Hip Flexion, your new alternative to performing Sit-Ups! Along with your abdominal muscles (Rectus Abdominis), your Hip Flexors (Illiascus, Psoas Major) are collectively tasked with bending the trunk (torso). Therefore, tucking your feet under something in order to perform more Sit-Ups simply provides your powerful Hip Flexors with an anchor point for leverage and makes the Sit-Up easier, not harder!
Instead of performing countless Sit-Ups to no avail, try bending of your trunk by bringing your knees up toward your chest, rather than your chest toward your knees. This exercise movement is commonly referred to as Hip Flexion.
Here is an exercise demonstration and key steps to follow for beginners of Lying Hip Flexion, otherwise known as Lying Knee Raises.
- Lie down and position yourself so that your lower back is in contact with the floor (or bench).
- Place your palms on the floor resting against your buttocks for support.
- You may start with your legs bent at a right angle at the knee (easier), or legs straight (as shown, more difficult).
- Inhale. Then, exhale as you draw your knees in a controlled fashion up towards your chest – lifting your buttocks off your hands at the mid-position, your legs forming a right angle.
- As you return to the start position, do not allow your feet to touch the floor.
Hip Flexion resistance can be made increasingly difficult by keeping legs straight and/ or changing the position of the body. Here’s a straight-forward progression of exercise difficulty: Lying Knee Raises > Lying Leg Raises > Vertical Knee Raises > Vertical Leg Raises.
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