L-sit Tutorial – Progressions and Muscles worked

L-sit Tutorial

Video L-sit Tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYAS4N4hoeE

L-sit is a great bodyweight exercise, that works your abs, hip flexors, triceps and back muscles isometricly.

L-sit Tutorial

STEP 1 : Tuck L-sit

With your knees bent, put them at hip height. Don’t bend your elbows.
Practice until you can hold this for at least 20-30 seconds before moving on.
Strongly depress your shoulders and scapulas – push firmly against the floor until the body goes up.
*Scapular depression is necesarry in every progression.



STEP 2: Low L-sit

Now put your legs as high as you can, but this time keep your knees fully straight and point your toes.

Avoid bending your elbows. Aim for 20-30 seconds at least.

In the previous progression the lack of hamstring flexibility is not an issue, as the knees are bent.
Straigthening the knees while bending at the waist (knee extension + hip flexion) elongates the hamstrings and they will exert passive tension to resist the lengthening.
This tension makes straightening the knees harder (strong quadriceps can make up for this lack of flexibility).
By stretching the hamstrings they will exert less passive tension so it will be easier to straigthen the knees when legs are close to the torso.


STEP 3: Pseudo L-sit

This is not an L-sit, although it looks like an L-sit – there isnt’t 90º at the hip, you still need to push the hip forward (by extending the shoulder joint), so that your torso is perpendicular to the floor.
Leg cramping is normal – this is due to the rectus femoris, which has to exert force while shortened – as it extends the knee and flexes the hip. With some practice, the cramping will go away.

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STEP 4: L-sit

First you need to train this exercise on the floor to ensure you strenghten the muscles that depress the scapula. If you do this on push-up bars, you can easily loose the scapular depression without noticing.



Why is harder to hold a tuck L-sit than an L-sit?

Because of the lever arm length – with bent knees the lever arm is a lot shorter, the strength needed is a lot less.
That’s why pointing your toes is also important (apart from aesthetics) – it makes the lever a bit longer thus the exercise a bit harder.

L-sit Tutorial

MUSCLES WORKED:3y-iliopsoas-x2

Hip flexors – keeping legs paralel to the floor and preventing them from touching the floor: psoas major, iliacus, rectus femoris, sartorius and tensor fascia lata

Spine flexors – rectus abdominis is the prime mover, assisted by external and internal obliques (acting bilaterally)

Shoulder extensors – you have to push your hips forward – this works latissimus doris, teres major, posterior deltoid and long head of triceps.

Knee extensor – keeping the knees straight: quadriceps femoris

Elbow extensors – preventing the elbow from bending: triceps and anconeus

Plantar flexors – keeping our feet pointed: gastrocnemius and soleus

For more please check the video


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