Welcome to the very first episode of NO BS FITNESS CHAT! In this new weekly feature we are going to take on some of the most controversial topics in the fitness world and give you the facts! No Fiction, No Bs, just straight forward advice on what the truth is about that certain topic. This will give you the info that will allow you to start getting better results without having to wonder if something works or not. And if you have a question or topic you want us to talk about then send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok so let’s get going!
So in the very first NO BS chat we are going to talk about Hanging Leg Raises and ask, how good are they really. Some professionals say they are a complete waste of time while almost every single fitness model we have ever interviewed here on Sixpackfactory say it is the first exercise they put down on paper when they design a new ab workout routine. So who is right and who is wrong?
Well funny enough both are! Well, to some extent anyway. See like so many exercises out there, if you do it wrong and your technique is not 100% spot on then it is pretty much useless. But if your technique is correct then most exercises can be very effective and hanging leg raises is no different. The main problem with Hanging Leg Raises is that if you do it wrong, you hardly train your abs at all. It is not like doing Bench Press wrong and still training your Chest a little and that is why the technique for hanging leg raises is so important.
So let’s quickly look at the right and wrong technique so you know exactly how to do this exercise correctly.
Although not the main reason for this exercise not being effective, if you starting position is not 100% correct this exercise will be a lot less intense and so give you less of a workout. From the images below you will see on left the wrong position. This is where you swing your legs all the way back and relax at the bottom of the exercise instead of keeping your core tight. In the image on the right you will see where you should be keeping your legs and your legs should never come back further or lower than this position. Also look at the video above to see how to do this exercise correctly.
This is the real problem area and the main reason why some people say it is effective and some say it isn’t. If you look at the image on the right you will see my legs do not come up further than 90 degrees or parallel with the floor. If you legs stop here you will only be training what is known as your Hip Flexors or your Iliopsoas muscle. You need to bring your knees up all the way to your chest as in the image on the right for it to stimulate your lower abs. When you get to the top squeeze your muscles and then bring your legs back down all in a controlled motion. Once this becomes too easy for you, you can start to do STRAIGHT leg raises for an even more advanced lower abs workout
So do this exercise correctly and it becomes one of the most powerful lower abs exercises you can do. In fact if this exercise is not part of your lower abs workout routine ADD IT TODAY! But be 100% sure your technique is right otherwise it is pretty much useless.