Hanging Leg Raises
Primary Muscle Group: Lower Abdominals, Hip Flexors, and Quadriceps
Secondary Muscle Group: Oblique, Hamstring, and Lower Back
Equipment Needed: Pull Up Bar
The Benefits of Hanging Leg Raises
The hanging leg raise is a more advanced level exercise for the abdominal region and the hip flexors. Hanging from a bar by your extended arms, you raise your legs parallel to the ground. It is a harder version of the lying leg raises. While the traditional crunch focuses on the top part of your six pack, the hanging leg raise targets the lower abdominal region. Advanced people can add this exercise to their core workout.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Hanging Leg Raises
When performing the Lying Flutter Kick exercise, it’s important that your lower back remains straight and in a fixed position the entire time. You don’t want any arch in your back. That can lead to a back strain or injury. Also, engage your lower abs throughout the exercise by pulling them into your belly as you breathe in and out. You should feel the abdominal muscles engaging and really limit the leg muscle contraction.
So before giving the Lying Flutter Kicks a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Hanging Leg Raises
1. Grasp a bar above your head. You don't have to necessarily be hanging at this stage, but ideally, the grip does have to be well above your head. You can try an overhand grip with your thumb around the bar to improve stability.
2. Tilt your pelvis slightly backward. Engage your abdominals and hip flexors to lift your feet off the ground by raising your legs outward in front of you, keeping them straight. Exhale while lifting the legs. Feel the abdominal muscles working hard as you do this.
3. Raise your legs to the level you are able to do with good form. Aim to raise them parallel to the ground (hip bent 90 degrees) or a little higher.
4. Slowly lower your legs back down to vertical, inhaling. Maintain the posterior pelvic tilt even at the bottom of the movement.
For Perfect Technique
Avoid these common mistakes so that you can make the most of every rep.
Focus the contraction on the abs and hip flexors so that you don't swing to raise your legs with body momentum. During the exercise keep your shoulders and back slightly hunched so that it protects your lower back. You should also avoid lowering your legs too fast. Instead, keep this part of the movement slow and controlled so that you really make the abdominals work hard!
Once you have mastered the Hanging Leg Raises you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do A Seated Flutter Kick
1. Start by sitting in an upright position on the floor with your torso at a 45-degree angle and your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift both your feet off the ground whilst keeping your knees slightly bent.
3. Alternate between bringing your legs up and down as per video demonstration and illustration.
How to do A Cable Crunch
1. Grasp a set of dumbbells. Stand straight up with one dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in.
2. Keep your feet firmly on the floor with a shoulder width stance.
3. 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.
5. Repeat for desired reps.