The L-Sit – Train Your Abs Like A Gymnast

What if it were possible to achieve the core and abdominal strength of a world class gymnast while training at home, only for a few minutes per day with no equipment or gadgets? Well guess what – it is possible to do it if you master the L-Sit.

Pictured above is Bruce Lee in an even harder variation of the L sit – the V sit. He is wearing the suit from the movie Game of Dead which he unfortunately did not finish filming. What little he did film is fantastic though.


  • With bent knees. You can start with this version if you feel you are lacking the strength or hamstring flexibility to do the movement with straight legs.
  • With straight legs. Once you are comfortable doing the L-sit with your knees bent, try the straight leg version. The farther your legs are from your body, the tougher it is.

Hand Positions

  • On parallellets or parallel bars. This is the easiest version, but requires equipment. You can buy a set of parallellets to train at home.
  • On your knuckles. This one will strengthen your wrists and knuckles. Good for martial artists.
  • On your fingers. Probably the easiest version. See the image above.
  • On your fingertips. A slightly different version. Good for martial artists and wrestlers.

Progression and Workout Frequency

  • Change the variations or hand position. This one is self explanatory. Just go to a different variation or hand position to challenge yourself when it gets easy.
  • Progress in time. This is the real deal. Get to one minute non stop in the L-Sit and you will be core bad ass. The way to do it is to do several sets that add up to your total goal time each workout. For example if your goal is 1 minute, do as many sets as it takes you until you reach a total of 60 seconds. So a typical workout could be 12 secs – 10 secs -10 secs – 8 secs – 7 secs – 7 secs – 6 secs.
  • When training a skill, it is best to train as often as possible, as fresh as possible. So an ideal variant to train every day and do multiple sets – say after you wake up and before you go to bed, that add up to your total goal time each day. You could do these sets between household chores – say do a set, brush your teeth, do another set, do the laundry or whatever.


There you have it. There are now no excuses not to build yourself a brick breaking set of abs. Even if you don’t have an access to a gym. Even if you have no equipment at home. Even if you have no spare space to train in. And, as a bonus you can’t avoid getting pretty damn strong overall, not just in your abs, when you master the L-Sit.

Note: For more information on strength training of the abs and core, check out the book Bulletproof Abs – probably the best book on getting strong and functional abs.

P.S. Here is a great L-sit progression I got from the just-released sequel to the body weight training masterpiece Convict Conditioning: Convict Conditioning 2

  • Bent Leg hold Sit on a chair with bent legs. Place your palms on the seat and push off the chair, raising your butt and keeping a 90 degree angle in your hips and knees.
  • Straigth leg hold – still sitting on the chair, push yourself off the seat but keep the legs straight
  • N hold – these are done on the ground while keeping a 90 degree angle in the hips and knees.
  • Uneven N hold – same as above, except one leg is kept straight.
  • L hold this is the actual L-sit or L-hold as pictured above.
  • V-hold also known as v-sit. Just raise your legs even higher