Leg drops are a relatively challenging core exercise that not only strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdomen, but also those of the lower back and hip flexors. Be sure that you have received your doctor’s okay before attempting this exercise in order to prevent possible injury.
Background of Leg Drops on a Bench
When performed on a bench, leg drops are a great exercise that can be used to increase the strength and muscle tone of the abdominal muscles, lower back and hip flexors. Strengthening these muscles not only helps to provide a more toned look, but also helps stabilize the “core,” thereby aiding in the treatment and prevention in lower back pain and strain. As this exercise can put a large degree of strain on the lower back, be sure to consult with your physician in order to make sure that you are strong enough to perform the exercise.
Performing Leg Drops on a Bench
In order to prevent injury and achieve the most optimal benefits from leg drops performed on a bench, it is important to keep some basic guidelines in mind in regards to form and technique. Start by finding a sturdy, stable exercise bench, and lay down on it with your back, head and shoulders flat on the bench. Reach your arms overhead, and hold onto the end of the bench above your head.
Next, carefully extend both legs up into the sky, keeping them as straight as possible. As with any exercise, start this one by taking some deep breaths. During inhalation of the breath, lower your legs towards the ground, still keeping them relatively straight. Once you feel your lower back begin to lift off the surface of the bench, exhale your breath, and use the muscles in your core to lift your legs up to the starting position.
Do 10 repetitions of the exercise, and rest. Perform another set of ten repetitions of the exercise for best results.
As discussed above, it is important to stop lowering your legs to the ground once you feel your lower back come off the bench. Continuing to lower your legs past this point can result in major back pain or injury. If you are concerned about your ability to perform this exercise properly, you may want to consider increasing your core strength before any attempts of the leg drops on bench are made.
Increasing the Intensity
Finally, if you are able to easily perform the basics of this exercise, you may want to consider adding a more challenging component. One easy way to do so is by placing an ankle weight around your lower leg. This increases the amount of weight that your core must work against, thereby making this exercise much more difficult to perform.