Man doing the most underrated exercise

When it comes to fitness and calisthenics, most people focus on strength training or cardiovascular exercises. But one crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is mobility. Mobility exercises are essential for maintaining joint health, preventing injury, and improving overall movement quality. However, many people either don’t know which mobility exercises to do or simply neglect them altogether. In this article, we’ll be discussing one of the most underrated exercise that people should do. Incorporate it into your fitness routine for optimal joint health and movement function.

What you will learn in this article:

Sitting Leg Raise: How can it help me?

Man showing how to do the most underrated exercise

You can’t touch your toes? You can’t do a Leg Raise with straight legs and you’re shaking like a fish when trying an L-Sit? If this sounds familiar to you, you should try the “Sitting Leg Raise”.

This exercise is one of the best ways to improve spine mobility, quad strength in a straight leg position, hamstring flexibility as well as compression strength. The one you need for exercises like the Press to Handstand, Toes to the bar, V-Sit and many others. Without the necessary mobility and compression strength, you not only make these exercises harder, but in some cases also switch the focus to completely different muscles.

Man doing L-Frontlever position

Toes to the bar are a great example for that. If you lack mobility, you have to raise your upper body to a more horizontal line, which we call an L-Frontlever position. With this execution the exercise becomes a lot more latissimus focused. This is not bad in general but of course you should be aware which muscles you’re mainly targeting and which ones will fatigue fist!

  • Man doing Press to handstand during a workout
  • Man doing Press to Handstand during a calisthenics training
  • Man doing handstand during calisthenics workout

Another example is the press to handstand. The less you are able to compress yourself the harder and the less efficient it gets. The goal is to reduce the forward lean and with that decrease the amount of necessary delt strength. 

Sitting Leg Raise: How to do it right

Try to keep this position

Man doing Sitting leg raise to show  how to do correctly the most underrated exercise

To do it right, sit down on the ground, lean forward, place your hands besides your legs, press your palms into the ground and raise your legs as high as you can. Don’t confuse this exercise with an L-Sit. Instead of lifting your butt, you keep contact to the ground. Don’t worry if you get quad cramps and even ab cramps in the beginning. This gets better over time and is quite normal if you’ve never done this exercise before. In our experience it can also help to do dynamic leg raises in the beginning and switch to static holds when your quads get used to the exercise.

Make it easier

  • Man doing Sitting leg raise to explain how to make the most underrated exercise easier
  • Man showing an easy progression of Sitting leg raise

There are still other ways to adapt this exercise to your level. To make “the most underrated exercise you should do” easier you simply place your hands further towards your hips. Another option to make it a bit easier is to only raise a single leg at a time and alternate between your left and right leg.

Make it harder

  • Man doing a harder progression of Sitting leg raise
  • Man doing Sitting leg raise showing how to make the most underrated exercise harder
  • Man showing how to make Sitting leg raise  harder with weights

To make it harder you place your hands further towards your ankles. For experts we suggest using ankle weights or resistance bands.

No matter which level you are, you should always avoid bending your leg, leaning your upper body backwards or lifting your palms off the ground. If you can’t raise your legs at all even if you choose the easiest progression, it’s also ok to just lean forward as much as you can and tense your quads.

Sitting Leg Raise: Try these variations

  • Man doing Sitting leg raises variations
  • Man doing a Sitting leg raise variation
  • Man doing variations of the most underrated exercise

If you’re comfortable with the regular sitting leg raise you can try the following variations of the most underrated exercise you should do: 

  • Variation 1: Open your legs a little then put a low object next to each foot, place your hands in the middle and finally move your legs to the other side of the object and back. 
  • Variation 2: You start in the same Position. Lift your legs And Start moving one foot towards your hips and back.
  • Variation 3: You can try the exercise with a straight back if you want to focus only on your hips and not the spinal flexion.

I want more Mobility Exercises: What can I do?

Man doing a Mobility Program with routines

If you are looking to improve your mobility and take your fitness to the next level, check out our Mobility 2.0 Program! This comprehensive course is designed to help you achieve optimal joint health and movement function through a series of mobility exercises and progressions.

The program is made up of several lectures, each consisting entirely of follow along videos. This not only makes it easier to follow along with execution and recovery times, but also provides the opportunity to perform the exercises correctly. Are you afraid of making mistakes? Don´t worry, before starting the course you can take a look at the section devoted entirely to the correct execution of the exercises that will be shown to you during the course.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, this course can help you enhance your performance, prevent injury, and unlock your full potential. Don’t miss this opportunity to take your mobility to the next level and achieve your fitness & calisthenics goals!

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