Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to do an L sit which is working his core quads and shoulders

Top of the Mirafit Sit Up Mastery, the L-Sit is no mean feat.

It doesn’t just engage your core, it works your entire body. And is one of the most difficult body weight exercises you can do.

And if you’ve been trying to do L-sits but haven’t quite got there yet, read on.

Below we’ve listed the key strengthening exercises you’ll need to do to be able to work up to an L-sit. We’ve also split out the different stages in working up to doing an L-sit so you can progress at your own pace.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when working up to an L-sit is that they try and jump straight into it. And this ends up being the main reason they can’t do one.

By following the guide below, you’ll be able to work up to an L-sit gradually, targeting specific areas of weakness as you go.

Working up to an L-sit

Depending on your current level of strength, you might find it easier to progress to an L-sit by using Mini Parallettes. This is because with parallettes, your legs don’t need to be completely horizontal to be able to clear the floor.

To work up to an L-sit, first we need to break down the different progressions so you can start to build strength.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to lift his body off the floor but has kept his feet on the gym mat

Step one

As we mentioned earlier, L-sits don’t just work your core. So, first you’ll need to target the key areas separately, starting with your upper body strength.

Using the parallettes, practise pushing yourself up and off the ground while keeping your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Focus on keeping your chest elevated and your back straight. This also means pushing your shoulders right down so that they’re not up around your ears.

Your upper body should be pointing directly down so be careful not to raise your hips.

Practise this until you feel comfortable enough to move onto the next step.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to lift his body off the floor but has kept one foot on the floor

Step two

The next stage in mastering the L-sit is to take the position you have just been doing (above) but move onto doing it on just one foot at a time.

Alternate your feet so that you build strength on both sides. At this stage, your knees should still be bent, your back straight, and your thighs close to your chest.

As you feel comfortable alternating your feet, start to bring them up onto your tip-toes. That way you’ll be able to progress nicely onto the next level.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to do a tuck with his legs close to chest

Step three

Now you should be ready to do a hanging tuck. This means having your hands on the parallettes with your knees bent into your chest and your feet (and body) completely off the floor.

Hold this position for as long as you can and keep practising it regularly to build core and upper body strength.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to lift his body off the floor and has extended one leg out while keeping one close to his chest

Step four

Now you’re ready to start extending your legs. Starting in the hanging tuck position (step three) start to edge each leg out as far as you can go, one leg at a time. Alternate legs and keep practising this position until you can fully extend each leg.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to lift his body off the floor but has his knees bent

Step five

Now that you can fully extend one leg at a time, you’ll want to build strength holding this position so that you can do an L-sit.

Hold one leg out at a time, keeping it straight and pause for at least 5 seconds before bringing it back in and doing the same on the other side.

Mirafit fitness expert uses the mini paralettes to lift his body off the floor and is doing a full L sit with his legs extended out in front

Step six

You’re almost at the full L-sit! Back in your hanging tuck position with your knees bent, start to straighten both legs at a time. Go as far as you can and hold. Then bring them back in. Keep extending this each time you train. As you build strength, it won’t be long before you’re at full leg extension, completing the L-sit challenge!

Supplementary exercises

Although practising the L-sit progressions are the key in helping you do an L-sit, there are additional exercises you can do to help you build strength in the right areas.

The main idea of these supplementary exercises is that they allow you to isolate and work individual areas at a time, so you focus your energy.

Leg lifts

L-sits really work the tops of your quads and your hip flexors so it’s important to develop these areas. You can do this by performing a range of leg lifts.

Sitting on the floor:

  • Lean back slightly to engage you core. Practise lifting and holding one leg at a time, making sure you push them up as far as you can.
  • Once you can do one leg at a time, try to do both so that your legs are in a V-sit position

Standing up:

  • While standing up straight, lift one leg straight out in front of you so that it’s at a 90-degree angle to your body. Hold this for as long as you can and repeat on the other side.

Core exercises

These will really help you to build strength in your hip flexors as well as your core:

  • Using a Sit Up Bench and a Weight Plate, do decline sit ups to work your lower abs.
  • Knee raises are also great for working these areas. Start by using some Parallel Dip Bars and while supporting your own weight, bring your knees into your chest. You can also use this equipment to do partial L-sits which is another good way of building strength.

Upper body exercises

Working your upper body is just as important for performing L-sits:

  • Doing dips on the parallel bars will really help. Make sure you focus on pushing yourself up and your shoulders down, while keeping a straight back.
  • Dip shrugs are also good to do because they focus specifically on the top part of the dip movement. Essentially these are dips on the parallel bars but you’re just moving your shoulders up and down, while keeping your elbows locked.
  • You can also do partial pull ups on a pull up bar. Rather than concentrating on going all the way up to the bar, focus on pushing your shoulders down as you lift yourself up off the ground. Once you’ve reached this active hang position, hold and repeat.

Flexibility

When doing so many strengthening exercises, it can be easy to forget about how important flexibility is for doing L-sits – or any sort of training.

L-sits in particular need good hamstring flexibility, so doing some deep stretches after your workout (when your muscles are warm) is ideal for being able to increase your mobility levels.

We’d love to find out how you get on with your training. Get in touch via Instagram or Facebook @MirafitOfficial.

And if you’re not already a member, don’t forget to sign up to our free, fitness academy Mirafit Mastery.