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How to: Do Supine Leg Lower


Supine Leg Lower - Good

Supine Leg Lower - Good

Name:  Supine Leg Lower

Also known as:  Leg lever, (if you know this by any other name, leave a comment below).

Main muscles used:  Abdominals, hip flexors.

Other muscles used:

Top tips:

  • Keep your lower back flat against the floor throughout the exercise.
  • Especially if you are new to this exercise, start with your legs straight and vertical.
  • Keeping your stomach very tight all the time, slowly lower your heels to the floor.
  • As soon as you feel your lower back arching off the floor (or your heels touch the ground) raise your legs back up to the starting position.
  • Make sure the move is slow.  As you get better, make the move last longer, rather than do more of them.
Supine Leg Lower - Bad

Supine Leg Lower - Bad

Common mistakes:

  • Not tightening the stomach and keeping the spine straight/flat.
  • Arching the lower back off the floor as the feet gets closer to the floor.
  • Trying to start the move with the legs down, and having to arch the back to get started.


This is a fantastic “practical” exercise.  It teaches the stomach muscles to do what they are supposed to do…stabilise the spine.

While your usual abdominal crunch will strengthen your stomach, it teaches you to hunch/crunch/fold forwards.  This is not a very good habit, and research suggests that it can be bad for the spine.

This move also strengthens the stomach muscles when they are in a fully extended position (such as when you are standing up straight).  Strength in this position is good for anyone who stands on their feet (i.e. virtually everyone).  It will be especially useful for anyone doing Karate, as it will mean you will be able to take a hit better.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Paweł C permalink
    23/03/2011 3:30 pm

    Legs together = leg levers, one leg at the time = flutter kicks.

    • 23/03/2011 10:26 pm

      I’ve not heard of the leg lever name before, but i really like it! I’m going to call them that from now on.

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