Lying alternating straight leg raise exercise

Lying alternating straight leg raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Iliopsoas
  • Synergists: Sartorius, Pectineus, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Rectus Femoris
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Lie supine (on your back) on a mat or a bench.
  2. Place your hands under your buttocks to raise and support your pelvis.
  3. Raise both legs a little off the floor or bench.


  1. Keeping your legs straight, raise one leg vertically into the air.
  2. Lower the same leg to the starting position as you simultaneously raise the opposite leg vertically into the air.
  3. Keep alternating these leg movements, raising one leg as you lower the opposite one.
  4. Breathe naturally.

Comments and tips

  • Do not allow your legs to touch the floor or bench.
  • Do not swing or kick your legs; keep the movement under control.
  • Since you do not flex your waist, your rectus abdominis and obliques only act as stabilizers.
  • Make the lying alternating straight leg raise more difficult by performing it on an inclined board, on a captain’s chair, or while hanging from a bar.
  • Make the exercise easier by either flexing your knees or allowing your heels to touch the floor.
  • Alternating your legs places less stress on your lower back compared with raising both legs at the same time.
  • See also the lying straight leg raise, the captain’s chair straight leg raise, the hanging straight leg raise, and the lying scissor kick.

Lying alternating straight leg raise video


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