For Coaches Leg lifts

gymisforeveryone

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Former Gymnast
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Nov 16, 2012
846
Hi!

A quick qustion: some of my girls are complaining that they only feel leg lifts on stall bars in their quads. They can do about 15-20 clean repetitions without pausing. They say that they can't feel their abs working at all. Could this be true or are they just being sassy? :rolleyes: I can see that quads are of course working to keep the legs straight, but abs and hip flexors are the main area to make the leg lift happen right?

If this is a real problem what could we do to make them feel the burn in their abs and not just legs/quads?

They are teenagers and have been doing leg lifts forever.
 
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ladybird

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Dec 5, 2012
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I just asked my 15 year old who has been doing leg lifts since she was 7. She said that they may feel it in their abs more if they do tucked leg lifts in addition full and half. She also said that they could be arching their backs and using momentum that they wouldn’t necessarily feel in their abs. Hope this helps!
 

kendo348

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Aug 5, 2019
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Take this with a grain of salt because I really know next to nothing about this... but anecdotally and for what it’s worth, in my case tight hip flexors (and other things) have contributed over time to some anterior pelvic tilt, which I’ve noticed makes it more difficult to engage my lower abs on any type of leg lift or similar movement. To compensate my body defaults to hip flexors and quads (which makes the problem worse... it’s kind of maddening.) So as said above, maybe make sure they aren’t arching?
 

Jenny

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Sep 17, 2012
3,298
Try doing it on a hanging bar and not a stall bar where they tend to bounce off the bars to get momentum. Make them start from a straight hang with no arch what so ever. And no closing of shoulders at all. By closing the shoulders they can do the last 30% of the lift without using abs at all. And by bouncing they can achieve the first 50 %. So that reduces the abs work to virtually nothing. I don't like those handstand trainer bars for skills but they would be useful here to help them understand how to keep the shoulders open.
 

ladybird

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Dec 5, 2012
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I just realized your post was tagged for coaches. I am so sorry for posting!
 

gymisforeveryone

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Coach
Former Gymnast
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Nov 16, 2012
846
Thank you all!

We have stall bars that prevent head going back and closing the shoulders, so that is eliminated. Arching the back is hard too. Some bouncing might happen but not very visible... We do the leg lifts with a sock between the ankles to make sure that the legs are together, and usually the "bouncers" are caught there because the sock tends to drop if they slam their feet to the stall bars when down.

I have preferred doing leg lifts on stall bars because on real bars they tend to close the shoulders or arch when not closely monitored. And usually I don't have time to always monitor every rep.

What do you think, would it help if I made them come down from the pike hang more slowly and controlled and do less reps?

Our goal is 30 reps (we have a program similar to TOPS here and 30 reps is the maximum points)
 

cjimenes

Coach
Coach
Aug 4, 2019
4
35
Country
USA
We have our girls do the following on stalls:
  • Long leg lifts (bottom to top)
  • Short leg lifts (top to half in L back to top)
  • Window wipers (side to side in V)
  • Tuck ups(tuck up-straighten to L- tuck in-down
Tuck in
 

cjimenes

Coach
Coach
Aug 4, 2019
4
35
Country
USA
Edit from previous post above:

We have our girls do the following on stalls for variety and difficulty:
  • Long leg lifts (bottom to top)
  • Short leg lifts (top- half way down to L- top)
  • Window wipers (side to side in V)
  • Tucks (tuck-straighten legs to L- tuck-down)
 
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