Hanging Knee Raises
Primary Muscle Group: Abdominals
Secondary Muscle Group: Hip Flexors
Equipment Needed: Pull Up Bar Or Something Similar To Hang Down Off
The Benefits of Hanging Knee Raises
Hanging knee raises are an excellent way to develop your lower abs. doing exercises like crunches and sit ups, will mainly hit your top four abdominal muscles so adding the hanging leg raises is a very smart move, in order to get that full looking six pack. The great thing about this exercise is that it has two versions you can do, an easier one and one more advanced option. The easier option can be done using the captain’s chair or Roman chair workstation, this is a workout frame found in every well-equipped gym. The other more advanced option is done by hanging from a pull up bar and doing the exercise.
This is a popular exercise and a good idea to add to your ab workout routine because it really does put emphasis on your lower abdominals as well as developing the deep stabilising muscle tissue of the abdominal wall which helps keep your waist tight.
If you are looking for new and exciting ab workouts you can download a Free Ab Workout Plan or purchase one of our 30 day ab challenge plans that comes with access to your own fitness advisor for the duration.
The Risks of doing Hanging Knee Raises
Stating the obvious here, but you need to be careful when doing the advanced version of this exercise and avoid falling from the pull up bar as this could lead to a nasty injury! You can use Lifting Chalk to help with keeping your grip (this is also useful for a lot of pulling motion exercises, such as lat pull down and seated row) . The thing you need to be mindful of is getting the movement correct because you can ‘cheat’ doing this exercise by swinging and using the motion to move your knees. Doing this will take the focus off your back and mainly onto your adductors and lower back, which you need to avoid.
So before giving Hanging Knee Raises a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Hanging Knee Raises
1. Stand in the frame with your arms resting on the padded arms of the workstation. You should also hold onto the handles of the station, if it has them.
2. Check that your arm position is firm, comfortable & that you won’t slip off the workstation that you are comfortable because you will need to hold your own body weight. (you need to be able to lift your bodyweight from the floor).
3. Inhale as you engage your abdominal muscles to prepare for the leg lift.
4. Lift your legs by bending at the knees so that they are at a 90 degree angle with your upper body
5. With an engaged core, exhale as you lower your legs in a controlled movement until you're back in the starting position.
1. Firstly, grip a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles and while keeping your torso stable, slowly raise your legs, keeping them bent and driving through your glutes, until they’re at 90° with your upper body.
3. Slowly lower and return to the start position.
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.
For Perfect Technique
1. Try to ensure that your body and hips are stable and not moving.
2. Avoid swinging because this will use the bodies motion to assist with rep and you won’t get the most out of the exercise.
Once you have mastered the Hanging Knee Raise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Cable Side Bends
1) Firstly, set up the cable handle on a low setting and select a weight that you feel comfortable with and that is going to give you a challenging set.
2) Grab the cable handle so that your palms are facing inwards & stand with your back straight.
3) Keep your feet firmly on the floor with a shoulder width stance. Keeping your back straight and your eyes facing forwards, bend down to the right as far as you can, then back up again.
4) Without pausing at the top, bend down to the left.
How To Do knee up Crunch
1) Firstly, lie on your back with your knees bent & your hands placed on the opposite shoulder OR behind your head. It’s optional to use a yoga mat but if you don’t have one, you can pick one up on amazon.
2) Bring your knees up in the air so that your thighs and hips form a 90-degree angle with you calves parallel to the floor.
3) To get into your starting position, slightly lift your shoulder blades off the floor and hold the position.
4) Exhale and lift your upper body off the ground, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
5) Inhale and return to the starting position.
The Hanging Knee Raise are excellent exercise targets your abdominals, specifically your lower abs and is a great exercise for anyone looking to develop their 6 pack.