Gold Standard of Abdominal Exercises: Hanging Leg Raise

There is a reason you see more people doing abdominal 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.

Go ahead and try a hanging leg raise the next time you're at the gym!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
My Fitness Hut
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About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.