The hanging leg raise is a compound core strengthening exercise that targets the entire abdominal region and lower back with an emphasis on the hip flexors. It is considered the holy grail of core training. This exercise also improves stability in the lower back.

  • Bodyweight
  • Compound

When you hang from a bar, you pull your knees and hips up to your chest. If you can do this exercise by for double digit reps, you have some serious core strength and a way to build abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise correctly, you will require not only flexibility but also strength, endurance, and a firm grip.

Similar Exercises to Try

Equipment Required

Benefits of Hanging Leg Raise

  • Hanging leg raises fatigue both upper and lower abdominal muscles as compared to the floor leg raises that primarily targets the lower abdominals.
  • Regular performance of this exercise helps to lower your risk for back pain, injuries, and strain while performing other exercises or routine activities.
  • Performing leg raises while hanging from a chin-up bar or supporting yourself on a raised curve bar will also strengthen your grip.
  • All varieties of leg raises increase the agility, flexibility, and strength of the hip flexors as both straight leg and bent knee raises require extensive hip joint movement.

Muscles Worked

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • External Oblique
  • Internal Obliques
  • Transverse Abdominis (Abdominals)
  • Pelvic Floor)
  • Diaphragm
  • Multifidus

How to Do a Hanging Leg-raise

How to do a hanging leg raises on a bar.
How to do a hanging leg raises on a bar.
  1. Applying either a medium or short grip; hold the pull up bar from above and hang from it such that your both arms and legs fully extended. At this point, the whole body should be extended and relaxed.
  2. Exhale deeply and raise both legs simultaneously to a 90-degree angle. Exhaling while doing hanging leg raise is key because it can intentionally tighten the abs throughout the movement and also assist with correct form and tempo implications.
  3. Once the point of contraction has been reached, hold yourself in this position as long as you can to engage the abdominal muscles.
  4. In the last, slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position while breathing in. Perform for the preferred amount of repetitions.