The leg raise is one of the most challenging abdominal exercises the body can perform. This advanced movement utilizes both your hip flexors and lower abs, and even at lower reps you will feel your core working overtime.
Weight training beginners may find this too challenging at first. If this is the case, try practicing on the Captain’s Chair to build up the necessary strength.
To perform the Leg Raise, first start by standing under a chin up bar. If necessary, place a box or stool that you can hoist yourself up with. Grip the bar with both hands facing out from your body. You should be hanging freely at this point with your feet fully off of any standing surface.
Tighten your core muscles and now bring your knees up as high as you can to your chest. Pause at the top for a moment and then bring your knees back down again so that your legs are extended out beneath you. This is one rep. It is important that the Leg Raise should be performed in a deliberate, controlled manner.
Fully engage your core and arms to avoid swinging or swaying on the bar. You might this to be the most difficult part of the exercise, but it will cause maximum burn in your abdominal area.
Once you’ve mastered this movement, try keeping your legs straight as your lift your feet out in front of you to a height horizontal with your hips for an additional challenge.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.