What Do Hanging Leg Raises Workout?

Hanging leg raises are a great way to work out your lower abdominal muscles. But what do they actually do? Check out this blog post to find out!


Hanging leg raises are a great bodyweight exercise for both beginners and experts, and they can be used to target multiple muscle groups with one challenging movement. This exercise is often included in strength training circuits, yoga flows, or pilates mat exercises. Hanging leg raises involve raising the legs from a dead hanging position (or bent knees position) and can be modified for different levels of intensity. As an added bonus, this exercise can help build abdominal strength and core stability! Here we will discuss what muscles are worked during hanging leg raises as well as how you can modify them to create your own challenging workout.

What are Hanging Leg Raises?

Hanging leg raises are an upper body and abdominal exercise that works the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors. This move can be done at home or in the gym with modifications to make it easier or harder. To do a hanging leg raise, you grip a pull-up bar and hang so your arms are fully extended. Then, slowly lift both legs up together until they form a 90-degree angle with your body before returning them to the starting position. This motion can be repeated for multiple repetitions depending on how challenging you want to make it.

To make this exercise easier, you can use bands attached to the bar above or below you as well as keep your legs together rather than having them separated out during the movement. For increased difficulty, straighten your legs as much as possible during each repetition and hold for five seconds at the top of each rep. You can then progress to keeping one foot off of the ground and repeating single-leg reps in order to increase resistance even more.

Overall, hanging leg raises are an effective exercise for working multiple muscle groups at once and for increasing abdominal strength and endurance by gradually increasing difficulty over time.

Benefits of Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are a great way to work out your core muscles and build strength and stability in your lower body. Hanging leg raises specifically target and strengthen your lower abdominal muscles and obliques. They can help with balance and coordination, and can even help improve your posture. Let’s take a look at the various benefits of doing hanging leg raises.

Strengthens Core Muscles

Hanging Leg Raises are an excellent exercise to strengthen your core muscles. They primarily work the lower and middle abdominal muscles, which include the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis. These core muscle groups are essential in all physical activities and provide stability to your body.

Aside from strengthening your core muscles, hanging leg raises also target several other muscle groups in your body. These include lats, shoulders, serratus anterior, hip flexors, pelvic floor muscles and glutes. Increasing muscular strength in these regions of your body helps improve posture and stability as well as reduce back pain.

Not only will Hanging Leg Raises help build strength in muscles that aid physical movements but they also help you increase overall balance ability. Developing a strong core can give you better coordination when performing any kind of physical activity or daily task that involves movement. Core stability increases overall athleticism which can lead to better performance when participating in sports or athletic activities such as biking or running.

By performing hanging leg raises regularly you can not only strengthen your core but also build endurance so you can sustain physical efforts for longer periods of time with less fatigue. This exercise helps improve balance, stability and agility while reducing risk of injury due to lack of proper muscle control or imbalanced body strength-to-weight ratio while performing physical activities. Strengthening the abdominal region with this exercise helps promote improved posture as well so that any effort put into challenging tasks do not go wrong because of poor posture by the body!

Improves Balance and Stability

Hanging leg raises are a great exercise to help improve balance and stability, as they involve stabilizing your entire body as you perform the exercise. This requires you to engage your core muscles, which in turn helps to support the entire body while suspended in the air and increases balance. Engaging your core during this exercise also helps strengthen it, which can further support your posture and reduce the risk of back pain due to poor posture. Moreover, strong core muscles can help prevent injuries while executing everyday tasks such as carrying groceries or lifting heavy objects.

Improves Flexibility

Hanging leg raises are a great way to improve your flexibility, an important physical aspect for staying healthy and achieving your fitness goals. Performing leg raises helps increase the flexibility of all the muscles and joints in your legs, including those in your glutes and hips. This exercise stretches the hamstrings, gluteus muscles, quads and lower back muscles when done correctly. Working out on a regular basis can help improve overall flexibility which may help reduce injuries and support better mobility for general day-to-day activities. Additionally, increased flexibility may assist with improved performance of many physical activities like running, dancing or sports because of increased range of motion.

How to Perform Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are an exercise that target your core muscles and help to improve your overall core strength. This type of exercise is an excellent way to develop the abs and obliques, and can also help to improve your overall posture. In this article, we will go over how to properly perform hanging leg raises in order to get the most out of your workout.

Set Up Properly

Setting yourself up properly for a hanging leg raise is essential to ensure that your form is correct and that you can get an effective workout. Start off by using a pull-up bar with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width. Make sure to keep your arms straight, drawing the shoulders back and down, before you start the exercise. Keep your core braced during the entire movement and your chin tucked close to your chest when beginning in the setup position. When getting into position, allow only a slight bend in the arms while keeping them rigid at all times. Lastly, you will want to make sure that your body remains in a straight line throughout the entire motion of the exercise to maximize its effectiveness and avoid injury.

Execute Properly

Performing hanging leg raises correctly is key for both maximizing your results and preventing injury. To start, you need to ensure a stable foundation and find the correct grip. Begin by hanging from a bar using an overhand grip, with your palms facing forward and arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core so your body is in a strong, straight line from shoulders to ankles; keep the tension throughout.

Squeeze your legs together and slowly raise them in front of you until they’re parallel to the floor (or at whatever range of motion you’re capable of). Make sure that your lower back doesn’t round as you lift your legs; if it does, focus on engaging the muscles in and around your core or stop the exercise until form has been adequately perfected.

Then lower them back down slowly in a controlled manner to return to starting position; just make sure not to drop them! This counts as one rep — repeat this process for desired number of reps, maintaining form throughout for maximum results.

Variations of Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are a great way to target your lower abdominal muscles and enhance your overall core strength. There are several variations of the hanging leg raises that you can do to target different muscles and add variety to your workout. In this article, we will look at some of the different variations of hanging leg raises that you can do to tone and strengthen your core.

Bent Knee Raises

Bent knee raises are a great variation of the traditional hanging leg raise exercise. This exercise primarily works your rectus abdominus, hip flexors and thigh adductors, but also strengthens all of the other abdominal muscles as well. To perform this exercise, you will begin by hanging from a pull-up bar with your knees slightly bent. While keeping your legs at a constant angle (approximately 90 degrees from the elipse pulled between your knees and feet) slowly raise your knees towards your chest while turning them inwards in a controlled manner and then press them out until they reach their initial position – all while breathing normally throughout. To ensure optimal form and to gain maximum benefit, always keep both hip flexors active and try to avoid swinging or using momentum to power the movement. Additionally, when lowering you need to make sure that you do not lock out the legs on completion of each repetition — keep breathing and stop only just before your feet touch the ground.

Alternating Leg Raises

Alternating leg raises is a popular variation of the hanging leg raise exercise. This advanced version of the exercise requires a higher degree of core strength, balance and stability to achieve full range of motion. With this movement you must use predominantly your forced arms to lift your legs up in alternative directions. Each side’s hip flexor will be activated independently, with the same amount of weight being held for both sides.

Begin by suspending from a pull-up bar or chin-up bar with an overhand grip shoulder width apart. Your palms should be facing outward as you hang from the bar completely straight in form and tension. Initiate movement by bending your knee slightly so that it pulls up toward your torso alternating from one leg to the other gradually increasing speed as much as you can manage comfortably in those few movements. For best results make sure to keep your legs slightly bent and draw them together for the most core activation possible during each extension or elevation phase when raising each leg separately or simultaneously. Focus on using strict form taking small shallow breaths until completion of each set ensuring not to hold your breath while performing this exercise which can lead to lightheadedness due to vascular restriction causing less efficient transportation of oxygen around your body. Aim for three sets each with 8–12 repetitions although there is no right number when it comes to reps, just take it slow and go at whatever pace works best for you while keeping proper form within mind at all times!

Weighted Hanging Leg Raises

Weighted Hanging Leg Raises are an advanced leg raise technique, commonly used in Cross Fit and other high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs. The exercise involves hanging from a pull-up or chin-up bar and then raising your legs, while holding a weighted plate or two. You can also hold dumbbells in either hand while raising your legs. This variation of leg raises is more difficult as it adds additional weight and resistance to the movement, making it an effective way to challenge and strengthen the core muscles. It is important however to use proper technique when performing this exercise to ensure safety and maximum effectiveness. You should focus on controlling the movement of your legs slowly and deliberately, without swinging or jerking them up. Start with a lighter weight until you develop correct form before gradually increasing the amount of resistance used.


Hanging leg raises are an effective bodyweight exercise for developing core strength and improving stabilizer muscles. Through regular practice, your lower abs and hip flexors will become noticeably stronger along with your quadriceps and glutes. Additionally, performing these regularly can help strengthen your grip and improve balance, stability and coordination.

Although they may seem simple, performing hanging leg raises require proper form in order to reap maximum benefits. As such, using caution to avoid overstretching your lower back is necessary to prevent injury while still maximizing efficiency of the motion. For beginners, some common modifications such as using a secure platform or even bending the knees can help develop the necessary core strength without putting too much strain on one’s body until the proper form is achieved properly.

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