How to do hanging leg raises: hang your way to a six pack AND a strong grip

How to do hanging leg raises: stop monkeying around on the bars and put the effort in that six pack training

How to do hanging leg raises
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How to do a hanging leg raises? Jump on the best pull up bar or best multi-gym and lift your legs up repeatedly. Easy, right? Wrong. There are so many ways to do hanging leg raises wrong but should you do it right, it will get you a six pack and even improve grip strength, as well as shoulder and back definition. 

Hanging leg raises are among the most potent exercises you should include in the best core workout. This one move will train your abs, core, biceps and make you stronger in general. However – like this 15-minute six-pack home workout – it won't be easy.

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There is a saying: abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen, and we couldn't agree more. You can bend over backwards and do all the crunches in the gym to get a six pack, but until you eat right and lose belly fat, all your abs will be tucked away nicely under that tyre you call your abdominal area.

People also say everyone have abs and this is also true, to some degree. There is a huge difference between abs and having a six pack of abs. Everyone has the former, it makes you able to sit up in bed. The latter, though, is pretty hard work to get and if you want abs fast, you'll need to do the right exercises and get your dieting game right, let it be keto diet or intermittent fasting

If you want to have a six pack fast, stop frequenting the ab crunch machine or that weird core-twist machine thing which looks like a torture device from the mid 1600s. Instead, try doing compound exercises that can be a part of a full body workout. These exercises use multiple muscles and they are great to improve strength, build muscle and to burn fat too.

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For the best six pack results, you want exercises where you can move naturally and more often than not, these exercises are the ones where you don't need to use machines – although for being able to do hanging leg raises, you will need something high enough off the ground to hang from with your feet off the ground.

How to do a hanging leg raises

Important: Always make sure you are hanging from a stable bar before you perform hanging leg raises, especially if you are working out at home. Once your legs are up in the air, you will be in a vulnerable position and can hurt your back if you fall.

First you will need to 'hang' from something – a frame being the obvious thing or you may be able to use a pull-up bar. Then you will need to 'raise' your 'legs'. Now you can see where the name 'hanging leg raise' comes from, right? You lift your legs right up in front of you.

Start off by doing bent-knee leg raises then slowly introduce straight leg reps over a period of weeks or months as you get stronger and more confident. Make sure your core is engaged all the way through the movement and lift your legs slowly. Once mastered, you can try and lift some weight with your legs or try using resistance bands – although using only your bodyweight is challenging enough. Form is more important than weight, so concentrate on performing the hanging leg raises correctly, all throughout the movement.

Man loosening hamstrings

Lose those hamstrings, now

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before you try hanging leg raises, it's best to loosen up your hamstrings a bit. Get a foam roller and an exercise resistance band and tend to your hammies so they are a bit more mobile.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.