The L-sit is a staple gymnastics exercise that involves supporting yourself on gymnastic / fitness rings with the legs bent at a 90 degree angle to the torso, so that the body forms an ‘L’ shape.
This sounds easier than many find in practice! For the beginner, this hold is going to take some work, but once you’re competent with the L-sit you will have built an extremely strong core that makes most common ab exercises seem easy!
The L-sit is an excellent core body strength hold that will develop the abdominals, adding overall muscular density without too much muscle mass. In addition to working the abs the exercise will develop strength and endurance in the hips and triceps too.
Using rings for the l-sit adds in the element of instability and forces the core to work that little bit harder.
Beginning the L-Sit
If you’re new to the L-sit you will most likely find it difficult to sustain. You can work up to a full straight legged L Sit using the following techniques:
- Train your tuck sit (both legs tucked up to your chest and held).
- Train the abs using knee raises to develop your strength, these can be done on rings, simply support your body weight and raise the knees up to the chest, hold, then return.
- Use resistance bands to support the weight of the legs.
- Practice! Practice the L-sit with bent knees and try to keep the thighs level, to make it easier. As you become stronger through this hold you can incrementally straighten your legs.
- Some people find the hanging L sit easier to do; this is where you hand below the rings rather than your arms supporting your body weight above the rings.
- One-leg extended L-sits, and alternate legs until you build up strength to perform the exercise with both legs simultaneously.
Advanced Ring L-Sits
- Weighted L-sits – perform the L-sit with ankle weights. Please take care doing this as it may place strain on the lower back.
- L-sit scissor – get in position, open and close the legs in a scissor like motion.
- V-sit – A truly difficult exercise. Work on raising the straight legs past horizontal and further towards the face.