L-sit lifts are an excellent core strength exercise combining a static hold plus a leg lift variation from a support position. L-sit lifts are an excellent example of a gymnastics core conditioning element that is quite effective and comprehensive in nature. They are possessed of an active flexibility element, contain a static strength element and promote reasonable support strength throughout the shoulder girdle and arms while simultaneously placing a significant workload on the abs and hip flexors. That is a lot of bang for the buck.
An L-sit lift, although demanding, is technically one of the simplest gymnastics core strength elements to perform. Begin from a seated pike on the floor. Make sure the area behind you is clear of obstructions in case you fall backward. Place your hands on the floor so that they are just in front of the hips. As with planche work, the hand position used is completely optional. The hands may be flat, or on the first knuckle or up on the fingertips. The hands may be turned forward, sideward or backward. If despite experimenting with a variety of positions, you find that your wrists are still excessively uncomfortable, I recommend that you perform the L-sit lifts on parallets or pushup bars.
Once you have found a hand position that you are comfortable with, press yourself up into an L-sit. Pause in the L-sit and then attempt to lift your legs as high as possible. Do not allow the arms to bend, but focus on keeping the elbows completely extended. Also note, that leaning back too far back will preclude you from attaining any reasonable amount of lift. Rather focus on remaining upright and pressing down strongly.
If you are not used to this kind of straight arm exertion, you may find yourself the proud owner of a set of very engaging triceps cramps. These are quite effective at gaining your full attention :shock:! If cramps occur, immediately come out of the L-sit lift, place the hand of the cramping arm behind your head and grasp that hand’s elbow with your other hand. Pulling down strongly on that elbow and then holding that position for 5-10 seconds is usually quite effective in helping to relieve the cramping.
Eventually plan on lifting your legs to vertical, however for now a lift of only a few inches may be all that is possible. Return once more to the L-sit position and then continue onward for the desired number of repetitions.