Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide- My Back Hurts While Doing the Straight Leg Raise

Let's be honest, we've all experienced one time or another where we've felt  a  strain or a pain   in our low backs while doing the straight leg raise exercise.  This is  especially true when you're trying to finish that last set before the timer goes off or when you're just really, really tired.  So why is this happening to you and what can you do about this? 

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Why Does My Low back Hurt? 

In order to  keep your pelvis neutral while doing the double leg lift or the straight leg raise exercise, your abdominals need to be doing most of the work.   When your core and abdominals start to get tired, other muscles will start to help out in order for you  to continue the workout.   It's like a tug of war between  the muscles that produce lumbar flexion (abdominals) and extension (lumbar extensors)  and as you fatigue,  the muscles  that cause your low back to arch will start to kick in.  Remember, your body will always sacrafice quality over quantity and take the path of least resistance.


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What can I do If my Low back Hurts? 

I don't like taking exercsies  away from people unless it's necessary  but remember there are always alternatives. Modify the exersies so that it fits your needs and abilities without sacraficing form.  Once you get stronger, progress the exercsises back to the orginal exercise. 

Another thing to consider is that it is really hard to keep your pelvis in a neutral position when both legs are straight out inches from the ground. Instead of going all the way to the ground,  drop down to 30-45 degrees or however far you can without straining your low back. 


1. Bent Knee drop 

Instead of having your legs completely straight, simply bend your knees to shorten the lever to make it easier. Note that  her hands are under her pelvis with the exercises. Ideally, if you have your palms facing up towards the ceiling, you will be less likely to compensate  with your upper body.   

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2. Leg Drops 

This exercise is awesome because you get a core workout while also getting a pretty good stretch in your hamstrings as well. Make sure to maintain a neutral spine  and go as low as you can without arching your lower back. 

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3.  Deadbug

Deadbugs are probably my favourite core exercsies to give out. When done correctly, you can feel how hard these exercises  really are. I've broken down the deadbug into 4 progressions. The first one is with your hands on your stomach. The second progression is with your arms by your ears, while the third progression is with your arms overhead. Finally, the actual deadbug is with your arms overhead. Try the first progression before moving on and make sure you're not holding your breath or straining your neck or low back while doing these exercises.  

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Progression 1: Hands on stomach

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Progression 2: Hands by ears/head


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Progression 3:  Hands overhead


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Progression 4:  Full deadbug with alternating legs/arms


Kayla's new app  (Sweat with Kayla) just came out last week  and I haven't taken a look at it yet but  if there are any other requests for modifications or how-to's regarding the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, please feel free to comment! 


Xoxo  Jessie 


*The exercises provided on this website are for educational purposes only, and are not to be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, or course of action. Exerciseis not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. They include but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over-exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting, disorders of heartbeat, and very rare instances of heart attack.
To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult a healthcare provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation. We disclaim any liability from and in connection with this program. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a physician.