We all want that desired six-pack, right? While the hanging leg raise is a great exercise to achieve this, the best hanging leg raises alternative exercises can ensure we hit our abs from all the right angles. Setting yourself up with the right alternatives means you get a great chance to target your abs differently. This will work those muscles in many ways so they have no choice but to grow. Look to these alternatives to change up your routine to still see gains.
A strong core will offer a number of benefits. When it comes to those more functional and sport-specific movements, strong abs will provide balance and stability so we can better tackle whatever comes our way. A strong core will also show off our six-pack and only add to our shredded aesthetic.
Let’s take a look at some of the best hanging leg raise alternative exercises to give you the best options as you seek to change up your workouts while also seeing huge gains. As a dedicated athlete, you are always seeking new ways to challenge yourself and with the right alternatives, you are well on your way to making that happen.
What Is The Hanging Leg Raise Exercise?
The hanging leg raise is an isolation exercise designed to build your abs, as well as your hips. While this may be a higher-level exercise, with time, it can become part of your daily routine as you advance further with it. The only equipment needed is a pull-up bar and you are well on your way to seeing great abdominal gains.
Benefits Of This Exercise
One of the main benefits of this exercise is the strength and development of your abs and hip flexors. As a challenging exercise, it really works these muscles and you will truly start to see great gains to not only strength but definition. As a result of the added strength put on these muscles, you will see great stability, resulting from better form and more engagement (1). Grip strength will also improve, as will changes to your body composition and desired physique.
Best Hanging Leg Raise Alternative Exercises
Lying Leg Raise
Many of us have incorporated the lying leg raise into our routines before. This exercise gets more challenging the more reps you do but still is considered a beginner level ab exercise given the actual movement. What is important with this exercise is to keep your legs straight because the longer you extend, the more bodyweight your abs have to take. All that really means is the load on your abs will be more, thus creating more time under tension. That added challenge will really add to the burn in your midsection, thus building those muscles making them both bigger and stronger.
A simple yet effective abs exercise, this is also considered to be beginner level. All this movement really entails us pulling your knees towards your stomach and keeping that core braced. For an added challenge, you can use a bench or attach a form of weights to only add increased time under tension. This is called the reverse crunch for the movement is simply opposite that of a normal crunch (2).
Moving into the intermediate-level exercises, V-ups are great because they really give your hip flexors a good workout. The challenge with stability and this full-body extension has its fair share of pressure on the spine. But with good form, you’ll be just fine. Really giving your abs a workout, this is a great exercise to challenge yourself while still being able to tackle a lot of reps.
Roman Chair Leg Raises
This intermediate exercise gets pretty close to the hanging leg raise and virtually the only difference is that with this one, you are not hanging. The roman chair offers arm support as you rest them on pads during the exercise, so what you give up is the grip support as well. But in terms of an alternative that is pretty close to the actual exercise, this is a pretty good one.
Now getting into those more advanced exercises, the L-Sit is a common one for those really looking to punish their abs. While this may not seem like a good alternative, the difference is a static hold as opposed to the repeated raising of your legs. So, while a range of motion may not be the same, what is the same is the absolute strain on your core, forcing it to really grow.
The Dragon Flag is hard. A great advanced variation of the hanging leg raise exercise, this requires a full hip extension, the right grip, and serious core engagement. But this also requires strong glutes, and the benefits to not just your abs with this exercise are hard to ignore.
Top Supplements To Boost Further Gains
While working out and following a strict dietary regimen are imperative to our gains, the right supplements will only advance this growth. With so many companies out there, finding the right ones and knowing what to look for will greatly affect our overall health and training. To start, the big three to know about are pre-workouts, BCAAs, and protein powders. A pre-workout can offer energy and pumps (3), BCAAs will keep that energy high and burst through fatigue, and protein powders will most certainly enhance growth and recovery (4). For additional muscle-building supplements, as well as those that will change your body composition, look into creatine, mass gainers, and fat burners, for these are also very popular. And don’t forget a multivitamin to keep your health as a top priority.
The best hanging leg raises alternative exercises can greatly affect all areas of your gains and really give you a nice change to those oftentimes monotonous workouts. Of course, they will still work your abs the same since these are closely related to the hanging leg raise exercise. Don’t be afraid to really change things up and give yourself the best chance at real gains. You work hard and the results you see should show that.
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- Hibbs, A.; et al. (2008). “Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength”. (source)
- Harvard Medical School (2012). “Core conditioning- It’s not just about abs”. (source)
- Martinez, N.; et al. (2016). “The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance”. (source)
- Cintineo, H.; et al. (2018). “Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training”. (source)