When it comes to doing an L-Sit there is one thing we haven't yet talked about and it is really important.
When you are learning to L-Sit, you will have different obstacles to tackle than the next guy.
Maybe you don't have particularly good wrist mobility / strength so you find having your palm flat on the floor is uncomfortable.
Maybe you struggle with your shoulder mobility, so you cant quite lift your bum off the floor even with your arms straight.
In any case you aren't just limited to L-Sits on your carpet or gym floor, so lets have a look at some of our options and why you might choose one or the other.
The most obvious and common L-Sit is on the floor. It is the easiest to train because you can do it anywhere, mostly at home I guess, but it isn't always the easiest. The wrist adjustments on the floor is the most awkward, just like in a handstand. Your palm is open on the floor with your wrists bent back and that can put a lot of pressure on your wrists.
When you are on the floor your hand position is less than Ideal, but it isn't bad for you or anything like that.
You might have to work on your wrist mobility to help if it is quite bad, but generally it wont be an issue.
You can also get around it by turning your hands out slightly rather than having your fingers pointing forwards.
The difficulty with the floor L-Sit is training it.
Because you have the floor directly underneath your L-Sit, it is a kinda of make or break situation.
This makes the other options a bit easier because you can do an L that is lower than horizontal as a progression exercise (we'll get to that later).
Another issue you might have is your shoulder width and mobility.
If you have wide shoulders then your hips wont get in the way, if they aren't you will have to reach slightly further to the ground because you have to reach out slightly.
L-Sits in Support are on dipping bars or something else that will support you off the ground. Think dipping bars.
This is great because you can do everything you can on the floor but you also have the great range of motion (to vertical) making the progressions a lot easier.
It also helps with your shoulder mobility and wrist mobility.
Adjustments in support are much easier than on the floor because your wrists are in a neutral position rather than bent backwards.
You also have something to grip and hold on to, which helps when you are trying to lean back and push your hips through.
One of the difficulties you might face with Supported LSits is not being able to adjust the bars.
Sometimes they are too wide
Sometimes they are too narrow
Either way they are unlikely to ever be perfect because they are often fixed in position.
You can buy your own dipping bars that are separate, like the ones I have in the videos, but I'd say only buy them if you are going to use them regularly! otherwise they will just help dry your clothes 😉
Hanging is probably the easiest to do because it is kinda just your hips / core. You don't need to lift yourself up much, other than to engage your shoulders in a hang.
A Hanging L-Sit of Half Lever is a relatively simple hold and you will definitely be doing them as part of your training!
The difficulties with Hanging L-Sits is that you have to hang. It can really wear out your wrists and it can sometimes be difficult to just hang for a prolonged period of time.
This is really something you should be working on because in calisthenics & gymnastics we do a lot of hanging. But it can take time especially when you are new to it.
Floor or Bar L-Sit?
So which one should you choose?
At first it is the one you can do easiest, but really you should be aiming for the floor.
It is the hardest, but it can be done anywhere with no equipment.
The floor can be trained at home, whereas to use the bars you will either need to invest in some or go to a gym or park.
In the L-Sit Program we are going to be doing all 3 of course, but it is good to know which you are best at so you can use it to develop the other ones, and focus on different elements of your technique.
Parallettes are a small set of floor bars used in gymnastics for training handstands and other skills on the PBars, without being 6ft in the air.
They are often used in the calisthenics community for handstands, handstand push ups, planche training and more.
They are small and simple and they can usually fit in your bag to take training anywhere.
One good thing is that they allow a neutral wrist position so they wont force your hands flat on the ground like a regular floor L-Sit.
They also raise you off the ground slightly, depending on the ones you have.
This is great at first where your shoulder mobility might not be good enough to lift your bum up. It can boost you up a few inches, which is a big help when you are just starting out, or if you need to lose a little bit of weight or work on your mobility.
Gymnastics or Olympic Rings are a great training tool that I would recommend you own regardless of whether you train at a gym or not.
They are large wooden rings that you hang from high bars (or trees) from adjustable straps and are literally all you will need to train for the rest of your life!
Doing L-Sits on the rings, much like doing anything else on the rings, is totally different to any of the above, floor, hanging or supported.
Although they are technically supported you are on an unstable support and so it takes so much more tension and energy to maintain your position.
Anyone who has ever tried to train on the rings before will agree that just being on the rings is hard enough, without doing anything else.
If you are looking for a challenge, rings training is really going to make you work.
No matter what apparatus and equipment you have at your disposal there is always a way to train your L-Sit. I would recommend starting with a Hang, moving onto Support and finishing on the Floor. This is going create the simplest path to create that perfect L-Sit!