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Leg Raises: The Benefits And Form

Leg raises

You may have heard about sit-ups and crunches, well they’re famous for training your core. But in reality, they only target the upper part of your abdominal muscles. Doing only these exercises will result in a four pack and not a fully sculpted six pack. You need to perform exercises that target your lower abdomen along with sit-ups for a full core workout. There are many exercises for this job but it’s important to select the most suitable one. The most effective and common lower abdominal training exercises are leg raises.

This move can be performed by anyone regardless of their fitness level due to its simplicity. It is one of those exercises that feels super easy at the start and then extremely difficult with 10 repetitions. Leg raises are also known as leg lifts or lying leg raises. If done correctly, this exercise also works your lower back, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Training these muscle groups is beneficial for people with sitting jobs. While doing leg raises you don’t require any equipment or a large area which makes it suitable for your home workout.

For people who want to take this exercise to the next level try performing some advanced variations. Like hanging leg raises or using ankle weights for more resistance. You can also perform this move while sitting on a bench or lying on your side. Performing these variations helps in training different areas of your abdominal muscles.

Below is a full detailed guide on leg raises that’ll walk you through everything that you need to know. From the benefits and correct form to the variations of this exercise. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional athlete this guide will help you to maximize your potential. So stretch out those abs and let’s get going!

Muscles Worked

The leg raises act as a compound exercise as it targets multiple muscle groups at once. They primarily target your rectus abdominal, hip flexors, and obliques. Secondary muscles involved during the movement are your adductors and erector spinae (lower back). Training many muscles together results in the efficient growth of muscles and burns a large number of calories.

Benefits Of Leg Raises

Here are the major benefits of doing the leg raise exercise. These benefits are only achieved with the correct form and good diet plan. The following benefits are genuine and backed by scientific studies.

Strengthens Your Core

Lying leg raises primarily isolate your rectus abdominal muscles, which helps in building a strong core. Training your core is important as it helps in daily activities with ease and boosts your performance in sports activities. A strong abdomen is required while doing weight training exercises for better stability and support. Working your core can also improve your posture and reduce back pain. Building your core with leg raises enhances your aesthetics by sculpting six pack abs.

Helps In Weight Loss

This move targets multiple muscle groups which help in burning fat from your body. Adding this exercise to your workout routine will help you in losing weight and delivers an aesthetic physique. This helps in toning your muscles and making your abs look more defined. According to a study, doing 50 repetitions of leg raises can burn around 10-20 calories. Losing fat keeps your body healthy by keeping it away from obesity-related diseases like diabetes. Performing leg raises also boosts your metabolism which helps in digestion and burning calories at rest.

Highly Accessible

For doing the leg raises you don’t require any equipment or large space. This move can practically be performed anywhere like your home or a nearby park. Due to the accessibility of this move, it’s suitable for beginners and fitness enthusiasts who perform workouts at home. Using leg lifts for your home workout plan makes it easy to execute according to your schedule. Performing exercises that don’t require any equipment is safe and easy to master.

Better Balance And Stability

During the movement, both your legs are off the ground which challenges your stability. Working on your balance and stability is crucial not only for sports activities but in daily life. Mastering these components of your physical health allows you to do daily tasks more efficiently. Better stability is also important for fitness enthusiasts doing weight lifting exercises. It’s a great opportunity as a beginner to train your stability and balance for further advanced workouts.

Many Variations To Try

As a beginner, if leg raises seem difficult then you can try other variations of this exercise. These variants make this move more progressive and easier. Some examples of these variations are single leg raises and scissor leg lifts. Doing these variants not only trains your body for advanced exercises but also adds variety to your workout routine. The procedure to perform these exercises are similar to the standard leg raises just the movement of the legs are different. Full details about these exercises are given below in the variations section.

Step By Step Instructions

Here is the step-by-step guide for doing the leg raises with the correct form. Following this guide will improve your form and help in reaping all the benefits that this exercise offers.

1. Start this move by lying flat on the floor or a yoga mat with your hands at your side. Keep your back against the bottom and your legs stretched out. Activate your core and keep your legs close to each other.

2. Raise your legs till they’re pointing towards the ceiling until your glutes are off the ground. Breathe in while lifting your legs off the ground. Focus on your abdominal muscles as your legs are raised higher. Maintain a slight bend in your knees throughout the exercise.

3. Pause the exercise for a second and then lower your legs back to the starting position. Breathe out while lowering the legs towards the ground. Keep your legs above the ground for further repetitions. This is one repetition of the leg raises exercise.

4. Aim for doing 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for people who are just starting with this exercise. Keep increasing the intensity of the exercise as you master the form. For people with intermittent fitness levels try doing 4 sets of 20-25 repetitions.


Below are some of the best variants of the leg lifts exercise. Most of these exercises can be performed by beginners while others need some experience. Trying these variations helps in targeting different parts of your core.

Hanging Leg Raises

Let’s start with one of the toughest variations of the leg raises. This is a dynamic abdominal training exercise for athletes and experienced lifters. The hanging leg raises require a pull-up bar or high elevated bar that can be used to hang your body. Use an overhand grip to hold the bar and raise your body above the ground. Once your feet are lifted, raise your legs parallel to the ground to the height of your torso. You can also bend your knees for reducing the intensity of the exercise. This move requires good grip strength and some experience with the traditional leg raise exercise.

Single Leg Raise

One of the best ways to reduce the intensity of the leg raises is to lift one leg at a time. Raising one leg while keeping the other at rest will maintain stability in your body and help in mastering the form. The procedure to perform this move is similar to the standard exercise the only difference is the movement of one limb at a time. Single leg raise is a great exercise for beginners who want to improve their form and build foundational strength.

Scissor Leg Lifts

The scissor leg lifts are also famously known as flutter kicks. During this exercise, your legs are raised alternatively in a scissor motion. Flutter kicks are independent of the fitness level and are beneficial for beginners. Lifting your legs alternatively helps in supporting your core and improving your performance for traditional exercise. Due to the scissor motion, this move also activates your adductors or inner thigh muscles.


The lying leg raises also known as the leg lifts are one of the best ways to train your lower abs. This move targets many muscle groups together like the hip flexors, adductors, and lower back. Working on these muscles improves your performance in lower body workouts. Leg raises can be done anywhere as no equipment is required making it great for home workouts.

In the end, adding this move to your workout regimen will be beneficial for your overall physical health. Practicing this move with the right technique is the key to reaping all the major benefits.

2 thoughts on “Leg Raises: The Benefits And Form”

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