The L-sit appears to be a simple ab workout as you sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, then use your arms to elevate your hips and legs a few inches off the ground. But this foundational movement in gymnastics require an immense core and upper body strength to be able to pull it off.
L Sits are a difficult but achievable skill that will allow you to advance to other workouts. They’ll rip your core and shoulders to bits.
And anyone who’s ever done this deceptively basic bodyweight core exercise is frequently dumbfounded by how tough it is. And, sure, it is one of those exercises that just look awesome given the amount of mind-muscle concentration and control it warrants.
Unlike many other typical isometric exercises, such as the plank, you will require more energy to train them since you will be tightening up your entire body as you maintain proper form.
After attempting this workout, you will instantly see the potency of the exercises and their ability to generate superhuman strength, and we’ll show you how.
This Ultimate Guide Will Cover:
- How To L Sit
- L Sit Benefits
- Common L Sit Mistakes To Avoid
- L Sit Muscles Worked
- L Sit v Plank
- Our Trainer’s Suggested Squat Reps, Sets, & Programs
- L Sit Variations
- L Sit Alternative Exercises
How To L Sit
What You’ll Need:
- Set of Parallettes (Or sometimes called Small Dip Bars or Equalizers)
- Parallel Bars
- Hanging Rings
- Two Sturdy Boxes Or Benches of The Same Height
To perform the L-Sit, you must set up two benches, boxes, or parallettes to be significantly narrower than shoulder-width apart. They can help you perform the L Sit efficiently as the added height can elevate your entire body from the ground as you execute the exercise.
Step 1: Plant Both Feet on The Ground
This first step will assist you in obtaining good upper body posture, which will aid you in future progressions. Placing your feet on the ground, press your hands down and your shoulders away from your ears. Make sure your buttocks are just behind your shoulders.
Step 2: Take One of Your Foot Off The Floor
Lift one foot off the ground at a time, maintaining a knee angle and extending your toes as you raise the foot slightly. Keep your chest up and do not bend forward to meet your knee, and make sure you practice on both feet before doing so.
You’ll gain a feel for placing a little more weight through your arms and keeping a good stance with fewer sources of support as you progress.
Step 3: Assume The Tuck Position
Then, enter the tuck stance and focus on bringing both feet up simultaneously. If you’re having problems doing this, start by getting on your toes and bringing one leg up at a time until you can get into a full tuck sit.
Step 4: Extend Your Leg Slightly
Work on extending one leg at a time from the tuck position. The objective here is to avoid completely extending your leg at first. Simply broaden your knee angle and build on it over time.
Working on this process will help you develop your leg placement and prepare you for the complete L-Sit.
Step 5: Full Extension Of A Single Leg
You will now practice completely extending one leg at a time, gently and with control. Make an effort to hold each side for at least 5 seconds.
This is a critical phase in the technique, and you’ll notice how completely extending even one leg may throw you off balance, so move with control rather than muscle through it.
Step 6: Doing The Full L Sit
You will make significant progress toward the L Sit progressions if you follow these instructions exactly. Since you’re now ready to work on the full L-Sit with straight legs, extend both legs at once while maintaining the rest of your body in place.
Maintain the L Sit posture for 30 seconds, or for how long you can hold, then take a rest and repeat, following your predetermined sets and reps.
5 L Sit Benefits
1. Isometric Strength
Isometric exercises involve muscular tension rather than extension or contraction. Most of us can demonstrate explosive strength in the short term, but isometric activities need control.
As a result, the L-Sit development is an excellent approach to training your lower and upper body to retain controlled strength when handling weights such as squatting and deadlifting and develop the sort of control necessary to do more advanced gymnastic movements.
2. A Core-Focused Workout
This is one of the best core exercises, but the specific muscles targeted are the obliques, quads, triceps, abdominals, hip flexors, forearms, pecs, lats, scapular muscles, and anterior deltoids, which is a lot of impact for a single workout!
3. Improved Health and Stability
The midline is just the central vertical line that runs across your body, as you might expect. In a nutshell, your spine and the muscles support it.
The L-Sit progression develops these muscles, allowing the spine to be stabilized. This will pay benefits later on when dealing with weights or unexpected directional shifts.
4. Increased Shoulder Strength
While the abs are the primary focus of the L-sit, the shoulders also get a lot of work. This workout asks you first to raise and hold your own body weight.
Because your arms serve as a support system as they balance the lower and upper body during an L-sit, you will be able to strengthen and stabilize your shoulders.
The more stable you are, the less likely you are to get into an accident when exercising or completing regular duties.
5. Enhanced Abdominal Muscles
It’s critical to recognize that your core is more than simply one muscle. It is made up of numerous separate muscles that, when exercised, can improve posture, allow you to carry higher weights, and prevent your spine from twisting.
Common L Sit Mistakes to Avoid
Bending Your Knees
The first thing you should avoid is bending your knees. If you can’t maintain your legs straight, you don’t have the necessary strength or flexibility for the exercise and should focus on progressions. Your major problem is most likely tight hamstrings.
Raising Your Shoulders
You’re sitting incorrectly if your shoulders are near to your ears. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed down throughout the workout, and don’t let them rise up as the tension would be steered away from the muscles this workout is supposed to work with.
Not Keeping Your Back Straight
Curving your spine is another thing to avoid when doing L Sits. If your chest is not up and out, you are risking injuring your back. If you find yourself doing this, initially do progressions to improve your spinal mobility by working on it.
L Sit Muscles Worked
- Hip Flexors
The L-sit is an exercise that works up your lower and upper body, despite its form. When executing this workout, you will quickly feel the burn.
The L-sit is beneficial since it strengthens core stability and strengthens your quadriceps, hip flexors, triceps, and shoulders.
L Sit vs Plank
Both exercises work portions of the same muscles, notably the internal abdominal muscles, if you maintain proper posture in the plank. Still, they are quite distinct exercises worth doing in their own right, especially as a warm-up.
Except for the fact that they are both static poses involving abdominal engagement, they are rather different. The L-sit is said to be a more difficult exercise than the plank. Most individuals can hold a plank for significantly longer than an L-sit with a little practice.
Not disregarding the plank’s difficulty level and benefits, it can be used as an introductory movement to L-Sit progressions as it effectively strengthens the core, shoulders, triceps, and lats, which are the foundational muscles to perform both exercises.
Moreover, the L Sit is an isometric exercise can help you develop the core strength you need for more advanced bodyweight core exercises and strength activities.
The L Sit Progression
While everyone can work their way up to a full L-Sit form, the exercise can be even more challenging for those with tight hip flexors, and with unconditioned core and upper-body strength to hold the the right form. Here’s our Coach’s suggested programming:
- Quad Stretch
- Pike Stretch
- Tuck and Hold. Using a pair of paralettes, or an alternative equipment, hold for 10 – 20 seconds.
- Do 5 kickouts per leg from the Tuck and Hold Position
- Draw your both legs for a double kickout. Do this in 8 – 10 reps.
- Transition to a Low L-Sit and aim to hold the form for 10 – 20 seconds
Once you’ve grown accustomed to the form and are able to maintain the hold, you can now proceed to a full workout program. Commit to the progressions 2-3 times per week.
To Master the Technique and Enhance Strength
Always perform the warm-ups before the full L-Sit execution. Complete 3 sets of 5 reps with 10 – 20 seconds of rest in between.
For Improved Muscle Endurance
This works best for beginners. Start with 5 seconds of intervals, and as you get stronger, you can progress with your hold time. If you’re still cannot meet the 5-second hold, you can modify the movement until you can hold it up to 30 seconds. You should be able to see significant improvements in your normal workout performance.
L Sit Variation
L Sit Flutter Kicks
Instead of curling each leg, flutter kicks involve holding them straight and kicking them up and down as if you’re swimming. L Sit flutter kicks and bicycle kicks are both simple ways to increase the difficulty of your L Sits.
This bodyweight exercise is excellent for strengthening your abdomen and preparing them for the L-sit workout. Sit on the floor, then lean back slightly and raise your legs straight up, forming a V with your torso.
Straddle support usually entails having your legs outside of your arms and leaning on them for support. In this situation, this variation refers to your legs.
Begin in the L sit position and then spread your legs as wide apart as possible, pushing through with your hips utilizing your shoulders and back.
L Sit Bicycle Kicks
Bicycle Kicks are a pedaling action used with your legs when switching sides between single leg extensions. Begin in the L Sit posture, tucking one knee in. Then, re-extend it and bring the opposite knee in, similar to doing mountain climbers.
Hanging Knee Raise
Because you hang from a bar rather than holding yourself up off the floor, the Hanging Knee Raises does not train the arms and shoulders as well as the standard L-sit, but it will assist develop your core and help you build up to the L-sit or hanging leg raises.
Using an overhand grip, hang from a bar. Bend your knees and elevate your legs till your thighs are parallel to the ground, then hold for a second before slowly lowering them.
L Sit Alternatives
Tuck L Sit
If you’re a rookie looking for a less strenuous way to enhance your L Sit. The tuck L Sit is an excellent place to begin since it works the same muscles as an L-sit but requires less core strength.
Set up in a conventional L-sit for this activity, but instead of stretching your legs in front of you, tuck your knees to your chest.
The Turkish Get-Up is a multi-step action that requires you to engage your core while in motion, unlike the L-sit.
You must maintain your balance in order to complete the maneuver correctly. It is really difficult. Thus, it would be best if you began with no weight before gradually increasing the load you use.
Lie on your back and press your lower back into the ground to activate your core. Lift your legs, keeping them straight and pointing your toes toward the air.
Once you’ve reached 90 degrees, softly drop your legs to the floor. Keep your feet off the floor as you reset for an added difficulty.
The Plank is a wonderful full-body exercise that works your core, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, and lats. Because most individuals can maintain a plank for longer than an L-sit, it may be utilized to strengthen the core for an L-sit.
Stack your hands beneath your shoulders on the floor and maintain your back flat. Be careful not to elevate your buttocks in the air since this will prevent core engagement.