More “Delicious Bonbons Of Knowledge” To Help You With Your Pull-up – The Floor Leg Raise

Last weekend I attended Mark Fisher Fitness’ Motivation and Movement Lab in New York City. If you are a trainer, coach, or business owner in the fitness industry, you must attend the next Motivation and Movement Lab. It will help to reinforce the things that you are doing well in your business and help you to generate ideas for things you could do better in your business.


The gold medal phrase of the day was when Mark Fisher informed us that the speakers were going to give us “Delicious Bonbons of Information”. Thus, I had to quote this phrase because it is so priceless next to of course Harold Gibbons’ clever use of the word, “Ellipticizing”.

Since my last post, “One Movement That Will Help Your Pull-up” about the Hanging Leg Raise, I have receive two questions from multiple people on 1) The Hollow Position and 2) An alternative movement to the hanging leg raise if you are not quite ready for the hanging leg raise.

The Hollow Position

Here is a video excerpt of instruction on the Hollow Position as it pertains to pull-ups from my strength workshop I Am Not Afraid To Lift Boston 2014 at Iron Body Studios.

Note when I refer to the “bar” in the video, I explain earlier that you can use a dowel to simulate the pull-up bar so that you can simulate your position hanging from the bar on the floor with the dowel in your hands.

I also go into detail about the hollow position (or floor pull-ups) and a set and rep scheme for training the hollow position on the floor in my post “Pull-up Tips for Women (INCLUDING tips to help you train to achieve your FIRST pull-up)“.

The Floor Leg Raise

If you are not ready to train the hanging leg raise just yet, an alternative movement (or regression) that you can start with until you are ready to progress to the hanging leg raise is the floor leg raise.

This is a movement that I teach at my strength workshop “I Am Not Afraid To Lift” and that I will teach at my course Superhuman Strength Training at the Perform Better Functional Training Institute on May 30, 2015.

I first learned of partner assisted floor leg raises three years ago in 2012 at my RKC Level II Kettlebell Instructor Certification. This was before StrongFirst was established and at the time both Pull-ups and Pistol Squats were part of the curriculum.


Me with my partner badass Senior RKC Instructor and Iron Maiden Beth Andrews 

Pavel Tsatsouline taught the segment on pull-ups and within this segment he taught us the floor leg raise and the hanging leg raise.

For the floor leg raise you can do them partner assisted, (as shown step by step in the photos below), or you can set up J-Clips low on a rig to support a barbell or a dowel as I explain at the end of this video:

Floor Leg Raise Instruction At I Am Not Afraid To Lift Boston 2014

Step One: Start with arms straight holding a dowel or barbell overhead, legs are flat on the floor.


Step Two: Tuck your knees into your chest and then extend your legs straight so they make a 90 degree angle.


Step Three: Keep your legs straight and lower them until you are in your hollow position. Your low back should be pressed into the floor and no small animal should be able to run underneath your back 🙂 .


Step Four: Keep your legs and your arms straight and use your abdominals to raise/lift your legs so that your feet reach towards the dowel or barbell overhead while SIMULTANEOUSLY pulling down on the bar with your arms, while keeping your elbows straight, so that your lats engage and actively work in the pull.


Step Five: After your feet or ankles touch the dowel or barbell lower your legs back to the starting position of your hollow position and repeat another repetition.

IMG_0077 2 IMG_0076

 Fabulous Exercise Demonstration Brought To You By Laura Turner and Patti Pendexter From The I Am Not Afraid To Lift Boston 2014 Workshop

A recommended set and rep scheme would be to start with 3 sets of 3 reps and work your way up to 3 sets of 5 reps. After training these for a few weeks you will be ready for hanging leg raises on the bar.

If you would like to learn more techniques like these and how to become a master of the pull-up then please join me for either my workshop Superhuman Strength Training at the Perform Better Functional Training Institute in Providence, Rhode Island on May 30, 2015 or my workshop I Am Not Afraid To Lift.

You can learn more and register HERE.


Next I Am Not Afraid To Lift workshops coming to:

  • New York City, New York on September 12, 2015 at Drive495
  • Dulles, Virginia on October 3, 2015 at BSPNOVA
  • Needham, MA on November 7, 2015 at Iron Body Studios

Read more and register HERE.

Lift Workshop Montage 2

Also join me for Keep It Simple Nutrition & Conditioning, coming to:

  • New York City, New York on September 13, 2015 at Drive495
  • Dulles, Virginia on October 4, 2015 at BSPNOVA
  • Needham, MA on November 8, 2015 at Iron Body Studios

Read more and register HERE.

Nutr & Cond

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