Leg Raises (Hanging Grip)
- Find a bar, such as a pull-up bar, that you can safely hang from, and stand beneath it.
- Jump, grasp the bar with an overhand grip (i.e. thumbs facing one another), and slowly lower yourself to a dead hang (without allowing your legs to swing behind you). If jumping is not possible, find an adequate step/stool so that you can reach the bar.
- Slowly bring your legs upward until horizontal is reached, exhaling throughout the movement. Once full abdominal contraction is achieved, if desired, you may hold this position briefly (about 1-2 seconds per repetition).
- Slowly bring your legs back down to the starting position, inhaling throughout the movement. Be sure to keep your legs in line with your body or in front of it--never behind it.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as are desired.
To place focus on the abdominal core simply flutter your legs up and down (like a scissor kick), being sure to keep them above horizontal.
Do not allow your legs to move behind your body--even though a natural byproduct of this exercise is often this very phenomenon--because doing so increases the chances of swinging, as well as vertebral compression (i.e. pinching your lower back).