Hanging Leg Raises

Exercise / Abs

Performing Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises. What an ab busting exercise! But let us take a closer look at how to perform this exercise correctly and effectively. Remember that this is a strength exercise and one that will take time to master perfectly.

Start by grabbing a bar (a pull up bar will be fine) and hang there until there is no movement or momentum left and your legs are straight. This is the start position.

Once you are hanging still, flex your muscles. The main ones to engage are your abs (core), lats and arms muscles (around your elbows especially). From this hanging position, slowly raise your feet towards the bar. Your legs will be together and straight the whole time.

After you reach the top, lower your legs slowly back down till you are hanging dead still again. This is the end of the rep and the start of the new one.

What not to do:

  • Swing your hips for momentum
  • Bend your knees

This is a powerful exercise that works the entire mid section of the body, including a bit of your lats. Do not sacrifice form for the sake of the rep. This will not help you in any way.

REMEMBER: Keep your core tight and legs together. Make sure there is no momentum left in your body before you raise your legs.

Exercise Tips

  • Grip the bar tight and imagine pulling it towards your feet as they come up
  • Make sure there is no momentum left before you raise your legs
  • Focus on contracting your core as you lift
  • Keep your upper body rigid (strong flexing of the lats)
  • Remember your breathing. Breathe in on the way down and in on the way up.

Exercise Variations

  1. Variation 1: Side To Side: With this variation you will do the same technique, but instead of lifting your legs straight up, you lift them up and towards one arm. So if you are hanging dead straight, you will raise your legs (together) and towards your right arm, then back down and vice versa.
  2. Variation 2: With Some Weight. This one is harder admittedly. Add some weight to your exercise for extra resistance. You can use a weight belt or maybe a piece of chain.