What Do Side Leg Raises Workout?

Side leg raises are a great way to work out your legs and improve your balance. Read on to learn what muscles side leg raises target and how to do them properly.


Side leg raises exercise is a great way to strengthen and tone your inner and outer thigh muscles. It is an excellent exercise for people looking to reduce body fat, build muscle and improve their physical performance. This exercise can be done standing or sitting on a bench. It works the gluteus maximus, adductors, and abductors, which are all important muscles for walking, running, jumping and other activities The side leg raise targets the adductor muscles in your inner thighs as well as the abductor muscles in your outer thighs. When performed correctly, it should be possible to feel a strong contraction in both sets of muscles during each repetition.

What Are Side Leg Raises?

Side leg raises, also known as side kicks, are an effective lower body and core exercise used to target many of the body’s muscle groups in one single workout. This exercise can be done with or without the use of weights, which can help engage deeper muscles. It is an especially beneficial exercise that delivers a great deal of bang for your buck.

When doing this exercise, you will be targeting multiple muscles including your gluteus medius, abductors, and quadriceps in addition to forcing your core to engage. All these muscles undergo contraction and extension as you move your leg through the pattern of kicking and lowering during the side leg raise. The goal is to perfect the form by utilizing controlled breathing, focusing on engaging those targeted muscles for desirable results.

This type of exercise not only helps you gain strength but works to improve overall balance and coordination by helping increase stability throughout both sides of your body from the hip down to your feet – resulting in greater balance and control while aiding in injury prevention. By regularly engaging in this workout move, you will enjoy increased stability while helping tone those all-too-often forgotten lower body muscle groups; ultimately leading to improved overall performance when involved in any physical activity or sport requiring strong coordination on two feet such as skiing or running.

Benefits of Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises are a great way to strengthen and tone your legs. They can help improve your balance, increase your range of motion, and help with posture. These exercises can also be used to target specific areas such as your glute and hip muscles. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of side leg raises and how you can do them properly.

Strengthen Lower Body Muscles

Side Leg Raises are a great way to strengthen the muscles in your lower body. These exercises specifically target the glute, quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Performing this exercise with proper form can help improve your balance, coordination, muscle strength and endurance. The side leg raise also helps improve core stability in individuals of all fitness backgrounds by taking away some of the strain from other body parts such as your abdominals and back. Additionally, side leg raises can improve your alignment while standing, thus improving posture and reducing low back pain or discomfort. By doing side leg raises on a regular basis, you will ultimately be helping to strengthen overall lower-body muscle density which is important for both everyday life and athletics.

Improve Balance and Stability

Side leg raises help to improve balance and stability as they focus on strengthening the hip abductors, the large muscles on the outside of the thighs. These muscles are responsible for hip and knee stability, as well as for controlling the movement of the lower leg. When we use large stabilizing muscles, like those of our hips and pelvis, we help to aid in protecting our lower back from any excessive strain. Improved balance also helps in managing other activities that require stability such as running or biking. Working on side leg raises can also make everyday activities easier such as climbing stairs or getting up from a sitting position. Additionally, exercising these muscles can contribute to better posture, making it easier to stand tall with your chin up and shoulders back. Improved balance will also mean you are less likely to be unsteady or fall when you experience unexpected changes in your environment.

Increase Flexibility

Side leg raises are an exercise used to strengthen the lateral muscles of the hips and thighs, as well as to increase flexibility in those areas. This exercise can be performed while lying down or standing up, and is a great way to loosen tight muscles, tone thigh muscles and improve overall hip range of motion. Side leg raises focus on specific muscle groups to help improve range of motion in the hips, enhancing performance in activities such as sprinting and jumping. Additionally, side leg raises may help reduce the risk of injury when performing certain physical activities.

When done properly, side leg raises target three major muscle groups: rectus femoris (thigh), gluteus medius (hip) and adductor magnus (inner thigh). These exercises require both strength and flexibility which can aid in increased power when performing other physical activities that require agility such as running or dancing. Flexibility will help with increasing your range of motion while strengthening your muscles will give you the power you need to carry out daily tasks with ease.

Performing side leg raises regularly can also help promote good posture as these exercises work your core muscles (abdominals), which are responsible for keeping you upright. Properly executed side leg raises may also improve balance by targeting stability-focused core muscles located near your spine. Lastly, improved flexibility from side leg raising exercises may reduce overall joint pain that’s caused by tension in our muscle tissues.

How to Perform Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises are a great way to strengthen your core and lower body muscles. They target the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and lower back muscles. Plus, they can help improve your balance and coordination. Knowing the correct technique is important to ensure you get the most out of the exercise. Let’s take a look at step-by-step instructions for performing side leg raises.

Step One: Lie on Your Side

Side leg raises are a simple exercise that can help effectively strengthen and tone the muscles of your outer thighs and hips. Performing this exercise correctly will target both the inner thigh and the outer thigh. It is important to execute each repetition slowly, with complete range of motion, in order to properly utilize your chosen resistance. Here are the steps for performing side leg raises with proper form:

Step One: Lie on Your Side
Begin by lying on your right side, supporting your body with your forearm while maintaining a straight spine and hips. Make sure that you stabilize your rib cage by drawing in your navel upward towards your spine as if performing a basic stomach vacuum exercise. Keep your feet together, and make sure that neither foot is dominant; this will allow you to have more control of the exercise.

Step Two: Lift Your Leg Upward
Once you have established stable positioning of those aforementioned items, lift up the top knee slightly off the bottom knee while still keeping feet together. From there, slowly raise up the same-side leg from this slightly elevated position as high as possible without compromising spinal stability or hip position. It is important to maintain slow speed throughout this movement for optimal muscle-strengthening effects; it should take a minimum count of three seconds for every repetition raised via concentric activity (lifting).

Step Three: Lower Your Leg Downward
Once you have reached maximal height–allowing for no more movement in the hip joint or trunk–control lowering of your leg down back onto its original starting point (just above bottom knee) at another 3-second interval through eccentric activity (lowering). Repeat these steps using controlled speed until desired repetitions are achieved before switching sides.

Step Two: Keep Your Abdominal Muscles Tight

Maintaining proper form during side leg raises is essential for proper execution of the exercise. It is imperative to keep your abdominal muscles tight and engaged throughout the entire set. Doing this helps protect your spine and ensure that your glutes are doing the majority of the work during this exercise. To keep your abs tight, draw in your belly button towards your spine and maintain a slight arch in your lower back throughout all repetitions. For ultimate success, make sure to avoid using momentum or allowing any parts of your body to swing while performing side leg raises.

Step Three: Raise Your Leg Up

Step three of the side leg raise exercise involves raising your lifted leg up and then back down in a controlled motion. Keep your inner thigh and foot parallel to the floor throughout this step. Additionally, it is important to maintain abdominal engagement as well as proper knee and hip alignment while holding your top leg straight and pointing your toes toward the ceiling. With each repetition, focus on keeping your whole torso body stable and not letting your hip rotate or cave inwards. Start by raising the leg approximately 10 inches, 10-20 times before increasing the height with each rep. It’s important to move through a full range of motion without overextending as you reach up towards the ceiling with control.

Step Four: Return to the Starting Position

To return to the starting position, slowly and with control, lower your leg back down to the ground. Make sure you keep your hips level and engaged while operating through the same range of motion you used to push up. Your bent leg should move symmetrically and project outwards as you work towards a resting heel-to-ground position.

It’s important to move through this process slowly and without momentum — avoiding any jerks or bounces. Keep your abdominal muscles braced for each repetition for maximum contraction and improved stability throughout each set. You may also encounter some additional resistance from particular muscle groups if the weight is heavy enough; apply a little extra focus during the downward phase in order transport the load safely back down without injury or strain.

Remember to practice proper breathing techniques throughout each repetition as you perform side leg raises​; inhale as you press upwards, exhale as you lower down, and pause if needed before beginning your next rep. Mastering this technique will significantly improve performance by providing more potential power from air in addition to muscle contractions — don’t overlook it!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Side leg raises are a great exercise for strengthening the muscles in your hips, glutes, and thighs. However, it is important to perform the exercise correctly in order to get the maximum benefit from it. In this section, we will look at some of the common mistakes to avoid when doing side leg raises, so that you can get the most out of your workout.

Not Keeping Your Core Engaged

When doing any kind of strength training exercises, it is important to keep your core engaged in order to help protect your lower back and spine from injury. When performing side leg raises, make sure you are maintaining a neutral spine and keeping your abdominal muscles tight. If you find that you are having difficulty engaging your core or it feels too difficult to do so, reduce the range of motion of the exercise.

Additionally, it’s important to keep proper form when doing side leg raises. Make sure you are not arching your back or rocking from side to side as this can cause discomfort in your hips and lower back. When contracting the glutes and ab muscles, make sure that you engage the correct muscles; overusing one muscle group can cause strain or injury when working out. Finally, don’t forget to engage both sides of the body equally: concentrate on using both legs a similar amount for even results throughout the body.

Not Raising Your Leg High Enough

When performing side leg raises, it’s important to make sure you fully extend your leg for each rep. If you are not raising your leg high enough, then the exercise won’t be effective. The higher the extension range of motion, the harder you will work and the more effective your exercise will be.

By extending above shoulder height during your side leg raise you can target the abductors more effectively and engaging more strength throughout your legs. This will bring better results if you continuously maintain an even pace throughout each rep as far as possible and focus on form and proper technique over speed or quantity of repetitions our body performs.

It is also recommended to strive for some degree of difficulty while doing this exercise by using props such as ankle weights or a resistance band in order to further challenge yourself if desired. To monitor intensity levels, use stops periodically by lowering your leg halfway down before returning to full extension up again. This will allow our body muscles to adjust gradually during repetitions and help avoid potential injuries during implementation.

Not Keeping Your Leg Straight

When performing side leg raises, a common mistake is not keeping your leg straight the entire time. It may seem like keeping your body upright and rigid is difficult, but it’s essential for the exercise to be effective. If your back arches during the exercise or you bend your knee and hip joint, you reduce the effectiveness of the workout as that restricts the range of motion. As a result, you won’t be targeting your glute muscles as effectively and will not achieve optimal results. So keep proper form in mind when doing side leg raises – keep your lower back pressed against the floor while maintaining a straight leg throughout each repetition, ensuring that you feel tension in both sides of your glutes throughout each exercise. This will ensure maximum benefit from your glute workout!


Side leg raises are a great way to work the muscles of the thighs, hips, and core. Regular practice of side leg raises will help to tone and strengthen the muscles in these areas, resulting in improved balance, stability, and overall strength. Additionally, these exercises can improve circulation throughout your legs and hamsrtings while helping to reduce stress on your joints as you work out.

However, it is important to remember that no exercise is a substitute for proper diet and nutrition; good nutrition and hydration are essential for any workout regime. Finally, it is important to keep safety in mind; always use caution when lifting and be sure to practice proper form when performing side leg raises. With just a few minutes of practice each day, you can achieve strong legs that look great!

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