How to Build an L-Sit

  2018-07-26 10:00AM

CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, recently urged the community to spend more time building their L-sit, with the ultimate goal being to hold it for two full minutes with straight legs! The L-sit hold is a powerful core strengthening exercise that develops isometric strength, body awareness, and the gymnastic skills necessary for more advanced movements. The L-sit requires that the feet are pointed away from the body, with the knees fully extended. The L-sit can be performed on the floor, parallette bars, rings, hanging from a bar, or really any flat surface. Here are the specific progressions you should take to develop the necessary upper body strength, core stability, and body awareness to master the L-sit hold:

1.    Support Hold. To progress in the L-sit, you must be able to hold your bodyweight with a straight arm position. Without a strong support hold, you will have difficulty creating proper core stability and back tension to safely support yourself. Working on the different variations of your support hold (floor, bars, rings) will help develop upper back and arm strength, especially scapular stabilization and elbow extension.

2.    Leg Raises. To develop abdominal and hip flexor strength and body awareness, we can now add a single or dual leg raise from the support position. Pulses can help build the necessary musculature for the full L-sit.

3.    Tucked Support. This can be performed from the floor or from a higher, off the floor position, such as the rings or bars. Once you have assumed a support hold, you will pull your knees to your chest and lift your hips and legs off the floor, supporting their entire weight with the upper body. This will build core and upper body strength as well as necessary body awareness and control.

4.    One Leg Out Support. Once you can successfully hold a tucked support, you are ready to perform a unilateral leg raise. By doing this movement one leg at a time you allow yourself to focus all your strength and stability on one leg rather than having to lift both at the same time. Keep one leg pulled into the body and switch as needed.

5.    Low L-Sit. Once you have worked on the tucked support and one leg extended hold, you can start to fully extend and raise both legs in front of you. At first, you may struggle to lift your feet higher than the hips. This is called a low L-sit, which over time can be progressed into the full L-sit hold!


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