Muscles Targeted: The primary muscles the elevated leg curl up exercise targets are the muscles whose main function is the flexion of the trunk. This includes the rectus abdominis (Latin for straight abdominal) muscles, also commonly called the “abdominals” or “abs”. The other muscles affected by this exercise are the internal and external obliques which make up the lateral part of the abdominal wall. In addition to flexion, their role is also the side bending of the trunk. All of the abdominal muscles are also the accessory muscles of respiration. When contracting, they are compressing the content of the abdominal cavity, increasing the pressure on the diaphragm and causing expiration.
Exercise Advice: Place an exercise mat on the floor and position yourself flat on your back. Lift your feet slightly off the ground and stretch arms straight out and up. Slowly curl up by raising your shoulders off the ground and lift your knees up while flexing your abdominals. At the top position, try to touch your hands to your knees. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.
Things To Avoid: Using a padded exercise mat is highly recommended when performing the elevated leg curl up movement. Avoid straining your neck during the exercise by keeping it positioned securely. Your abdominal muscles should be contracted during the entire movement. Make sure to perform this exercise in a controlled manner with a very slow and smooth tempo. Any abrupt or jerky movements should be avoided. The legs should be together at all times. Focus on your breathing pattern and exhale during the flexion and inhale when returning to the starting position. Maintaining proper form throughout the entire range of motion should always be the priority. You should discontinue the exercise if you feel any numbness in your arms or legs along with any dizziness or pain in your shoulder, hip joints and lower back.
Reps and Sets: The elevated leg curl up exercise should be performed using 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions for beginners to achieve optimal strengthening and toning in the abdominal muscles and in the overall core area. As you progress, the number of repetitions may be increased according to your fitness level. The rest period between sets should be around 1-2 minutes. Perform core training workouts 2-3 days per week and always take a full 24 hours of rest between core training sessions in order to allow your muscles to recover properly.
Other Exercises To Use: There are some great exercises that you should definitely check out along with this movement to target your overall core. They can serve both as a replacement or as an addition to the elevated leg curl up exercise. The Prone Bridge is another great exercise for improving overall muscle and core strength, and the involvement of the back muscles during this exercise can be of a great use to counteract the potential imbalance between the abdominal and the back muscles, which occurs often by neglecting the back muscles in one’s exercise regime. The Scissor Cross is another effective exercise that focuses on the lower part of your abs. The T-Stabilization Lockout also strengthens the core and helps you maintain good posture.