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Bodyweight Exercise Series: Hanging Leg Raise

Posted Jan 30 2010 11:44am
The bodyweight hanging leg raise is an advanced abdominal exercise.

There is a reason you see more people doing ab crunches instead of hanging leg raises! The hanging leg raise and its variations is very tough to execute. In fact, it is the gold standard for abdominal exercises! Gymnasts have been doing hanging leg raises for decades. A person needs core strength, arm strength and grip strength to perform the exercise correctly. If you can't do one hanging leg raise, you need to strengthen your core, back, arms and grip.

1. Hang from a bar using an overhand grip with arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Let your legs hang straight down.

2. Contract your abs and make sure that your back remains neutral with natural arch. Keep your head still and looking straight ahead. Raise your legs to the midpoint of your body using your abdominal muscles. Don't swing your legs up and use momentum to do the exercise. This is a controlled strength exercise.

3. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and slowly lower your legs. That is one repetition.

Beginning exercisers can start by trying to bend the knees up to the chest. Intermediate exercisers are able to do a straight leg raise up to the midpoint of the body. Advanced exercisers can usually raise straight legs up to the head or "windshield wiper" bent knees to the left and right.

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