Here is an excellent movement to strengthen your abs and strengthen your bust. Hanging leg raise at the bar can be done everywhere. No need for complicated machines or weight machines, just grab a solid bar or support and you’re good to go.
This strength training exercise will make you strong. But you must admit that it is quite difficult to achieve especially if you are a beginner. When I started hanging leg raise, I could only do 4 or 5 reps. With training, I was able to go up to 20 reps and my abs are as hard as steel.
If it is often advisable to end your abdominal session with conventional leg lifts, it is better to place the inverted leg lift at the start of the session because it is rather full-bodied. You can do a few sets of Bodyweight Crunches to prepare and warm up the abs, then go straight to exercise.
Start by doing 4 sets of 5 bodyweight repetitions (4 * 5). If you validate the format, add one more repetition to the next session (4 * 6), and so on.
It is possible to ballast the exercise using weights that are fixed on the feet or a weight belt.
Execution Of The Exercise
- Step onto a stool or bench to grab the bar so you can hang without your feet touching the floor. Also, stay on a stand when you need to adjust straps.
- Stay suspended with your arms fully extended and slightly arch your lumbar spine (neutral or slightly accentuated position of the natural arch).
- Exhale and flex your legs to raise your knees as high as possible.
- For this exercise to be truly effective, the knees should rise above the horizontal. Maintain this contracted position for 1 to 2 seconds to be sure that the shortening and the tension of the abdominals are at the maximum.
- As you begin to breathe in, loosen up slightly as you bring your legs back to the starting position. Take a short break and try again.
- When the bent knees version becomes easy, do the Hanging leg raise with your legs straight. Make sure to start while still and lift your legs as hard as you can using the abdominal muscles.
Hanging Leg Raise at the barre work the rectus abs and obliques. The back muscles, triceps, and forearms (barbell grip) are also involved. In fact, the first part of the movement looks like a General Pull UP; we also find the sensations of a stretched arms draw for the back.
3 Training Tips
- To get a greater load on the abs, raise your legs as far as possible. The first part of the exercise is controlled mainly by the hip flexors while the abdominals contract isometrically. The abs start to play a bigger role 30 to 40 ° from the vertical. Basically, the higher you go up the knees, the more pronounced the rotation of the pelvis and the more the abs are involved, especially when the exercise is performed with legs stretched.
- Do not swing your body. You should be perfectly still when you start to climb your legs
- Start with the bent knees variant which is less difficult than the straight legs one. When you can mount your bent legs well above the horizontal, the exercise will become more difficult and more effective.
Risks And Mistakes To Avoid
Raise your legs to the top of the movement, slightly above the horizontal, for the optimal contraction of the abs! The flexor muscles of the leg are used in the first part of the leg lift, the abdominals contract them essentially once the knees are already partially raised.
Do not swing: the legs and the bust must remain stable, the force on the abdominals.
If you want to add ballast: wait until you perfectly master the Hanging Leg Raise with your body weight. Do not gain excessively heavyweights, you risk back pain.
Keep your arms straight and don’t bend your elbows.
Choose solid and stable support. A drawbar fixed between the stumps of a door or between two walls will not be suitable; it is not reliable. For simple leg raises, this can happen. But with Hanging Leg Raise, upside down and feet up in the air, it’s far too risky. We can end up quadriplegic with a simple fall on the cervical.
Exhale in the effort while going up the legs, and inhale while returning to the starting position.
- For beginners: start by climbing your legs with your knees bent. Use a vertical bench to help you by holding you’re upper back in place and placing your elbows and forearms on the supports.
- For confirmed: use a ballast (at the ankles or between the feet). Concentrate on performing the movement, keep your legs straight when lifting them, slow down the speed of execution, wait longer at the point of contraction.
- Suspended leg lift for obliques.