L-sit Trouble?

Does your L-sit need some serious remedial help? Mine sure did… and I don’t have paralettes at home either.

However, I’ve seen significant improvement in the last several months anyway by working on some related movements that were far less frustrating to me. I’m not saying that practicing the hold itself isn’t important – and it may be the BEST way – but if you lack the equipment or patience to stick to that method alone, or want to speed things up- this is what is working for me.

1) The good ol’ Globo-gym style Captain’s chair. I really like doing straight leg raises on this when I work out in a gym that has one, a habit I got into on deployment when there wasn’t a good spot for toes to bar. Something about it really seems to counterbalance the tightness heavy lifting can cause in my back and hips, and after a few months of doing them frequently I realized that my ability to get my legs out in front of me and hold them straight had dramatically improved. For me, the issue with the L-sit isn’t in my abs, it is most definitely in the ability of my hip flexors to keep my legs up and straight (also a problem for pistols).

2) Hanging leg raises – like the chair version, but harder. Again, you’ll work the L-sit position at the top of the movement and gradually build strength. Now that I’ve gotten better, I pause at the top sometimes for extra L-sit related practice.

3) Toes to bar with slowed straight leg descent. This is challenging for me in the mid zone, where the legs are about parallel to the floor like in an L-sit. Big time challenging – clearly still a position in which I have a weakness.  A true ninja would do this strict and controlled the whole way – I just get as close as I can and focus on straight legs at the midpoint and resisting the movement as much as I can.

BUT – this weekend I had to do an L-sit hold on the rings as part of my saturday workout. I went in expecting to be able to keep my legs steady for all of 2 seconds as usual and was pleasantly surprised when I made it 15 seconds straight, and accumulated 30 out of 60 seconds in the correct position. Objectively good? Probably not. But a big improvement for me – and further, the degree of strain in my hip flexor and along the top of m leg was noticeably less. The shaking and discomfort there is really what gets me in my L-sit attempts, so that too is really big for me.

If you, like me, tend to have more of a lowercase l than an uppercase L try adding some of these things to your repertoire for a little extra assistance and you might be surprised how much they help!

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