not to swing your legs. Repeat 10 times.
Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Here's how to do the straight leg raises exercise:
1. Lying flat on your back, engage your core.

2. Bend one leg up at the knee and keep the other leg straight.

3. Still lying flat on your back, using the straight leg, tighten the right quad (front of thigh) and raise your leg up off the floor until your thighs are parallel. Hold this position five seconds and then lower your leg until it almost touches the floor. Be careful not to let your back sway up off the floor.

4. Repeat ten times. Do two sets and then switch to the other leg.

5. To increase the difficulty, you can repeat the sets while supporting yourself on your elbows or hands.


Fitness After 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age

Straight leg raises are a challenging exercise and will help to build great abdominal strength, if done correctly:

  • Lay flat on your back, legs straight
  • Engage your abdominals to help protect your lower back
  • Place your hands by your hips for added support
  • Exhale as you lift your leg into the air
  • Lift until you form a 90 degree bend at your hips
  • Slowly lower returning to start

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.