If you’re looking to develop and show off a six-pack you need to put the work in – mostly outside the gym. You need to be following a structured diet that will help you reduce your body fat percentage. You’ll also need to rest and recover appropriately, especially when you consider that negatively-impacted sleep is correlated with weight gain.
But back in the gym, you need to stimulate your abdominal muscles with a careful selection of targeted exercises. You will commonly find sit-ups, crunches and their variants in many people’s programmes, but these moves tend to focus mainly on the upper abs. You neglect the lower portion at your peril. That’s where the hanging leg raise comes in.
When performed correctly, this is one of the finest abdominal exercises around. Here’s how you can include it in your routine.
How To Do A Hanging Leg Raise
Grasp a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, using an overhand (pronated) grip. Engage your abdominal muscles and while keeping your torso stable, slowly raise your legs, keeping them straight and driving through your glutes, until they’re at 90° with your torso. Slowly lower and return to the start position.
If you find keeping your legs straight too difficult (and it is difficult), you can take it down a notch by doing the hanging knee raise – bending your knees as you lift your legs. Over time, you can progress to a straight-leg version.
Take extra care to keep your torso and hips still. A trembling torso reduces the level of stress placed on the abs, while unstable hips take the pressure off the core and place it on your hip flexors.