How To Do Leg Loopsa

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating Leg Loops

Leg loops is a core exercise that strengthens the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus and helps flatten your belly. Leg loops is done using a dumbbell or, if needed, can be done with no equipment at all. This is a totally unique exercise that uses both movement and stability to help strengthen the muscles of the core. The stability comes from holding your upper body in a flexed position and your legs off the ground. The movement comes by weaving the dumbbell in and out under your legs causing the stability muscles to work even harder.

If you learn how to do Leg Loops you are learning to multi-task with your tummy. Most ab exercises focus on flexion. The ab crunch, for instance, has the upper body flex up and down focusing strictly on the rectus abdominus (the six-pack). By adding the movement of the dumbbell on this exercise, not only do the flat-belly muscles work harder, but the stabilizers do as well. Why is this good? Less back pain! Stabilizers keep the middle of your body strong and tall helping to prevent weakness in the back that can lead to injury.

There are a few important things to remember about Leg Loops. Be sure to pull your belly button in and relax you hip flexors to keep the focus on the right thing. Choose your dumbbell wisely. Too heavy and you will compromise your body position. Make sure to start lighter and work your way up. If the dumbbell gets in the way of using proper form try this move with no weight. You’ll still feel it working!

Here are the steps to performing Leg Loops:

1) Start seated on the mat with knees bent and feet on the floor and have a dumbbell nearby. Scoop out your core, lean back and lift legs into a tabletop position so they are parallel to the floor.

2) Take a dumbbell into one hand. Drive the knee on the same side in towards the chest and extend the other leg long so you can loop the dumbbell under the bent knee through to the other hand. Once the dumbbell is through repeat on the other side.

Targets: core

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