How to Do Leg Raises

Do a variety of leg raises to tone and strengthen your leg muscles.

Do a variety of leg raises to tone and strengthen your leg muscles.

Leg raises are a versatile little bunch of exercises. You can perform them while standing, seated or lying down on the floor. By using the weight of your own legs you can tone and strengthen the muscles of the legs themselves, your glutes, lower back and abs. Include a series of leg raises in a fitness regimen that consists of at 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week and 20 minutes of strength training at least two to three times a week for a well-rounded workout.

Double Leg Raises

Lie on your back on a yoga mat or rug.

Place your hands palms down under your lower back on either side of your tailbone.

On an inhalation, raise both legs at once until they are perpendicular to the floor.

Exhale and lower both legs at once back to the floor.

Do as many as you can the first time and then work your way up to 20 over time. After successfully completing 20 leg raises, increase the level of difficulty by letting your feet hover a couple of inches off the floor when you’re in the lowering phase.

Single Leg Raises

Lie on your back on a yoga mat.

Stretch your arms along the floor behind your head.

Exhale and lift your right leg and left arm off the floor at the same time. Don’t lift your head off the floor.

Touch your right foot with your left hand. If you can’t reach that far yet, touch any part of your lower right leg with the left hand.

Inhale and return your arm and leg back to the starting position.

Repeat the maneuver on the other side. Do 15 on both sides.

Locust Pose

Lie on your stomach on a yoga mat.

Touch your forehead to the yoga mat and lay your arms along your sides, with the palms of your hands facing down.

Maintain an active stretch in your legs, making sure to point your toes.

On an exhalation, raise your head, shoulders, arms and legs off the mat.

Breathe normally while you hold the pose for up to 30 seconds and then release back to the mat.

Modify Locust pose by keeping your forehead, upper torso and hands on the mat while you raise and lower alternate legs in time with your breathe, completing 15 per leg.

Items you will need

  • Yoga mat

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About the Author

Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.

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