The L-Sit

July 8, 2010 // Al Kavadlo

The L-sit is a classic isometric exercise that works your entire body, emphasizing the abdominal muscles.

In order to perform an L-sit, you’ll need a strong core, strong arms and better than average flexibility in your hamstrings.

I recommend learning the L-sit by practicing on parallel bars or another elevated surface (although you can practice this move with no equipment).

If you have bars, begin by holding yourself upright, like you would at the top of a parallel bar dip. Then start raising your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel to the ground. Your body will wind up looking sort of like the letter “L” (hence “L-sit”). If you can’t get to this position right away, practice with your knees bent to work your way up to the full position.

Exercises like planks and side planks are also a great way to help build core strength. I recommend practicing them concurrently or as a precursor to the L-sit. If your abs are strong and you’re still having trouble doing an L-sit, tight hamstrings might be what is preventing you. A consistent stretching regimen can gradually loosen your hamstrings, but it will require patience and diligence.

If you don’t have bars or an elevated surface, you can try working your L-sit on the ground. Bear in mind that this is more challenging due to the fact that you have less leeway to lift into the hold.

Begin with your palms flat or try holding yourself up on your fingertips. Once you can hold a full L-sit for 30 seconds, you are ready to progress to harder core exercises like front levers, back levers and the infamous human flag.

Watch the video below for more: