Name: Supine Leg Lower
Also known as: Leg lever, (if you know this by any other name, leave a comment below).
Main muscles used: Abdominals, hip flexors.
Other muscles used:
- Keep your lower back flat against the floor throughout the exercise.
- Especially if you are new to this exercise, start with your legs straight and vertical.
- Keeping your stomach very tight all the time, slowly lower your heels to the floor.
- As soon as you feel your lower back arching off the floor (or your heels touch the ground) raise your legs back up to the starting position.
- Make sure the move is slow. As you get better, make the move last longer, rather than do more of them.
- Not tightening the stomach and keeping the spine straight/flat.
- Arching the lower back off the floor as the feet gets closer to the floor.
- Trying to start the move with the legs down, and having to arch the back to get started.
Comments: This is a fantastic “practical” exercise. It teaches the stomach muscles to do what they are supposed to do…stabilise the spine. While your usual abdominal crunch will strengthen your stomach, it teaches you to hunch/crunch/fold forwards. This is not a very good habit, and research suggests that it can be bad for the spine. This move also strengthens the stomach muscles when they are in a fully extended position (such as when you are standing up straight). Strength in this position is good for anyone who stands on their feet (i.e. virtually everyone). It will be especially useful for anyone doing Karate, as it will mean you will be able to take a hit better.