Anyone looking for a lean stomach and a strong core should definitely focus on working the oblique muscles. Working the oblique muscles help to tighten up your love handles which gives the waist line a smaller and more slender look. However, remember that eating a clean nutrient dense diet and including cardio workouts to burn excess calories are the most important parts to obtaining a sleek and sexy stomach.
Exercise Instructions: Hang from a pull-up bar with your legs and feet together and your knees slightly bent. Slowly lift your knees up to one side as high as you can. Do this by curling your midsection from the bottom up, not simply by lifting your knees. Squeeze your lower abs and obliques at the top of the movement for a one-count, then slowly lower and repeat on the opposite side. Remember to have your abs do the work in a slow and controlled fashion.
Muscles Targeted: Hanging oblique knee raises target the entire core area, as the primary muscles working in this exercise are the obliques. The lower abs are worked very well and the muscles in the forearms and shoulders also build strength due to hanging from a bar in a stationary position. Secondary muscles include the quadriceps, hip flexors and the lower back.
Why This Exercise is Important: Hanging oblique knee raises are an important exercise because they help to strengthen the core muscles. The arms and shoulders are also being strengthened because of the hanging position. The participant uses their own body weight against gravity as resistance which will also helps to increase stamina and build endurance. Hanging oblique knee raises are a great exercise for athletes who wish to strengthen their core area for a specific sport as well as for beginners looking to tone up their love handles.
Things To Avoid: Things to avoid when performing hanging oblique knee raises are poor form and bad posture. It is important to maintain a straight spine as you hang from the bar. Also, the body should never be in a swinging motion at any time during this exercise while hanging from the bar. If needed, ask a trainer or friend to spot you and provide assistance if you start to swing back and forth. This exercise provides the best results when following proper technique so always make sure to be aware of your form.
Reps and Sets: The reps and sets for this exercise will vary by individuals, as it will depend on the fitness level of the participant. A beginner may want to try 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps, or as many reps as they can do with proper form. Someone on the intermediate level may want to push for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. An advanced participant should be busting out 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps. It is recommended to perform this exercise at a slow and comfortable pace.
Other Exercises To Use: There are many other hanging exercises that the participant can use to compliment hanging oblique knee raises. Hanging knee to chin raises, also known as gorilla chin crunches, will help stretch and exercise the same muscle groups that are targeted with hanging oblique knee raises, only there is more tension on the lower abdominal region instead of the obliques. Hanging knees to head raises are very similar to hanging knee to chin raises, only the participant will bring their knees to their elbows instead of their chin. It is also recommended to add hanging abdominal leg raises to a workout because they will definitely build strength and stretch out the muscles in the core area. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.