Leg Pullups

Leg Pullups

Pull Ups are an exercise that are traditionally associated with the arms, however Leg Pullups are a powerful way to shape the lower body.

This exercise is also known as the leg pull, the leg pull back, the reverse plank with leg lift, and the reverse plank with leg pull. Whatever it’s called, this movement that has its roots in Pilates will push the muscles in the lower body to the next level. It targets the core, the hamstrings, and the back muscles. 

Intermediate Mat Workout

Leg Pullups are an intermediate exercise that require only a mat as a piece of equipment. They strengthen the glutes and the back, while also giving a nice boost to the hamstrings and the core. 

This exercise is an extension of the reverse plank. Adding the extension through the leg at the end of the exercise provides additional work in flexibility and stability. 

Reverse Plank Pull Instructions

This exercise should be done on a mat that has been laid out on a stable surface. 

  • Sit up with your legs out in front. Tighten the core muscles and lengthen the spine towards the ceiling. Pull the shoulders down and relax them.
  • Open the chest, rotating the shoulders back and down. Pull your hands around to your back until they are flat on the floor, fingers pointing towards the front. Inhale.
  • Exhale while tightening the legs to lift the pelvis. This will create a straight line from your feet to your head. Pull in the abs to give further strength and stabilization to the center of the body. Push through the arms to allow the chest to remain open. 
  • At the top of the push, inhale deeply. 
  • Exhale, lifting the right leg up towards the ceiling. Keep the body totally still save the movement of the leg. The pelvis and midsection should remain still. Glutes should stay in the air.
  • Inhale, releasing the leg to the floor with control. The leg should lengthen as it touches the ground.
  • Repeat on the left side. 
  • Do three sets of the exercise. 

Why it Works and What to Avoid

The Leg Pullup does a great job of strengthening the back and hamstrings while it stretches the from of the body. It improves the control for everyday functions like sitting and standing. This is a good strengthening and stretch exercise for swimmers and for runners. 

This exercise shouldn’t be done by anyone who has an injury in their wrists or their elbows. It’s important that proper form precautions are taken in order to prevent injury with this exercise. Hyperextending through the elbows and knees should be avoided. Sinking is another danger, as you should feel lifted instead. This goes for the neck coming towards the shoulders – it should be long and relaxed. 

If you’re struggling to get this move right, try doing reverse plank work in order to build muscle tone through the core and triceps. If this move is a little easy, adding a weight bench or a chair to raise the surface will make it more of a challenge. It can also be modified to be done on the elbows. 

Pullups aren’t just for arms anymore! Leg Pullups are a great solution for improving lower body and core strength.

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