Hanging Leg Raise – Tips for Better ABS!

Today, I will share some tips on Hanging Leg Raise and help you train your abs more effectively.


#1  Lower Abs Activation

Hanging Leg Raise is initiated by Rectus Abdominis Muscle particularly, Lower Abs.  How to activate your lower abs?  We should know that leg raises will involve your abs and Hip Flexor.  Hip Flexor, in fact, involves a lot.  If you don’t know how to use your lower abs instead, then its involvement will be greatly decreased.  The first thing we should learn is how to use your lower abs.


Actually, you can relate it as Crunch from your hips/pelvic.  Maintain a pelvic rotated back state (PPT).  Then crunch your lower body to upper body.  This exercise is actually mentioned in previous Abs video.  We can do it without any leg/knee raises, but just your lower abs.  The first attempts for most guys may not be perfect.  Then how to practise it?  We have some exercises to practise.


First, we should learn to control your pelvic position.  Let’s get familiar with the Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT)& Posterior Pelvic Tilt (PPT).

  • APT:  Hip high and tighten up lower back (arch back).
  • PPT:  Tighten up abs and hips.

When you get familiar with these exercises, then practise the same exercise with hanging.


After that, a more challenging one exercise:  Hanging with knee raised, then practise APT/PPT conversion exercise.  This is controlled by the hips/pelvic.  When you are able to do 1x reps/set, then you have already mastered the move.


When you do Hanging Leg Raise, First we should do what we just learnt, pelvic rotated back.  Activate your abs first, then raise your leg.  Otherwise, the whole move will be just a Hip Flexors movement, then the stimulation to abs is diminished.


#2 Full Range of Motion vs Constant Tension

Should we do reach the bottom? (Full Range of Motion):

  • Should we relax just like APT at bottom? (Ver1)
  • Or keep the tension throughout the move? (Ver2)


In fact, both ways are okay.  But if you ask my opinion?  I think that keeping the tension (ver2) is a harder (better) move.  If you think you can handle this exercise, try to do one with keeping tension.  Why so?


Because when you completely relaxed at the bottom, the resistance is so small.  Any significant force can generate large momentum that assists the move, making the exercise is easier, aka less stimulation to the abs.  So, if you do the ver1, just do it slow.  Slow tempo can reduce the momentum.


#3 Grip Fatigue

Our abs don’t get fatigue first, but the Grip.   The grip is the limiting factor instead of the abs.  So, the chance is your abs result is determined by your grip.

The simplest way is to improve your grip strength/endurance.  But it is not a easy task.  It requires extra time and effort.


Another way to bypass grip factor and train the abs effectively is Mechanical Drop Set.  That means first do a Hanging Leg Raise.  When your grips are fatigued, lay down followed by a Lying Leg Raise.  Both exercises use the same muscles except no grip involves in latter one.  Then you can train your abs until your abs fatigue.


#4 Activation of Serratus Anterior Muscle

Finally, a bonus tips is for those who watch til there.  Everyone should learn about Serratus Anterior Muscle which is located above the oblique.  If this muscle is also well developed, the abs will look much better.


When we do Hanging Leg Raise, we can make a little change to enhance the stimulation of Serratus Anterior Muscle.  Hanging, depress your shoulder.  Then protract your shoulder (& elbow), your Serratus Anterior Muscle will be activated, just like the demo in the video.  Just keep this throughout the move,  Your Serratus Anterior will be trained as well.


At last, I hope these tips help. Thanks.

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