Hanging Straight Leg Raise – Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Hanging Straight Leg Raise - Video Exercise Guide & Tips

Are you looking for an effective exercise to strengthen your core and improve your lower body strength? Look no further than the hanging straight leg raise! In this video exercise guide, we'll show you the proper form and technique to get the most out of this challenging exercise.

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You'll also learn about the equipment needed, common mistakes to avoid, variations and progressions, and tips for a more effective workout.

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Key Takeaways

  • The hanging straight leg raise strengthens lower abdominal muscles.
  • It engages the entire core, including hip flexors and lower back muscles.
  • The exercise improves core strength and hip flexibility.
  • Proper form and technique are important to maximize effectiveness and avoid common mistakes.

Benefits of the Hanging Straight Leg Raise

One benefit of the Hanging Straight Leg Raise is that it strengthens your lower abdominal muscles. By performing this exercise, you can effectively target and engage your lower abs, helping to tone and strengthen this area. The Hanging Straight Leg Raise is a challenging exercise that requires you to hang from a bar and lift your legs straight out in front of you. This movement not only targets your lower abs but also engages your entire core, including your hip flexors and lower back muscles.

By regularly incorporating the Hanging Straight Leg Raise into your workout routine, you can experience increased core strength. Your core muscles play a crucial role in stabilizing your body and maintaining good posture. Strengthening these muscles can improve your overall athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury.

In addition to increased core strength, the Hanging Straight Leg Raise also helps to improve hip flexibility. As you lift your legs, your hip flexors are stretched, which can increase their range of motion over time. Improved hip flexibility can enhance your athletic performance, especially in activities that require movements such as kicking, jumping, or running.

Proper Form and Technique

To perform the Hanging Straight Leg Raise with proper form and technique, start by hanging from a bar and engaging your core muscles. This exercise can be challenging, but with the right form, you can maximize its benefits. Here are some tips for better form:

  • Keep your legs straight: Avoid bending your knees during the exercise. This ensures that you're targeting your lower abdominal muscles effectively.
  • Control your movement: Slowly raise your legs until they're parallel to the ground, and then lower them back down in a controlled manner. This helps prevent swinging and momentum from taking over.
  • Maintain a neutral spine: Keep your back straight and avoid arching or rounding it excessively. This helps to engage your core muscles properly and minimize strain on your lower back.
  • Breathe properly: Inhale as you lower your legs and exhale as you raise them. This helps to stabilize your core and maintain control throughout the exercise.

Common mistakes to avoid include using momentum to swing your legs, relying solely on your hip flexors instead of engaging your core muscles, and not fully extending your legs. By following these tips and avoiding these common mistakes, you can perform the Hanging Straight Leg Raise with proper form and technique, maximizing its effectiveness.

Equipment Needed for the Exercise

You will need a bar to perform the Hanging Straight Leg Raise exercise. This exercise targets your abdominal muscles and requires minimal equipment. The bar should be sturdy and able to support your body weight. There are different types of hanging leg raise equipment available, each with its own advantages.

One option is a pull-up bar, which can be found at most gyms or purchased for home use. This type of bar is typically mounted on a wall or ceiling and provides a stable platform for performing the exercise. It's important to ensure that the bar is securely attached and can support your weight.

Another option is a power tower or dip station, which is a freestanding piece of equipment that allows for various upper body and core exercises. These stations often have padded armrests and backrests, providing extra comfort and support during the exercise.

Some gyms may also have specialized equipment designed specifically for hanging leg raises. These machines often have adjustable height settings and additional features for targeting different muscle groups.

Regardless of the type of equipment you choose, make sure to follow proper form and technique to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise and prevent injury. Always consult a fitness professional if you're unsure about the proper use of equipment or if you have any concerns about performing hanging leg raises.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes when performing the Hanging Straight Leg Raise exercise to ensure proper form and maximize the effectiveness of the workout. Here are some common errors to avoid:

  • Swinging: One common mistake is swinging your body while performing the exercise. This not only reduces the effectiveness of the exercise but also puts unnecessary strain on your lower back.
  • Using momentum: Another mistake is using momentum to lift your legs instead of relying on your abdominal muscles. This cheat can lead to improper form and decreased muscle activation.
  • Bending your knees: It's important to keep your legs straight throughout the entire movement. Bending your knees reduces the intensity of the exercise and shifts the focus away from your abs.
  • Lifting your legs too high: While it may be tempting to lift your legs as high as possible, it can strain your lower back and decrease the effectiveness of the exercise. Instead, focus on lifting your legs until they're parallel to the floor.

Variations and Progressions

Try incorporating different variations and progressions of the Hanging Straight Leg Raise exercise to challenge your abdominal muscles even further. By adding advanced variations and core strength progressions, you can take your workout to the next level and continue to build strength and stability in your core.

One advanced variation of the Hanging Straight Leg Raise is the Hanging Windshield Wiper. To perform this exercise, start in the hanging position and then slowly rotate your legs from side to side, mimicking the motion of a windshield wiper. This exercise targets not only your abdominal muscles but also your obliques, providing a more comprehensive core workout.

Another progression is the Hanging Knee Raise with a Twist. Begin by raising your knees up towards your chest, then twist your hips to one side, bringing your knees towards your elbow. Alternate sides with each repetition to engage your obliques and increase the challenge on your core muscles.

To further challenge yourself, you can also try the Hanging V-Up. This exercise involves raising your legs straight up while simultaneously reaching your hands towards your toes, creating a V-shape with your body. This movement targets your lower abs and requires a great deal of core strength and control.

Incorporating these advanced variations and core strength progressions into your Hanging Straight Leg Raise routine won't only keep your workouts interesting but also help you continue to develop the strength and stability of your core muscles. Remember to focus on proper form and technique to maximize the effectiveness of each exercise.

Tips for a More Effective Workout

To maximize the effectiveness of your Hanging Straight Leg Raise routine, incorporate these tips for a more efficient and impactful workout:

  • Engage your core: Before lifting your legs, engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. This will help to target and strengthen your abdominal muscles more effectively.
  • Maintain proper form: Throughout the exercise, focus on keeping your legs straight and your toes pointed. Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift your legs, as this can reduce the effectiveness of the workout.
  • Control the descent: As you lower your legs back down, make sure to control the movement and avoid dropping them quickly. This will increase the engagement of your muscles and provide a more challenging workout.
  • Modify the exercise: If you find the Hanging Straight Leg Raise too challenging, you can modify the exercise by bending your knees and performing a Hanging Knee Raise instead. This will still target your core muscles but with less intensity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do for the Hanging Straight Leg Raise Exercise?

To determine the number of sets and reps for the hanging straight leg raise exercise, consider your fitness level and goals. Start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, focusing on maintaining proper form throughout.

As you progress, you can increase the number of sets or reps, or try variations like bent knee raises or leg raises with a twist.

Remember to engage your core, avoid swinging, and use a stable bar or equipment for support.

Can I Do Hanging Straight Leg Raises if I Have Lower Back Pain?

If you're dealing with lower back pain, it's important to be cautious when doing hanging straight leg raises. There are alternative exercises that can help strengthen your core without putting extra strain on your back.

However, if your lower back pain isn't severe, hanging straight leg raises can actually benefit your core strength.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have existing back pain.

Should I Engage My Core Muscles During the Hanging Straight Leg Raise Exercise?

Engaging your core muscles during the hanging straight leg raise exercise is crucial. By activating your core, you can stabilize your body and protect your lower back. This not only reduces the risk of injury but also ensures that you're targeting the right muscles for maximum benefits.

Is It Better to Do Hanging Straight Leg Raises With a Pronated or Supinated Grip?

When doing hanging straight leg raises, you may wonder whether it's better to use a pronated or supinated grip. The grip you choose can affect the muscles targeted during the exercise.

With a pronated grip, your palms face away from you, engaging your back muscles more.

On the other hand, a supinated grip, with palms facing towards you, targets your biceps and forearms.

Consider your goals and focus on the muscles you want to work on when deciding which grip to use.

Can I Do Hanging Straight Leg Raises if I Don't Have Access to a Pull-Up Bar?

If you don't have access to a pull-up bar, there are alternatives and modifications you can try for hanging straight leg raises.

One option is to use a dip bar or parallel bars if available.

You can also use a sturdy horizontal bar or even a tree branch outside. Just make sure it can support your weight.

If none of these options are available, you can modify the exercise by performing lying leg raises on the floor instead.


In conclusion, the hanging straight leg raise is an effective exercise for strengthening the core and improving overall stability.

By maintaining proper form and technique, using the necessary equipment, and avoiding common mistakes, you can maximize the benefits of this exercise.

Additionally, incorporating variations and progressions can help keep your workouts challenging and exciting.

Remember to follow these tips for a more effective workout and achieve your fitness goals.

workout guru author


Serg Bayracny

Years ago, the spark of my life’s passion ignited in my mind the moment I stepped into the local gym for the first time. The inaugural bead of perspiration, the initial endeavor, the very first surge of endorphins, and a sense of pride that washed over me post-workout marked the beginning of my deep-seated interest in strength sports, fitness, and sports nutrition. This very curiosity blossomed rapidly into a profound fascination, propelling me to earn a Master’s degree in Physical Education from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, followed by a Sports Manager diploma from the Jagiellonian University. My journey of growth led me to gain more specialized qualifications, such as being a certified personal trainer with a focus on sports dietetics, a lifeguard, and an instructor for wellness and corrective gymnastics. Theoretical knowledge paired seamlessly with practical experience, reinforcing my belief that the transformation of individuals under my guidance was also a reflection of my personal growth. This belief holds true even today. Each day, I strive to push the boundaries and explore new realms. These realms gently elevate me to greater heights. The unique combination of passion for my field and the continuous quest for growth fuels my drive to break new ground.

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