This movement incorporates the same actions as the upright leg lifts, only instead of holding yourself up with elbows positioned below the shoulder, the hanging leg raise exercise requires you to be hanging with arms in an extended position prior to movement initiation. All the same movement principals apply, especially with regards to pelvic rotation, to draw optimal recruitment from the lower abdominal region. The benefits to performing the hanging version are improvements in grip strength. Unfortunately, due to the grip strength needed, many trainees may find that their hands fatigue prior to muscle failure within the targeted abdominal region. Also, not all fitness facilities are equipped with the upright leg lift apparatus, therefore, executing the movement while hanging may be an appropriate substitution.
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- Extend arms overhead and grasp the bar using a closed grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Exhale and while maintaining a slight bend in the knees, rotate pelvis and draw legs upwards. Try and hold finishing position for 1-2 seconds before releasing.
- Inhale and lower back down to original starting position at a controlled speed.
- Repeat until the desired number of repetitions are completed.
Executing movement with an exercise ball positioned between angles will slightly increase the resistance but more importantly, it will make the movement easier to perform.
Elevating yourself and twisting your legs from side to side is a highly advanced, yet highly effective way to target the sides (obliques).