Muscle group:   The leg muscles

Trained muscle:   Thigh front

Fitness level:   Beginner, advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Own body weight exercises


Straight leg raises are a very effective exercise for the straight thigh muscle. The side parts of the thigh muscles are activated on a reduced level performing straight leg raises.

Straight leg raises

Straight leg raises can be performed in a standing or sitting position. If you cannot hold the balance in a standing position make sure to hold on to a chair or similar. Stand straight up and raise one leg to the front. Keep this leg raised and stretched in the knee joint to the maximum. Bent the standing leg slightly. The straight thigh muscle tilts the pelvis. In this exercise it is necessary to work out with a hollow back. It is still recommendable to keep the upper body as straight as possible and the abdominal muscles tensed.

Straight leg raises in a seated position are a little easier to perform since our body remains more stabilized. Sit down with both legs stretched to the front and your back straightened up. Your arms rest behind your back on the floor. The abdominal muscles are tensed. From this position raise one leg from the ground. Make sure to lift and stretch this leg to the maximum.

Both, standing and sitting straight leg raises can be performed with small up and down movements in the area of highest muscle contraction (at maximum elevation). If you would like to further intensify the exercise you could work out with extra weights, such as foot cuffs around your ankle. Please avoid press breathing (exhalation against closed airways).


Antagonist: Thigh backside

Stretching: Front thigh stretches

Straight leg raises seated

Straight leg raises seated

Straight leg raises standing

Straight leg raises standing

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