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Move of the month: Leg Raises

Leg raises are a core strengthener that target the abdominal muscles. Vivienne Rickman is your guide.

This month’s move is a core strengthener that targets the abdominal muscles specifically.

Having a strong core aids our rotation in the water and helps us keep that sleek streamline position we need for swimming.

Leg raises need no equipment and can be performed anywhere you can lie down, making them
really accessible for most people and a great exercise for while we are travelling or away from home.

How to do leg raises

You can use an exercise mat if you wish.

  1. Lie on your back and extend your legs, place your arms by your sides.
  2. Engage your core and press your lower back down into your exercise mat. While breathing out, lift your legs to a point that feels comfortable for you. Your lower back should stay in contact with the mat.
  3. Inhale, then lower your legs with control while exhaling. Repeat.


There are lots of variations you can do with this move and make it your own. Play around with the range of your leg raise. You might be more comfortable lifting (or lowering) your legs a smaller distance. Lift your legs up and to the side to give your oblique muscles more of a workout.

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This article is from the May issue of Outdoor Swimmer. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.