When it comes to basic bodyweight exercises that show off your strength, the L-sit is one of the best.

So what is L-sit? The L-sit is a cool trick where you hold yourself up using just your hands, with your body forming an “L” shape. That means your legs are straight out in front of you while your upper body leans a bit forward. It’s called an “L-sit” because, well, your body looks like the letter “L” when you do it!

Doing an L-sit needs strong tummy muscles. That’s because you have to keep your legs straight out in front while holding your body up. It’s a challenging move that shows off how strong your tummy muscles are!

But even if you’re already pretty strong, doing the L-sit is really tough because it’s not just about being strong. You need strength all over your body, from your head to your toes. But you also need to be flexible and have good control over your body to do it well.

But don’t worry! Even though it sounds tough, anyone can learn to do the L-sit if you follow the steps I’m going to explain below. And the cool thing is, it’s not just about showing off your muscles. The L-sit helps you get stronger all over your body and helps you control your movements better. So, it’s a great exercise to add to your workout routine, no matter what your main goals are.

6 Steps to successful L-sit

Both Feet on the Ground

  • To begin, ensure both feet remain firmly planted on the ground.
  • Focus on pushing your hands downward while simultaneously keeping your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
  • It’s crucial to maintain proper alignment, ensuring your buttocks are positioned directly beneath your shoulders.

This foundational step is pivotal as it instills the correct upper body positioning essential for advancing through subsequent progressions.

Bringing One Foot off the Ground

  • Start from the same position as the previous step, with both feet firmly grounded.
  • Now, lift one foot off the ground while ensuring your knee remains bent, and your toes are pointed.
  • As you perform this movement, maintain an upright chest position, resisting the urge to lean forward to meet your knee with your chest.
  • It’s important to practice lifting each foot individually, ensuring balanced development and skill refinement.

By progressing through this step, you gradually increase the load on your arms while refining your body’s ability to maintain stability with fewer points of contact.

Tuck Position

Now, let’s focus on the tuck position.

  • Work on lifting both feet up simultaneously.
  • If this feels challenging, start by lifting onto your toes and bringing up one leg at a time until you can achieve the full tuck position.
  • As you progress through this step, you’ll start to feel how your entire body engages in this skill.
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Slight Leg Extension

  • Moving on from the tuck position, let’s work on extending one leg at a time.
  • Remember, the key here isn’t to fully straighten your leg right away.
  • Instead, focus on gradually widening the angle of your knee and working on this incrementally over time.

Practicing this progression will help strengthen the positioning of your legs, gradually preparing you for the full extension of the L-sit. This step is essential for building the necessary strength and control in your legs.

Single Leg Extension

  • Now, let’s focus on fully extending one leg at a time, moving slowly and with control.
  • Aim to hold each side for at least 5 seconds to challenge your balance and control.

This step is crucial as it serves as the final progression before you attempt the full L-sit. It’s an important phase in your journey where you’ll experience how fully extending even one leg can affect your balance. Remember to move with control and avoid rushing through the movement!

Full L-Sit

Full L-sit
Full L-sit

Congratulations, you’ve reached the pinnacle! It’s time to work on the full L-sit

  • You’ll extend both legs simultaneously while maintaining a solid position with the rest of your body.
  • Don’t worry if this position feels challenging at first; it may take some time to feel comfortable with it.
  • Be patient with yourself and progress through it slowly and steadily.

While following these progressions will undoubtedly lead you closer to mastering the L-sit, it’s worth noting that:

  • The strength and positioning required for this skill are quite different from what most people are accustomed to.
  • Therefore, incorporating supplemental exercises can be beneficial to further enhance your progress.

In the following section, we’ll go over some additional exercises you can work on, depending on where you’re having the most trouble.

Supplemental exercises for a perfect L-sit

When you begin practicing L-sits, you’ll find it’s a skill that really works your entire body, from your shoulders down to your toes. Because we all have different backgrounds and abilities, you might find one aspect of the L-sit more difficult than another.

For some, building upper body strength and stability might be the toughest part, while for others, keeping the legs lifted and straight can be the biggest challenge.

But don’t worry! Whatever you find most difficult, the exercises below are here to lend a helping hand. They’re designed to target specific areas of weakness and assist you in mastering the L-sit, no matter where you’re starting from.

Supplemental upper body exercises

If you just can’t seem to get the hang of having your upper body support yourself in this way, the following exercises will help.

Top Position Hold

  • You can do this exercise using rings or dip bars.
  • Hold yourself in the top position for up to 20 seconds. Aim to do 3-5 sets of holds.

This exercise targets your upper body and core muscles, helping you develop the strength needed to support your body weight during L-sits.

Dip Shrugs

  • Start at the top of the dip movement, with your body lifted up tall.
  • Lower your body while keeping your elbows locked straight, then push back up.
  • As you push up, focus on shrugging your shoulders up towards your ears, then pressing them down.
  • Do 10-15 reps of dip shrugs for 3-5 sets.
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This exercise specifically targets your shoulder muscles, helping you improve stability and control in the upper body, which is crucial for maintaining proper form during L-sits.

Pulling Prep

  • Aim to complete 10-15 repetitions for each set, and do a total of 3-5 sets.

This exercise targets your back and arm muscles, which are important for maintaining proper form during L-sits.

Dips

Dips
Dips
  • When doing dips, focus on fully straightening your arms at the top of the movement and keeping your chest lifted.
  • Aim to complete 10-12 repetitions for each set, and do 3-5 sets in total.

Dips are great for building strength in your arms and chest, which will help you stabilize your body during L-sits.

Supplemental lower body exercises and core exercises

If you’re finding that your lower body and core strength are limiting your progress with L-sits, consider incorporating the following exercises into your routine.

Front Scale

  • This special move mimics the position of your quads and hip flexors during an L-sit but in a standing position.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 seconds on each leg, aiming for 3-5 sets.

The Front Scale helps strengthen your legs and core, preparing you for the demands of the L-sit.

Hanging Knee Raises

Hanging Knee Raises
Hanging Knee Raises
  • Using a pull-up bar or dip bars, bring both knees up towards your chest and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do 10-12 reps for each set, and aim for 3-5 sets in total.
  • For an extra challenge, maintain scapular depression by pushing hard through the dip bars or keeping the pull-up prep position on the bar throughout the set.

Hanging Knee Raises target your core muscles, helping you build the strength necessary for holding an L-sit position.

Hanging Single Straight Leg Raise

  • Grab a pull-up bar or dip bar and straighten one knee as much as you can.
  • Lift it as high as possible while keeping it straight, and hold for 5 seconds.
    Aim for 10-12 reps in each set, and do a total of 3-5 sets.

This exercise targets your core and leg muscles, helping you develop the strength needed for a solid L-sit.

Hanging Double Straight Leg Raise

This variation is the toughest one yet.

  • Keep both knees locked out straight throughout the movement.
  • You’ll quickly realize how challenging this exercise is and how it can significantly strengthen your L-sit.
  • Perform 10-12 reps for each set, and aim for 3-5 sets.

By mastering this exercise, you’ll build exceptional strength in your core and legs, setting you up for success with your L-sits.

And if you want to learn more about L-sit, check out this YOUTUBE video now!

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