Want to challenge your abs and build incredible core power, definition, and thickness? Hang from anything and get to lifting those knees to your chest with hanging leg raises. They will always do the trick. Not only will you effectively train lower abdominals, hip flexors, and lower back, you also build superior grip, arm, and shoulder strength.
If you can get into the double digits doing this exercise, you have (or will have) amazing core strength! However, you need to make sure that you perform these correctly.
How To Perform Hanging Leg Raises:
- Hang from a bar with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width using an overhand grip.
- Brace your core.
- Begin raising your legs by hinging at the hips and lifting your knees until your hips are completely flexed. Your knees should ideally be close to your chest or at least well above your hips.
- Lower back to starting position making sure your hips and knees are fully extended downward before beginning your next repetition.
Trainer tips to Master Hanging Leg Raises
- Do not use momentum or swing your body. You should engage your abdominals and bend at your hips while lifting your knees and lower your legs at a slow to medium pace to full extension before beginning your next repetition.
- Use your whole upper body. Keep your arms straight, but engage your entire upper body, especially your lats, to aid in stabilizing your body and keeping it still while you perform this move.
- Put your shoulders on lock down. Imagine that you’re pushing your shoulders away from the bar that you are hanging from. This forces your body into a position that helps prevent injuries such as strains and tears.
- Control is the key. You should not be reppin’ these out as fast as you can. Focus on controlling your body movement to get the most from your core session. It would be better to 5 controlled reps than 10 sloppy fast ones.
Sample Abs Exercise Routine:
Here is a core routine that you can add to the end of any workout or perform as a standalone workout on cardio days.
- Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 8-12
- Ab Rollouts with Barbell 3 sets of 10-12
- Cable Rope Crunch 3 sets of 10
- Medicine Ball Russian Twists 3 sets for 60 seconds each (45-60 second rest in between)
- V-ups 3 sets of 10-12
–Sarah Chadwell, CPT
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