V-Leg Raise Abdominal Exercise

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V-Leg Raise (Seated Knee-Up) Exercise Guide

V-Leg raise (seated knee-up) provides a powerful workout for your abdominal muscles (specifically targets your lower abdominal muscles) and hip flexors. To achieve the most benefit, maintain tension on your abs until the end of the set. You can very easily increase the intensity by placing a weight between your ankles. Ensure that a platform or bench you use is sufficiently stable.

 V-Leg Raise Technique

Sit on the flat exercise bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Support yourself by gripping the pad behind you. Lean back slightly so that your torso makes 45 to 60 degree angle with the bench. Lift your legs together a few inches off the floor, keeping your toes pointed and your knees slightly bent. This is your initial position.

While bringing your upper body to an upright position, raise your knees up toward your chest as close as possible (your thighs almost touch your abdomen). Hold for a second. Return to the start position by extending your hips and knees and leaning slightly back to counterbalance. Lower your legs back down until your heels almost touch the floor.

V-Leg Raise

V-Leg Raise

Exercise Key Points

  • Simultaneously move the trunk little forward and the legs (knees) upward so the trunk and thighs move toward each other.
  • Do not allow your feet to touch the floor, although they should stay close to it at all times.
  • Do not bend your knees any more than the starting angle.
  • Keep your back straight when returning to the starting position.
  • Common mistakes: moving your legs but not your torso and using your hands to help.

Muscles Involved in V-Leg Raises

The seated knee-up strengthens the abdominals and hip flexors together to help produce a strong anterior chain. But keep in mind that although it works out the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles, this is not the most specific exercise for the abdominal region. Maintain good posture throughout this movement by keeping the chest tall and head and neck in neutral position.

Primary muscles: rectus abdominis (lower portion), iliopsoas, front quadriceps
Secondary muscles: internal oblique, external oblique, transverse abdominal
Antagonists: spinal erectors, longissimus dorsi and other muscles along the spinal column, and lower back muscles

Exercise Variation

  • Hold a small dumbbell between your ankles to add resistance.

Replacement Exercises

Try these other exercises targeting the same primary muscle group (lower abdominal muscles):

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