What Is The Best Way To Do Hanging Leg Raises And What Are Common Mistakes?

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

Kaitlin Floyd

Kaitlin Floyd
Kaitlin Floyd

Updated on 9/20/2023

The dangling leg lift is a strenuous exercise that can be done by oneself and strengthens the abdominal muscles and the hip flexors. You may perform this exercise by hanging one leg from the other. To achieve this exercise correctly, you should turn one leg from the other. You don't need any special equipment to perform this exercise correctly; all you need is access to a high bar. You should have no issue implementing hanging leg raises exercise into your advanced core training routine.

  • In addition to working the abdominal muscles, this routine emphasizes strengthening the flexors in the hips.
  • You will need to use either a pull-up or a high bar to accomplish this particular exercise routine.
  • The difficulty level of this stage of the game has increased.

How To Do A Hanging Leg Raise

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

If you want to have any chance of being successful when attempting to perform hanging leg lifts, you will need to make use of a bar that you can hold much over your head. Only then will you have a chance of being successful. This bar needs to be stable and robust enough to withstand not just the weight of your entire body but also the strain created when you lift and drop your legs.

A pull-up bar is a piece of excellent fitness equipment you can utilize right in the convenience of one's own house. Compared to other types of bar forms, such as a squared-off bar or a square oak beam, a circular bar offers a grip that is more stable and more comfortable for the individual making use of it. Because doing so raises the risk of receiving an injury, leaning on a door frame or sill is not a good idea and should be avoided. It is urged very highly that you do not go through with it.

Some of the bars have hooks or rings that can be grasped with the fingers, while others do not have any features of this kind. Some of them have ab straps attached, which make it easier for you to complete the exercise since they support your upper arms while you grip the bar with your hands and allow you to perform the activity. That makes it possible for you to complete the exercise more quickly.

If you want to improve your balance and stability, you should grab the bar with an overhand grip while simultaneously wrapping your thumbs around the bar. That will help you enhance the amount of strength you have. Your hands should not be hanging from the bar at this time, but they should be positioned to grasp the bar high over your head. The illustration will walk you through getting your hands into the correct posture.

  • Exhale as you lift your feet off the ground and elevate your legs out in front of you with a slight bend in your knees. Hold this position for a moment before returning them to the ground. Maintain this position briefly before lowering them back down to the earth. Raise your feet off the ground and keep doing what you're doing. To get the most out of the exercise, you are now performing, you should tense the muscles in your abdominal region and your hip flexors and tilt your pelvis ever-so-slightly backward. That will maximize the benefits that you receive from the workout. You will be able to accomplish more as a result of this.
Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

  • Raise your legs to a height that presents a challenge to you but at the same time enables you to carry out the exercise in the correct manner. You should strive to bring them to a position where they are parallel to the ground (so that the angle generated by your hips and knees is 90 degrees) or perhaps a little bit higher if you can pull it off. Your goal should be to get them to this position and make accomplishing this your goal.
  • As you proceed through this part of the workout, take a deep breath in, and as you lower your legs back to the starting position, you should do so in a slow and controlled manner. You will want to continue moving in this fashion until you complete the exercise. You must maintain the posterior pelvic tilt for the entirety of the movement, even when you are getting close to the end of the workout.

Benefits Of The Hanging Leg Raise

The sartorius and the iliopsoas, the two primary muscles responsible for flexing the hips, are subjected to substantial strain when performing hanging leg raises. This tension causes the muscles to be under a great deal of stress. The sartorius is the muscle that is the longest in the body and is responsible for a significant portion of the hip and knee-bending movement. This movement involves the knee and the hip. The iliopsoas muscle not only helps flex the lumbar spine and turn to the side but also flexes the hip, pulling the thighs into a position that is more in line with the trunk of the body. These two actions result from the iliopsoas muscle working in conjunction with one another. The following is a list of the other functions that are carried out by this muscle:

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

You work several different muscles simultaneously when you perform a hanging leg raise. These muscles include the tensor fasciae late, the pectineus, and the adductor lungs. During the exercise, the rectus femoris and the adductor lungs are utilized, and the muscles listed here are. The rectus and the obliques are the abdominal muscles that are worked during this particular ab workout, and these are the abdominal muscles that are engaged to give essential stabilization.

Two examples of top-down ways to build the abdominal muscles include the fundamental crunch and the infinite modifications you can perform. On the other hand, the hanging leg raise is an example of a bottom-up strategy that develops the abdominal muscles in a manner distinct from many different exercises. That is because the hanging leg raise starts from the ground up, and that is because it engages the abdominal muscles in a downward and upward motion. The hanging leg raise works the forces from the ground up, which is why it is effective for this purpose.

2 Experienced exercisers can widen their exercise repertoire by adding this motion to their abdominal workout to introduce diversity to their routine. You can perform this motion by yourself or with a partner.

You can be sure that you will be working your core muscles in a manner that involves a significant amount of effort on your behalf, but the height at which your legs are raised does not influence the fact that you will be working your core muscles in this manner. How beneficial you find this workout will be to you will be directly proportional to how high you can elevate your legs. When a person's core is strong, it is much simpler to carry massive objects since it supports proper posture and makes lifting easier. Additionally, it makes moving essential things much more accessible. Because of this, the individual can lift a greater quantity of weight.

Other Variations Of A Hanging Leg Raise

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

This exercise can be performed in various ways, depending on your degree of fitness, making it easier for you initially and offering you more of a challenge as your level of fitness increases. Depending on your degree of fitness, you can make it easier for yourself to perform this exercise in various ways. You can practice this exercise seated instead of standing up if you want to make things simpler for yourself when you first start.

Bent-Leg Hanging Raise

If you have trouble lifting your legs while they are straight, you might want to try completing the exercise with your legs bent instead of straight to see if this makes a difference for you. You will know that this modification was suitable for you if it does. Tense the muscles in your abdominal region and the hip flexors to bring your knees up to your waist. That will allow you to bring your knees up to your waist. Core strength is necessary. When doing this, you should ensure that your knees are bent to the point where they form a right angle with the rest of your body. It would be best if you practiced extending your legs until your knees are at or near your waist, and then you should focus on lowering your legs while in the extended position. It would be best if you did this while keeping your legs in the vast place. As your strength improves, you should gradually progress to lowering your legs while they are in the extended position. You ought to get this done while they are still stretched.

Captain's Chair Leg Raise

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

The captain's chair leg raise is a variation of the hanging leg raise in which the movement is performed in a chair rather than when the body is suspended from the ceiling. That results in an exercise that is a modification of the standard one that is more difficult. That is only one of the many possible variations you can do with the discussed activity. This chair's back support and arm cushioning are built so that, when sitting in it, they will guide your body into the most comfortable posture feasible. Put your forearms on the armrests, grab the grips, and then lift your legs out in front of you before putting them back down. That will help you get in and out of the seat more easily. That will make you feel more at ease as you continue. As we move forward, you should experience an increased sense of calm.

Shoulder-Level Hanging Leg Raise

The exercise will be significantly more difficult if you continue to raise your knees until they are at the same level as your shoulders; doing so will help strengthen your legs. Because of this, the rectus, also known as the "six-pack muscle," is compelled to exert much more work than it usually would. That is a direct consequence of the issue at hand. You should only attempt this more difficult exercise variation if you are sure you can keep your form correct throughout the exercise. If you are unsure of your ability to do so, you should not attempt this variation.

Weighted Hanging Leg Raise

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

When ready to go to the next level of difficulty, you can also perform hanging leg lifts while wearing ankle weights or carrying a dumbbell or medicine ball between your feet. These variations add challenge to the exercise. The intensity of the workout will consequently rise as a result. Because doing this, you can advance to a more challenging version of the task. Both of these opportunities create tremendous obstacles and possibilities for an individual's development due to their pursuit. If you do decide to use this variation, you will need to choose a weight that you can lift without compromising your form, and you will need to hold it securely between your feet. If you decide to use this variation, you must choose a weight you can lift without compromising your form. If you decide to employ this variant, you must select a weight you can lift without sacrificing your form. It would be best to determine this weight based on how much you can raise. If you do decide to do this exercise variation, you will need to select a weight that is feasible for you to lift without compromising your technique. That means choosing a weight between five and ten percent of your maximum possible lift.

Hanging Leg Raise With Flexion And Extension

If your knees are bent and extended simultaneously when in the raised posture, this will present you with an additional challenge you will need to overcome. After bending your knees and keeping your feet elevated over your waist, you should return to a standing position with your legs in a straight post and then return to an upright position. After you have finished performing this, proceed to return to the initial appointment. Maintain a stance in which your legs are raised over your waist, and keep this position during the entire exercise. After that, you will need to bring your legs back to their beginning position, which will require you to bend them slightly at the knees. Bring your legs back to their starting position.

Single-Arm Hanging Leg Raise

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

One of the variations, known as a one-arm hanging leg raise, is a more advanced exercise variant. You can perform this variation with straight legs or knees bent. The only thing that will be different when you complete the steps is that instead of hanging from both arms, you will only be hanging from one of them, which is the only change you made. If you feel that doing so creates an excessive level of strain on either your wrists or your forearms, you should probably choose a different way instead of doing so.

Common Mistakes

If you want to get the most out of this workout while reducing the unnecessary strain you put on your body, you must avoid making these typical mistakes. If you do so, you will achieve your goals much more quickly.


Please do not make the common mistake of attempting to gain momentum by swinging your legs to raise them. That is a terrible idea. Performing the exercise this way is not the right way to do it. Instead, you must focus on engaging the muscles in your abdominal region and the hip flexors to achieve the desired results. If you follow this course of action, you will have a much easier time keeping control of the action and activating your core.

Shoulders Hunched

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

Throughout this workout, you can assist preserve your shoulders by ensuring that you keep them in a neutral posture as much as possible and that you keep them down as much as possible. Move your shoulders so they are as far away from your ears as you can get them while you are suspended from the ceiling with your feet hanging below your head. If you follow these instructions, you will discover that guiding them into the appropriate position will be much less complicated.

Lowering Legs Too Fast

The portion of this exercise in which you lower your body places a large amount of stress on the abdominal muscles, forcing them to perform to the best of their capacity. As a result, the abdominal muscles are forced to develop their full potential. If you try to cut this period shorter than is necessary to reduce them more quickly, you won't be able to take advantage of this benefit because it will no longer be available to you if you do so. That is because you will have made the term shorter than is necessary. If you want to maintain your form throughout the workout, you need to ensure that there is not even the slightest swaying or swinging going on at any time. When lowering your legs, you should always do it in a controlled manner that emphasizes moving at a calm and deliberate pace.

Safety And Precautions

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

Before you attempt to hang from a bar or any other piece of riding equipment, be sure that the bar or any other part of hanging equipment you plan to use is in good condition and that using it won't put you in danger. Because of this, you won't be placing yourself in a situation in which there is any chance that you could sustain some injury. Before beginning a new fitness program or incorporating something different into the one you are already participating in, you must discuss the topic with your primary care physician. It is of the utmost importance that you carry out this stage, particularly if you have a preexisting medical condition, have been injured, or are already recuperating from surgery.

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, it is strongly suggested that you avoid performing hanging leg lifts because they have the potential to make your symptoms worse:

  • Are you pregnant, planning to become a parent shortly, or did you give birth not too long ago and are only now returning to your old self?
  • You are suffering from a disorder known as diastasis recti, which causes the separation of the abdominal muscles.
  • Do I have it right that you mentioned a recent operation on your stomach that took place not too long ago?
  • Have you recently had the treatment performed on your back, neck, arms, or legs due to a medical procedure or because you were hurt in some way that necessitated you to have treatment? If that is the case, what circumstances led to the requirement of receiving treatment?
Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging Leg Raises

Suppose you find yourself in a position that is somewhat similar to this one. In that case, it is a good idea to contact a physical therapist or a personal trainer to find out their thoughts on whether there are alternative forms of exercise that would be more useful. If you are engaging in this activity and begin to feel discomfort, you need to instantly cease what you are doing and look for another option.

There should be ten repetitions in a single set, but you are free to finish as many as you can, regardless of the amount that has been recommended. Your goal should be to perform the workout ten times without stopping. As your strength increases, you should work up to executing thirty repetitions of the hanging leg raises exercise at a time before moving on to the next activity in the circuit. It would be best if you accomplished this by gradually increasing the number of times you perform the exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of hanging leg raises?

Hanging leg raises can improve core strength when performed because they engage your abdominal muscles, including the lower abdominals, which can be tougher to activate with other core exercises. In addition, hanging leg raises can help you engage the muscles in your lower back and hip flexors, which contribute to increased grip strength if you do them regularly.

How effective are hanging leg raises compared to sit-ups?

In terms of its capability to engage the upper and lower rectus and the external oblique muscle, you determined that the sit-up was superior to the straight leg raise. On the other hand, you showed that the straight leg raise was more effective than the sit-up stimulating the iliopsoas and the rectus femoris muscles.

What makes hanging leg raises so difficult?

A large amount of pressure is placed on the serratus anterior for stability during hanging leg lifts, in addition to engaging the abdominal muscles. Because of this, a substantial demand is placed on the abdominal region as a whole. In addition to working out your arms and shoulders, simply hanging from the bar will also allow you to enhance your grip strength. Unfortuitously, they are also one of the workouts most usually performed inappropriately.

How effective are hanging leg raises for abs?

The hanging knee raise is one of the most efficient exercises for working out your entire core and explicitly targeting your lower abdominals. This exercise also works your legs. In addition to developing excellent forearm strength, this exercise significantly improves grip strength. A hanging knee raise is a form of workout that does not require any equipment to perform it. It would be best if you had something to grip onto and hang from to accomplish pull-ups, like a pull-up bar, and nothing else is needed.

Do hanging leg raises work better than crunches?

On the other hand, you can choose from various forms of physical activity to carry out. I recommend that you execute hanging leg raises rather than crunches since hanging leg raises exert less stress on your spine than crunches do. Because of this, I suggest you practice hurning leg raises rather than crunches. If you are concerned about injuring your back, the safest course of action is to steer clear of crunches whenever possible.

Are hanging leg raises Advanced?

A more challenging exercise that targets the abdominal and hip flexor muscles, the dangling leg raise, requires the legs to be raised while hanging from an overhead bar. For this particular activity, you may utilize pull-ups and stall bars. You can reach your feet or lower shins to the bar if you lift your legs as high as possible in a straight position without swinging. At the same time, curl your pelvis up like you would when performing a crunch.