We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Hanging crunches, also called hanging leg raises, are often used to train the abdominals - but the real focus of the exercise is the hip flexors. Advanced exercisers can try hanging crunches, which require you to hang from a bar and draw your legs up toward your chest. You don't have to stick to the gym to do hanging crunches; be creative and take the move to the playground or anywhere you have access to a stable pullup bar.
To perform hanging crunches, grasp a bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder width and palms facing forward. Let your legs hang heavily until they are completely still. Very slowly flex your hips and bend your knees to bring the tops of the thighs parallel to the floor or all the way to the chest. Return your legs to the straight hanging position to complete one repetition. A deliberate pace minimizes the swing of the body. If holding a bar is too intense on your hands or wrists, you can brace your forearms in looped straps clipped to the bar.
Strategy and Progression
Work your way up to eight or more reps of the exercise in one set. Increase to two to three sets as you become more proficient. Once you can do 12 reps of the exercise with ease, try keeping your knees straight as you flex the hips and bring straight legs parallel to the floor. Another way to increase the difficulty is to hold a weight between your ankles.
Your rectus abdominus and obliques work to stabilize you during the movement, but the primary muscle targeted is the iliopsoas, or hip flexors. The muscles of the thighs, particularly at the front and inner thigh, are also instrumental in flexing your knees and drawing your legs up. You can bring greater emphasis to the rectus abdominus at the front of the abs by drawing your knees all the way up to your shoulders.
Use the captain's chair, an apparatus that looks like a tall dining chair without a seat, if you aren't quite ready for hanging leg raises. This move was found to be 212 percent more effective than the traditional crunch in training the rectus abdominus and 310 percent more effective in targeting the obliques, in a study published in 2001 in the American Council on Exercise magazine вЂњFitness Matters.вЂќ Prop yourself up on the armrests with your back pressed against the padding, legs hanging. Slowly bend your knees and draw your knees in toward your chest, then slowly release. If you are already able to do hanging crunches, add a twist motion at the top by lifting your knees to the right and then the left to create more activation in the obliques .