Bodyweight Exercises: Abdominal Hip Raises

Bodyweight exercises are a great way of helping to develop your musculature and strength without making use of weights and machines at a gym. Many trainers recommend bodyweight exercises because they tend to be safer and to cause less stress on the body. Still, there are concerns with injury prevention for these types of exercises as well.

The abdominal hip raise is a great bodyweight exercise. It helps to develop a number of muscle groups, including the core muscles, the back and more. It also helps you to practice with and increase your sense of balance. Read on for a brief guide to how to best accomplish the abdominal hip raise.

Abdominal Hip Raise Basics

Because there is the great potential to execute this exercise in an incorrect way and thereby to cause yourself some pain, you should plan to follow the instructions which follow very carefully. Begin by lying on your back on a flat surface. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. One leg at a time, lift up your knees and draw them in to your chest so that you’re lying entirely on your back. Next, push both feet up into the air and flex them. Your knees should be very slightly bent and not locked in place in this upward position. This is the resting position for the exercise. Your hands can be lying flat on the floor with your arms stretched out next to your body, though you shouldn’t push down into the ground with your arms.

To execute the exercise, you should lift up your abdomen and your hips to push your legs straight up into the air. Slowly lower yourself back down after a few seconds. This will constitute a single repetition of the exercise.

Safety and Injury Prevention

This exercise is prone to different types of injury. Be sure that you keep your back flat on the floor and that you don’t arch it at all as you’re working. Also, keep your legs pointed straight up. If you lean your chest or head forward as you work out, you’ll find that this puts unnecessary strain on your upper body and on your back as well, which can lead to some types of injury. Always work slowly and continue to breathe regularly as you do this exercise, and stop if you feel any muscle cramps or unusual soreness.

Modifications

There are not too many modifications for this exercise, although it is similar to other exercises which are done from the same position. You can easily incorporate these other exercises into the abdominal hip raise as well, if you’d like. For instance, lift up the legs to the chest position and then do bicycle kick crunches for a further enhancement on your core muscles, if you’d like. This can be incorporated into the end of a standard abdominal hip raise.

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