Medicine ball leg raises are the ideal exercise for anyone looking for an intermediate and effective workout for their abdominal muscles. This exercise helps build strength in the core and serves as a mild aerobic workout. Medicine ball leg raises can help you tighten and tone up the lower, middle and uppers abs. If you’re looking for a lean and sexy stomach, make sure to also implement cardio workouts into your program to burn calories and eat a nutrient dense diet to help lose body fat from around your midsection.
Exercise Instructions: Start off with a very light medicine ball to get the technique of the movement down. While Laying down on an exercise mat, securely hold a medicine ball over your head and stretch out your arms and legs. Crunch upwards keeping your arms straight and raise your feet to your hands. Slowly place the medicine ball in between your feet and lower your body into the starting position while keeping your feet just off the ground and the medicine ball between your feet. Crunch back up, raise your legs and grab the medicine ball from your feet. Finally, lower your legs and upper body to the starting position. This is a very tough ab exercise, so make sure to start off very light and focus on perfect form.
Muscles Targeted: The muscles that the medicine ball leg raises primarily target are the muscles in the lower abdominal region. However, the upper and middle muscles in the abdominal region are also engaged when the body crunches together, as the legs and torso move up towards the ceiling. This movement also works the lower back and thighs as well. The weight from the medicine ball adds resistance to this exercise, which not only builds strength in the abdominal muscles, but also firms up the arms and shoulders while holding the ball.
Why This Exercise is Important: The medicine ball leg raise is an important exercise because it is a difficult exercise that focuses on many different areas at once. This exercise can be performed practically anywhere and is perfect for anyone looking for a great home exercise for their abs. It’s excellent for targeting the core muscles and the upper body. Doing core exercises can help strengthen the lower back and reduce pain in that area.
Things To Avoid: Using incorrect form for this exercise should definitely be avoided. The participant’s back must remain straight, and the weight of the medicine ball should not be too heavy. All movement and motion should be smooth and controlled, with no quick, jerking, or swinging motions. Even raising and lowering the legs should be slow and controlled. Failure to comply with these recommendations can result in injury.
Reps and Sets: This exercise is not simple to execute so closely watch your form and make sure your technique is spot on so you can perform the movement correctly. Repetitions will vary according to the fitness level of the individual. Someone starting out with this exercise may want to try 4-6 strict reps for 1-2 sets. Once you get to an advanced level, increase the reps to 15-20 with 3-4 total sets. Train your abs 2-3 times per week and allow at least 24 hours of rest between workouts.
Other Exercises To Use: There are many other abdominal exercises that can be used in conjunction with medicine ball leg raises. Weighted hand to leg AB crunches is a similar exercise that uses dumbbells instead of a medicine ball, and works each side of the body separately instead of simultaneously. Raised knee barbell crunches are another exercise that works both the abdominal region and torso. While working the main abdominal area, it is important to include the obliques as well. Exercises such as barbell oblique side bends and oblique twists can complement most abdominal routines. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.