Muscle group:   The leg muscles, the butt muscles, the back muscles, complex exercises

Trained muscle:   Thigh backside, butt muscles, lower back muscles

Fitness level:   Beginner, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


Back leg lifts represent a very good exercise for the thigh backside, the buttocks, and the lower back muscles. The exercise can be performed at different intensity levels on machines or just using the own body weight. This article will explain the workout with the own body weight. For the training on machines please read the article leg curl.

Back leg lifts

Back leg lifts can be performed in a standing, kneeling, or lying position. There are also machines at the gym for this exercise.

Back leg lifts lying

The lying back leg lift starts in prone position. The head lies on our crossed arms facing the floor. We can keep both legs stretched or bend one leg and lay it sidewards to the floor to erect the pelvis. From that position we lift the other leg stretched from the floor. Make sure to lift the entire leg including the thigh to the maximum. With your leg in the air flex your knee joint. From that position it is quite intense to perform small up and down movements in the area of highest muscle contraction. Lifting and lowering your leg alternatingly would make it less intense. You could intensify this exercise by using extra weights (foot cuff).

Back leg lifts lying

Back leg lifts lying

Back leg lifts and bends on the floor

Back leg lifts and bends on the floor

Back leg lifts and bends on the bench

Back leg lifts and bends on the bench

Back leg lifts and bends on the bench

Back leg lifts and bends on the bench

Back leg lifts kneeling

The same execution applies for back leg lifts in kneeling position. Here, your body rests on both arms and one leg in tabletop position. Intensify this version by holding your diagonal arm stretched from the body.

Back leg lifts

Back leg lifts

Back leg lifts

Back leg lifts


Back leg lifts in lying position combined with reverse flys and hyperextensions makes a very complex exercise that works out almost the entire backside of your body.

Antagonists: Thigh front, abdominal muscles

Stretching: Back thigh stretches, glute stretches, lower back stretches

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