BY NAOMI NAZARIO
This workout is not for the faint of heart—or abs. L-sits find their roots in gymnastics and require high levels of upper body strength and stability. That being said, you don’t have to be a gymnast to add these moves into your workout.
Aside from strength, you’ll need a decent baseline of hamstring flexibility to perform this exercise.
Andy Speer, the creator of The Anarchy Abs Workout from Men’s Health, performs many of the L-sit variations while supporting his weight on his fingertips. If you’re not quite there yet, you can use yoga blocks, dumbbells, or paralette bars to elevate yourself off the ground.
This move is great for shoulder stability, arm strength, and provides insane benefits for your midsection. But in order to make the most of the exercise, the move has to be executed correctly. It’s tempting with an exercise that requires this much discipline to round the shoulders and back, which is why this workout focuses on shorter work periods. This way you’ll be able to focus on maintaining proper form and not succumb to fatigue.
For a proper L-sit, you’ll want to brace your core (think of how you’d prepare for a punch to the gut), squeeze your shoulders down and back, and maintain a natural curve to the lower back. While keeping that position, remember to breathe deep into your belly without releasing tension in your abs.
Speer also inserts a spider lunge stretch within each round to loosen up the hips and allow for active recovery between the more core intensive movements.
Directions: Perform the exercises listed below for 20 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest between moves.
1. L-sit compression
2. Tuck kickout
3. Alternating spider lunge stretch
4. L-sit hold (beginner: tuck hold)
Rest for 20 seconds. That’s 1 round. Repeat for 3 to 5 rounds.