Hanging knees to chin raises, also known as gorilla chin crunches, is an essential exercise for anyone wanting to build strength in their core area. This exercise also increases stamina and endurance due to the participant pulling their own body weight against gravity. It also builds strength in the upper body.
Exercise Instructions: Hang from a pullup bar with your knees slightly bent. Slowly raise your legs up and bring your knees up toward your chest. You should finish with your knees as for up as your chin at the top. Make sure to keep a tight grip and avoid swinging back and forth. Slowly lower your legs down and return to the starting position.
Muscles Targeted: All muscles in the core area are targeted with hanging knees to chin raises. The upper, middle, and lower abdominal regions work against gravity as the body crunches in an upward motion. This movement strengthens the muscles in these areas and also helps to stretch out the lower back. As the knees bend upward towards the chin, the hamstrings and quadriceps will also be engaged. The muscles in the forearms and shoulders will also build strength by simply hanging from the bar, which will also improve the participant’s grip strength over time.
Why This Exercise is Important: Hanging knee to chin raises is an important exercise because this advanced movement will leave anyone looking their best by helping to strengthen and tone their abdominal region. However, there are many other benefits of this exercise to consider. This exercise builds strength in the core, which helps improve balance and stability as well as increasing strength in the back muscles. The arms and shoulders are also working and grip strength is increased. Overall, this exercise offers many positive benefits and should be included into your advanced abdominal routine.
Things To Avoid: Anyone with back issues should not perform this exercise due to the complex nature of this movement and the possible chance of causing further issues. When performing hanging knee to chin raises, avoid swinging when hanging from the bar. The body must always move in a controlled up and down motion, and never swing back and forth. Swinging the body back and forth from the bar is considered cheating, and cheating on this exercise can result in injury.
Reps and Sets: The reps and sets for hanging knee to chin raises will depend on the fitness level of each individual. This is an advanced exercise, so anyone starting out may want to try a few reps with strict technique to make sure their form is correct before moving forward into working sets. Start out with 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps and increase both the reps and sets gradually by doing 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. This is a very difficult exercise so don’t get frustrated if you can only do a few repetitions when you first start out.
Other Exercises To Use: There are a few other exercises that compliment hanging knee to chin raises, where the participant is also hanging from a bar. Hanging knees to head raises is a very similar exercise, only the participant tries to bring their knees to their elbows instead of their chin. Hanging abdominal leg raises also targets the muscles in the shoulders, arms, and core area, although this exercise is not as extreme as hanging knee to chin raises. Hanging oblique knee raises is one more similar exercise which primarily targets the obliques in addition to the arms, shoulders, and core. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.