Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    None
Target Muscle Group

Abs

Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Lying Floor Leg Raise Overview

The lying floor leg raise is a variation of the abdominal crunch and an exercise used to isolate the muscles of the abdomen.

The lying floor leg raise is a flexion based exercise which keeps the lower abdominal muscles under constant tension during the entire range of motion.

Lying Floor Leg Raise Instructions

  1. Lay supine in a relaxed position with your legs straight and your hands underneath your low back for support.
  2. Keep your legs straight and raise them towards your forehead while contracting your abdominals and exhaling.
  3. Once your abs are fully contracted and your legs are slightly above parallel, slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
  4. Complete for the assigned number of repetitions.

Lying Floor Leg Raise Tips

  1. Exhale hard like you’re blowing out candles on a cake and hold the contraction for a second in order to improve mind muscle connection.
  2. If your lower back bothers you during this exercise, choose more anti extension and anti rotation based movements.
  3. Avoid putting the hands behind the head as this can lead to excess strain upon the neck.
21 Comments
Ashli Alston
Posted on: Sat, 01/16/2021 - 19:14

I have tried all the alternatives in the comments but just can’t seem to feel this exercise in my abs even when I’m engaging my core. I feel it more in my legs and can’t seem to use my ab muscles during this (and a lot of other ab exercises). Any tips?

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Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 01/18/2021 - 09:32

Hey Ashli - if you're not having success with this specific exercise, I'd recommend trying a different one!

Leila
Posted on: Sun, 03/14/2021 - 17:26

Hey! It seems that you did not engage your core properly. Core is not six pack! I mean to engage Transversus Abdominal muscle while using Pelvic floor muscle and Diaphragm while breathing...

Vickey
Posted on: Sat, 10/01/2016 - 09:12

Awesome post.

mark
Posted on: Tue, 06/02/2015 - 22:57

just do flutter kicks I never liked this exercise anyways.

NorrinPT
Posted on: Tue, 02/24/2015 - 18:52

This 'exercise' is very bad for your lower back. When doing any ab exercise you should be keeping your lower back pressed flat into mat. You certainly can't do this without excessively hyperextending your lower back performing this movement.

Nick
Posted on: Mon, 08/04/2014 - 00:22

Try doing this with holding something behind your head. Lay down, hold on to a ledge with your arms extended all the way behind your head, and do your leg raises. Much more effective because you're stretching your abs all the way and still contracts when raised.

Andy
Posted on: Mon, 02/24/2014 - 06:04

The best way for this exercise especially for people with lower back problems is to firstly lay on the floor then bend 1 leg with the foot flat on the floor then raise the opposite leg this takes the strain from your back just make sure to contract your abs.

James
Posted on: Sat, 11/10/2012 - 09:42

Start in reverse order with your legs straight up. Lower your legs slowly and try different possitions at which to stop. By reversing it you can feel out your strength level and this will also allow you to have a benchmark for progression. If you can only lower your legs to about 45 degrees then you can slowly work your way closer to the floor

Rog
Posted on: Wed, 09/26/2012 - 18:40

Is it an alternative to do these in an upright position (your body 90 degrees flipped)… Obviously I can only do 3 reps, but it seems it's good for gaining strength?

jas
Posted on: Fri, 09/21/2012 - 12:43

work on your back and get it stronger before you do anything hard on your back. Also a back brace of some sort might help

Jamie
Posted on: Fri, 08/24/2012 - 14:23

I'm in the same boat as Will on this one, it really kills my back doing these and I don't seem to be able to focus the work through the abs.

kim
Posted on: Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:02

Try not letting your legs go to the floor, do a partial movement until you build up the strength to do a full movement. Keep working on them!

Will
Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2012 - 07:31

I'm struggling with the correct form on this one. All the stress seems to be on my lower back and (with the legs up) my hamstrings. I've tried moving my hands under my hips but that hasn't helped. I've also tried the exercise whilst holding a weight to my chest but that didn't work either. If anyone has suggestions I'd be very grateful.

Kim
Posted on: Fri, 09/14/2012 - 15:32

While lying on your back breath out to contract abs and hold the while performing excercise.

Colton
Posted on: Thu, 10/25/2012 - 17:53

I've done this one for a while now and I had the same problem with my lower back hurting. I also noticed I was arching my back on the way down with my legs so you may see if that is what you are doing. I fixed this by flexing my abs on the way down and really making sure I didn't arch my back.

Nathan
Posted on: Sat, 04/21/2012 - 07:00

Sam's right, bending your knees would make it much easier. Its just a progression of weight like any other resistance training, you'll get it:D

sam
Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2012 - 18:01

Try doing the same manuvure, but bend your knees as you lift your thighs up, so you end up a bit like this Z but with the middle bit straight up.
Doing this should reduce the amount of weight your abs are pulling towards them.
But i dunno :) i just thought of this on the spot.

argy
Posted on: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 22:48

damn.. I cant do even a pair of these. :(
what can I try before coming to this exersice?

Samantha
Posted on: Thu, 07/26/2012 - 10:27

Try doing it with your hands placed under your hips/butt for support. The lower down you go the harder it is to get back up. So try going as low as you can and still being able to lift your legs back up. Hope this helps!

Jake
Posted on: Wed, 05/06/2015 - 23:13

Just put your hands under your butt. also, a pillow under it would reduce the aching.

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