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Smith Machine Straight-Legged Hip Raise 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Smith Machine Straight-Legged Hip Raise
Smith Machine Straight-Legged Hip Raise

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment

Smith Machine

Fitness Level











The Smith Machine Straight-Legged Hip Raise is a dynamic exercise primarily targeting the abdominal muscles with secondary engagement of the obliques. Utilizing a Smith Machine, this exercise involves lying on a flat bench positioned underneath the barbell of the Smith Machine. With legs extended straight upwards towards the ceiling, individuals grasp the barbell for stability and support. The movement consists of lifting the hips off the bench by contracting the abdominal muscles, creating a straight line from shoulders to heels. This action effectively targets the abs while also engaging the obliques to stabilize the torso. The Smith Machine provides a controlled range of motion, making it suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels to strengthen and tone their core muscles effectively.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by positioning yourself under the Smith Machine barbell, lying flat on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart.

  2. Reach up and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, ensuring your hands are shoulder-width apart for stability and control.

  3. Lift the barbell off the rack by pushing through your heels and raising your hips off the bench until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.

  4. Hold this top position briefly, engaging your abdominal muscles and squeezing your glutes to maintain stability and maximize muscle activation.

  5. Lower your hips back down towards the bench in a slow and controlled manner, maintaining tension in the abs and obliques throughout the movement.

  6. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form and control with each repetition.

  7. Remember to breathe steadily throughout the movement, exhaling as you lift your hips and inhaling as you lower them back down.

  8. Adjust the weight on the Smith Machine as needed to ensure the exercise remains challenging yet manageable, allowing for proper muscle engagement and progression over time.


  1. Activate Your Core: Prioritize engaging your core muscles throughout the exercise to enhance stability and balance. Avoid excessive arching of the back, which may lead to discomfort and detract from targeting the glutes effectively.

  2. Focus on Heel Drive: When lifting your hips, emphasize driving through your heels rather than your toes. This technique promotes engagement of the glutes and hamstrings while minimizing stress on the knees.

  3. Maintain Control: Execute each movement with deliberate control, avoiding the temptation to rush. Lower and lift your body in a controlled manner to maximize muscle activation and avoid relying on momentum for completion of the exercise.

  4. Mindful Breathing: Remember to breathe steadily and rhythmically throughout the exercise, coordinating your breath with each movement to optimize oxygen flow and enhance overall performance.

  5. Proper Alignment: Pay attention to maintaining proper alignment of the body throughout the exercise, ensuring that your shoulders, hips, and knees are in alignment to reduce the risk of injury and maximize effectiveness.

  6. Gradual Progression: Start with a manageable weight on the Smith Machine and gradually increase resistance as your strength improves. This approach allows for steady progression and continued challenge to the abdominal muscles and obliques.

  7. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any discomfort or strain during the exercise, and adjust your technique or weight accordingly. It's essential to prioritize safety and comfort to prevent injury and promote long-term adherence to your fitness routine.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid relying solely on momentum: Resist the urge to use momentum to lift the hips off the bench. Instead, focus on engaging the abdominal muscles to initiate the movement and lift the hips in a controlled manner.

  2. Do not arch the lower back excessively: Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise to prevent excessive arching of the lower back, which can strain the lumbar spine and detract from targeting the abs effectively.

  3. Avoid lifting the hips too high: While it's essential to lift the hips off the bench, avoid overextending the movement by lifting excessively high. Focus on lifting the hips to create a straight line from shoulders to knees, engaging the abs and obliques without hyperextension.

  4. Do not neglect core engagement: Ensure that you actively engage the core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize the body and support the movement. Neglecting core activation can lead to inefficient movement patterns and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.

  5. Avoid using excessive weight: Select a weight on the Smith Machine that allows for proper form and control throughout the movement. Using too much weight can compromise technique and increase the risk of injury to the lower back and hips.

  6. Do not let the feet drift forward: Keep the feet firmly planted on the ground throughout the exercise, avoiding any forward movement of the feet or toes. This ensures stability and proper alignment of the body during the movement.

  7. Avoid holding your breath: Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise to supply oxygen to the muscles and maintain proper core stability. Holding your breath can increase intra-abdominal pressure and compromise form.

  8. Do not rush through the repetitions: Perform each repetition with control and focus, avoiding rushing through the exercise. Slow and controlled movements allow for better muscle engagement and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.

  9. Avoid excessive swinging of the legs: Keep the movement controlled and avoid swinging the legs excessively during the exercise. Excessive swinging can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and increase the risk of strain or injury to the hip flexors and lower back.

  10. Do not neglect proper form: Pay attention to proper form and technique throughout the exercise, ensuring that the movement is performed smoothly and efficiently. Proper form maximizes muscle engagement and reduces the risk of injury.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.








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