What is the L sit?
Which muscles are engaged during an L-sit?
Flexibility for the L-sit
If you lack flexibility in your hamstrings, it can make training the L-sit quite challenging. Therefore, I recommend warming them up thoroughly before starting your L-sit workout.
Check out the video below for hamstring stretch inspiration.
L sit progressions
There are various progressions that assist you in working towards your first L-sit. Progressions are simplified versions of the exercise that gradually acclimate your body to the new movement.
By incorporating these progressions, your muscles strengthen, and your body gradually adapts to the new motions.
Progression 1: 1 feet L sit
Progression 2: tucked L sit
Progression 3: tucked L sit 1 leg extended
Progression 4: full L sit
How do you train for the L-sit?
To start, it’s essential to determine the surface on which you’ll train the L-sit. You can choose from the floor, an elevation like parallettes or yoga blocks, or on rings.
If you’re just beginning with the L-sit, I recommend training on an elevation (such as yoga blocks or parallettes). This significantly eases your training by providing more room to raise your legs. Later on, you can progress to more challenging variations.
Step 1: Choose one of the previously mentioned progressions.
Step 2: Place the parallettes/blocks approximately shoulder-width apart.
Step 3: Position your palms on the equipment and grip them firmly.
Step 4: Extend your arms until your elbows are locked, focusing on outward rotation of the elbows.
Step 5: Engage your core, quads, and hip flexors, lifting your legs until they are parallel to the floor.
Step 6: Complete a total of 3 sets of this progression per session. Ensure that you can hold each set for a minimum of 5 seconds. Once you can maintain a progression for 3 sets of 15 seconds, move on to the next progression.
L sit dropset
To bridge the progression between different sets, it’s beneficial to incorporate a drop set. Begin with a full L-sit, and when you can no longer sustain it, transition to a tucked variation.
This allows you to spend more overall time in the exercise without needing to perform numerous sets.
Exercises to support the L-sit
The first assistance exercise focuses on depressing the shoulder blades, commonly referred to as ‘shoulder depression.’
Gravity tends to push your body downward, leading to a ‘shoulder elevation’ where your shoulders move towards your ears. To prevent this, it’s crucial to strengthen your shoulder muscles.
An ideal exercise for this is dip shrugs, which can be performed on a dip bar. In this exercise, you actively push the shoulder blades down and then allow them to slide back up.
Check out the video below for a demonstration.
To strengthen your abdominal muscles and hip flexors for the L-sit, it’s beneficial to incorporate knee raises into your routine.
You can perform these in two ways. Firstly, hanging from a bar, pull your knees up towards your chest.
However, an even better option (especially for the L-sit) is the dip bar knee raise. In this variation, you execute knee raises while depressing your shoulders downward. This exercise closely resembles the L-sit and shares significant overlap.
For a demonstration of dip bar knee raises, check out the video below.