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, 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 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.
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Forget 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 are a great way to improve strength, build muscle and even to burn fat.
Today we are recommending the hanging leg raise.
For the best sixpack 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 you will need something high enough off the ground to hang from with your feet off the ground.
Like this for instance.
How to do a hanging leg raise
Well, 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. We don't recommend hanging off your balcony, but hey, it's a free country.
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.
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.
To elevate the game even more, try hanging with your elbows in an 90 percent angle. This will not only stabilise your movement, but it will also work your arms, especially your biceps. Superset hanging leg raises with bicep curls and soon you'll have the abs and biceps of Thor the Thunder God.
The hanging leg raise is one of those exercises that look simple, yet aren't easy to pull off. To be able to perform even just a single set of hanging straight-leg raises, you will need strong arms, a killer core and – of course – strong abs.
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