Have you been doing crunches for years? Have you spent countless minutes on the mat, making every attempt to whittle away at your core and develop those defined abs?
While floor exercises can get you so far, there’s a better way to build your core.
It time to raise the bar, by raising your legs while hanging from a bar.
Introducing: the hanging leg raise, which just might be the best abs exercise out there.
This exercise is inspired by gymnasts, and we all know how incredibly-in-shape gymnasts are. The hanging leg raise engages all of your abdominal muscles, from lower abs to obliques. You have to stabilize yourself to keep from swinging, and utilize every once of core strength to raise your legs. Plus, you are challenging your grip strength by having to hang on to the bar for dear life. It’s the exercise that keeps on giving!
Here’s how to do it:
- Grab a bar over your head, allowing your body to hang above the ground.
- Keeping everything in alignment, raise your legs to hip height, creating a 90 degree angle with your body.
- Slowly lower your legs, preventing your body from swinging forward or backward.
Bodybuilding.com has a great video demonstration of the exercise as well.
Work your way up using these modifications:
- If you can’t stop swinging: place your back against a wall or have a partner hold you in place
- If you can’t raise your legs: bend your knees, drawing your knees into your chest
Try doing 3 sets of 10 after your workout to really torch your abs and define your abdominals!