Leg Raises: Better than Crunches?

The lying leg raise is done by lying on the floor on the back. It is done without apparatus except possibly cushions or weights for added resistance.

Practitioners generally caution to keep the lower back in contact with the floor and place hands to sides or under lower back for support.

 

If doing hanging leg raises with straight legs might be a bit much, then try this exercise with bent knees.  Feel free to couple this with a pull-up.

Crunches have always been the go-to, but leg raises are an excellent alternative – try them out a few at a time first, as they require much more strength than a traditional crunch or sit up.

The motion of your legs should always be controlled.  This exercise will force you to employ lots of new and less used muscles to keep your feet raising and lowering upwards slow and steady.  Avoid the temptation to break form and throw your legs around recklessly.

See you at the finish line… 

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image credit Stuart Gregory/Photodisc/Getty Immages

by Keith Grogg

Core strength training is a constant buzzword in the exercise industry. Basically turn your TV on at any time, day or night, and you’ll be able to find somewhere some device being advertised on one of the countless infomercials that promises to help you twist or wiggle, swing or stretch your way to a perfect six pack.

And yet try as one might with that little wheel rocking back and forth on the ground the results are indeed varied. Meanwhile many athletes seem to have a six pack without any of the infomercial gimmicks. This is because they understand that core strength is a whole body affair and not just about your abs. Yes you heard right.

CORE STRENGTH TRAINING ISN’T JUST ABOUT TRAINING YOUR ABS!

Your core region includes your back, your obliques, your pelvis, and all the muscles in between that work to stabilize your spine when you are in movement. All the potential physical energy your body produces is generated from your core. Yes young grasshopper, that means the key to your athletic power comes from your center.

If you want to build strong abs, try a workout that targets your core muscles together in harmony. Running is a great way to work your core, as long as you keep your back upright focusing on good posture.  You’ll use both your lower back and your abs to greater effect as your spine seeks greater stability.

If you are looking for a more direct approach to working your abs, try using a medicine ball. These little gems in the gym can help you work both your lower back and your abs through rotating motions, the way they would be used naturally in day-to-day life.

Working to build a strong core is important for the stability of your spine and can help you perform better at your next event. Try not to give into the hype of six pack abs being the end all measuring stick of physical fitness. If you work your core and have a low enough amount of body fat,  your six pack abs are there already.

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