Vertical-bench Leg Raise

Get a lean, flat stomach with this belly-tightening move from expert trainer Kim Oddo

November 21, 2012
Vertical-bench Leg Raise










START

1/ Support yourself on a standing vertical bench by pressing your forearms firmly against the arm pads and gripping the handles.

2/ Press your back firmly against the vertical pad and let your legs hang freely under your body.

EXECUTE

3/ Curl your hips to lift them up, contracting your abs as you bring your straightened legs parallel to the floor.

4/ Pause and squeeze momentarily, then slowly lower your legs back to start and repeat.

DO...
> Keep your legs straight consistently throughout the entire range of motion.
> Go slow and controlled on
the negative (eccentric) portion of the movement.
> Crunch down hard on the top portion of the movement to intensify the stress on the lower abs muscles.

DON’T…
>Rock your upper body to help raise your legs on the positive (concentric) portion of the movement.
>Lower your legs all the way down to the floor before repeating; it will take pressure off the abs.
>Use weights on your ankles; the added weight may cause undue stress to the knees and hips.

Oddo’s Bonus Tip
The primary abdominal muscles involved in this advanced leg raise are the rectus abdominis and the internal and external obliques. Beginners should start with the bent-knee version. By bending your legs and increasing the angle of your knees, you can make the exercise easier until your abs become accustomed to the movement.