How to do Hanging Leg Raises: Benefits & Progression

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The ridiculous promising claims from everybody on how they can get 6-pack abs in a short amount of time make me cringe. Because pretty much, we all have tried them and nothing literally works well. You can go ahead and still follow their suggestions but it is going to be tiresome. And why do I claim Hanging Leg Raises will work? Hmm…

Let’s get this clear! Someone once said “Abs are made in the kitchen!” and this is true. But a good workout regimen should be accompanied along with that. You can’t neglect any one of them, a good workout with proper nutrition is a must.

I will be proceeding here with the assumption that you either have a proper diet plan.

There is a huge list of workouts that can build abs but none can match with this killer workout. This is an isometric movement for your abs which means the muscles are contracting without movement.

You can build great abs with this workout alone. This is definitely not an easy workout as this is optimal for advanced trainees. But don’t frown, we have laid out a progression guide for you that will help you to perform the exercise even as a beginner.

Keep in Mind! You have to get better at each level of the progression and then move on to the next one. Don’t skip steps and don’t rush!

Are hanging leg raises effective?

It is an extremely beneficial exercise and focuses extensively on abdominal muscles. There will also be some effort required from your hip flexors as this position will put you in a battle with gravity. Making this exercise superhard and highly effective at the same time.

This is a workout that requires extensive work by your body. As the movement is initiated by your body and not by an external force, it makes a great calisthenics workout. Doesn’t matter whether your workout regimen is split body or full body routine, this exercise is something everyone can see good results. So, integrate it into your workout regimen.

How do hanging leg raises benefit Calisthenics?

There are a lot of calisthenics movements that require you to have a certain amount of control over your body. And hanging leg raises can lay a great foundation for those exercises. Calisthenics exercises like Hanging plank, Hanging Dragon Flag or Human Flag, etc.. are extremely hard and you also need to use a wide range of muscles in your body.
Hanging leg raises will not only build your abs but also build strength in your spine and lower back which are also used in the movement.

Hanging Leg Raises Benefits

  • Being an extremely hard exercise, you cannot put in many reps which makes it efficient than other abs exercises.
  • It strengthens the rectus abdominal, oblique muscles, and transversus abdominis via anti-flexion and anti-extension.
  • The variations in this exercise will make it easy to scale for all fitness levels.

What muscles do hanging leg raises work?

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Transverse Abdominis
  • Forearm/ Grip Muscles
  • Lower back

Hamstring flexibility for Hanging Leg Raises

You need to use your legs in this exercise where they need to remain stable and balanced. Having hamstrings that are locked and tight will restrict the free flow in your workout and put more pressure than necessary on your abs and lower back.
These 7 drills can greatly improve your hamstring flexibility. Any athlete or trainee must understand that strength and flexibility should go hand-in-hand.

Progression Guide for Hanging Leg Raises

Alright, people! Let’s get to the main part. It is very important to understand that this workout is difficult. So, this progression guide will help you to build strength and a solid foundation for the actual exercise.

Maintain proper form throughout the set and build enough strength before going to the next phase in the progression. Many other calisthenics exercises will get easier as this can lay a good foundation and strength in your body and the movement.

One key point to emphasize, focus on your abdominal muscles and glutes. Having some attention to the muscles will activate them during your workout.

Beginners Level

  • Find a pull-up bar high enough to keep your feet off the ground. Jump up and grab it shoulder-width apart.
  • From this position, bring your knees close to your chest by squeezing your abdominal muscles in a controlled manner.
  • Throughout the moment, keep your knees bent.
  • Pause for one count and bring yourself back to the initial position.

Intermediate Level

This will be a little tougher than the previous version, and you must be able to do it with good form. Then proceed to this exercise.

  • Instead of bending at your knees, keep your legs straight.
  • In the same manner, squeezing your abdominal muscles bring your legs parallel to the ground in an L-shape.
  • Pause for a second and then get back to the initial position.
  • Keep your legs straight in the entire movement.

Advanced Level

This is the last stage of progression and the actual exercise we are intended to learn. Remember, this is an advanced workout, and learn to do the previous versions with proper form.

  • Keeping your legs straight as in the previous version, but instead of pausing at the L-shape continue to lift it to the bar.
  • Pause for a second and then bring your feet down.
  • This must be done with proper form and don’t try to finish the workout just for the sake of completing it. Maintain a good form and build good strength.

Hanging Leg raises sets and reps

This is a key point most people overlook, you have to break down your exercise in such a way that you can make some repetitions multiple times. Don’t spend all your energy on one set and then struggle to get through other sets.
At all levels of progression, it is good to try – 5 reps * 3 sets. You can increase them as you want but do not overload to the point where you are continuing with improper form.

Common Mistakes

As an advanced exercise, you will often struggle to maintain form and be stable. I

  • It is important to keep your body engaged throughout the movement.
  • Do not sway or swing and do not use the momentum.
  • The entire exercise has to be performed with controlled movement and use your core muscles for this instead of your legs.
  • Another big mistake, do not to drop your legs when you are moving back. Bring those legs down in a controlled manner rather than just rushing through it.

What is hanging leg raises good for?

Hanging leg raises is a great exercise for your core muscles. This exercise alone can bring great results and get your shape into the best. It can also work on your glutes but the main focus is on your core.

It works all around your core muscles along with the obliques. So it can be a great addition to your workout regimen.

Can we do hanging leg raises every day?

Hanging leg raises are very tough and it puts great pressure on your core muscles. IT is not advisable to do these every day.

Try to do them utmost 2-3 times per week with at least a day break between those sessions. This will be optimal to work out and take a rest.

Hope you have gained something from this article and it is also very important to understand that results can be achieved if you are consistent. And this can’t be just limited to working out alone but also the nutrition. Have a proper diet with the right nutritional composition and do not skip any meal!