If you want an exercise that challenges your core more than ever, to burn more fat than ever, the hanging leg raise could be be your best bet.
This is one exercise I don’t see most older guys doing because it takes a ton of core and upper body power to control and do right—so think of this like a challenge. I love doing the hanging leg raise since it lets me know whether I have been neglecting the muscles in my core, something that happens a lot. If I can’t do a certain amount of reps, it’s time to recenter my training.
To start, all you need is a bar. Either find one you can reach without jumping, or make use of a step to reach up, since you have to have a rock solid grip. You don’t want to hang from your fingertips while doing this exercise, so ensure your palms are over the bar. Once your grip is good and you are hanging, squeeze your shoulder blades to bring your shoulders down. Bring in your abs by squeezing, maintaining a tight ribcage, and bring your legs just a bit forward so they are in front of your body and hanging with an angle relative to your spine.
From this position, bend at your knees and curl them up to your shoulders by doing a spine flex. This sounds weird, but when you reach the top of the move, if someone were watching you from your front, they should be able to see your butt. Hold on for one second at the top to get a good squeeze on your abs, then let your legs go down slowly to your starting position.
The beauty of these hanging leg raises is that your abs will always be under tension so you’ll get a better burn without doing tons of reps. With this in mind, do your best to avoid any swinging at the top or bottom spot. You will lose tension inside your core this way. Swinging at your bottom is cheating by using momentum instead of your core muscles to get back up.
Don’t be surprised if you can only do one or two reps with the right form. Try 3 sets of 5 reps to start.
Author: Steven Sinclaire