Include Side Leg Raises into your exercise routine to help shape & strengthen your hips, thighs and backside.
What Are Side Leg Raises Good For?
Side leg raises involve pushing away, your leg from the midline. It’s an easy, simple and effective way to gain strength in your outer thighs and hip abductors, including the gluteus medius and minimus.
You can do it in two ways – standing or lying down, simply using your body weight. As you require no equipment, you can sneak in a few reps virtually anywhere – at home, in a gym or park.
Side Leg Raises Benefits
I have seen many people overlook working on their Gluteus Maximus, even though this is one of the strongest muscles in your body. Actually, it plays a prominent role, being the muscle responsible for stabilizing your hip.
Side leg raises provide several benefits, such as:
(i) Good range of motion in your hips
(ii) Improved body stabilization
(iii) Great move for those who sit for long periods each day, and
(iv) Improved muscle strength & endurance in the outer sides of your thighs & hip abductors. Strengthening these muscles will help you prevent injury and pain in your hip, knees, and lower back.
Supine Side Leg Raises/Lying Side Leg Raises
If you need some extra support because of the tight muscles in your hips, you can do side leg raises while lying on a mat.
Let’s see How To Do Supine Side Leg Raises
(i) Lie down on your left side on a mat. You are going to keep your body in a straight line with your legs extended and feet stacked on top of each other. You may bend a little your lower leg.
(ii) Place your left arm straight on the floor under your head or bend your elbow and cradle your head for support. Place your right hand out front for extra support or allow it to rest on your leg or hip.
(iii) While exhaling, gently lift your right leg off the lower leg. Stop lifting your leg when you feel the muscles flexing in your lower back or obliques.
(iv) Inhale and lower the leg back down to meet the left leg so that your feet are again stacked.
(v) Repeat 10-15 times, then perform the same drill with your other side.
This video demonstrates how to do do lying side leg raises correctly?
Important Tips For Lying Down Leg Raises:
(i) Don’t raise your leg too high throughout the exercise. Lower it down when you start feeling pressure in your lower back or obliques.
(ii) Maintain (Keep) your core tight during the exercise. This will help take some of the pressure from your lower back.
Standing Side Leg Raises
A standing leg raise is really a very (extremely) handy exercise because you can do it virtually anywhere, even while standing around and waiting for some thing.
You may use a chair or another sturdy object for support.
Let’s see how to do Standing Side Leg Raises
(i) You are going to keep your hands resting on your hips or out in front of you.
(ii) Stand straight, upright with your toes facing forward.
(iii) Now you are going to raise your left leg up off the floor. While raising your left leg up, inhale and shift your weight onto your right foot.
(iv) While exhaling, bring your left leg back down to meet the right leg.
(v) Repeat 10 to 15 times, then perform the same drill with the other side.
This video demonstrates how to do Standing Side Leg Raises correctly:
Important Tips For Side Leg Raises Exercise
For Standing Leg Raises:
(i) Maintain (Keep) your core, back & legs straight. Doing so will help prevent any strain on to your back and enable you get the most benefits out of the exercise.
(ii) Make sure that your hips are in line and knees aren’t locked. They should relax as you perform the exercise.
Side Leg Raises Variations
To make standing leg raise exercise easier:
(i) Consider holding onto a chair or sturdy object for support & balance.
(ii) Don’t raise your leg too high.
As you progress with both the standing and supine side leg raises, you may want to make it more challenging.
Here are the ways to make it harder:
(i) Put on ankle weights around your ankles
(ii) Place resistance bands or tubes around your thighs.
(iii) Add in a side plank while you do your leg raises
Note: Ankle weights are available for varying weight, and so are resistance bands & tubes are available for varying strength.
Including side leg raises — whether lying down or standing — to your routine is an easy and great way to strengthen your hips, thighs, and backside. This helps improve your balance, posture, and day-to-day activities.
However, if you currently have or have had hip problems, check with your doctor first before including side leg raises in your exercise fitness routine.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”