If you want to simultaneously strengthen your core and develop a solid foundation in bodyweight exercise, the L-sit is an excellent option. The L-sit is the starting position for highly advanced exercises such as the L-sit to handstand, and it will familiarize you with the parallel bars. Bodyweight exercise expert Timothy Bell, who blogs over at Timothy Bell Fitness, presents this guide to help you work up to and master the L-sit.


First, you need a base of upper body strength. Use the following exercises to prepare yourself:


  • Planks
  • Side planks
  • Push ups
  • Dips


Then you can move on to specific L-sit progressions. 


  1. Tucked Knee Raises - Hold the parallel bars without hunching forward or touching the ground with your feet. Bend your knees and raise them to hip height, then lower them and repeat.
  2. Tucked Knee Hold - Hold both bent knees at hip height for several seconds.
  3. One Leg L-sit - From the tucked knee hold, extend one leg fully and hold the new position.
  4. L-sit - Keep your posture tall and your legs straight when doing the L-sit. Push into the bars with your hands.


Follow these steps to safely and progressively learn the L-sit and increase your arsenal of bodyweight skills.


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