The One Core Exercise You Should Stop Doing

The hanging leg raise is a pretty common core exercise in commercial gyms but little do most back pain sufferers know the hanging leg raise is one of the worst exercises they could be doing for their pain relief.

Core training for low back pain relief is a must but picking the right core exercise could make or break the results you get. 

If you have ever been told that a stronger core will help with your pain yet even after doing a few core exercise your pain is still there or even worse todays video is for you. 

In today’s video I am going to be covering the hanging leg raise and why a low back pain or post surgery warrior should NOT be doing this exercise and what exercises to do instead.

Are Hanging Leg Raises Bad For Your Back?

The hanging leg raise by itself is a great exercise to challenge the body as a whole in a lot of ways. 

I think where it turns ugly is when someone with a sensitive low back or history of surgery tries adding this exercise into their program sending them into a downward spiral of pain and discomfort. 

We think that it’s just a part of the process of getting stronger so we keep doing it but never really see the relief we are aiming for. 

So no, the exercise itself is not a bad exercise you just need more context to really determine whether this exercise is a good fit for you.

What Are Some Alternative Exercises To The Hanging Leg Raises?

There are a lot of great exercises you can replace the hanging leg raise with the key is finding one that fits your specific pain threshold at the moment that is easily modifiable. 

I’ve got two I want to show you here today.

Hanging Leg Raise Alternative One: Weighted Dead Bug Leg Drop

The weighted dead bug is one of my favorite hanging leg raise alternatives. 

There are a ton of different variations you can do with this exercise so it makes it perfect for anyone with back pain or post surgery sensitivity. 

Coaching Cues To Remember With This Exercise: 

  • Don’t flatten your lower back into the floor. Find what is comfortable for you and build your brace around that.
  • Keep your ribs down.
  • Breathe slow and controlled. Don’t just hold your breath. 
  • Go slow and master the movement. Don’t just go through the motions.

Hanging Leg Raise Alternative Two: Weighted Ceiling Presses

The ceiling press is a little more difficult just because naturally you want to do a sit up or crunch bit that’s NOT what you’re actually doing.

Coaching Cues To Remember With This Exercise: 

  • Don’t flatten your lower back into the floor. Find what is comfortable for you and build your brace around that.
  • Press the weight straight up NOT up and over your knees.
  • Keep the weight slightly over your forehead/head to keep the upper abs on.
  • Breathe slow and controlled. Don’t just hold your breath. 
  • Go slow and master the movement. Don’t just go through the motions.
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