Hanging Knee Raises are among my favorite core training exercises. I like to use the arm straps that connect to a power rack, or pull-up bar (or some other way to connect them).
Slip your arms into the straps until your elbows poke out the end and if your shoulder and elbow mobility allow, reach up and gently hang onto the large snap rings (carabiners) that you use to connect them to the rod). From there lift yourself up with your lats and abs until you’re hanging straight down from the straps.
For strict hanging knee raises you’ll need to avoid using momentum to accomplish the movement. Use your core to pull your knees up as high as you can without hurting your back. If you can gently tap your elbows with your knees, all the better. Again, without momentum, finish each rep of your hanging knee raises by lowering your legs and straighten them as you go down. Try to not touch the floor with your feet and try not to let your feet swing behind you. This will add momentum as you go forward and reduces the strictness of your hanging knee raises. Use tension in your core to slow the motion of the hanging knee raises at the bottom so that your feet stop just under you.
When you do these correctly and with proper tension in your core, you should only be able to do a dozen, give or take. If you can do a lot of hanging knee raises, you’re using momentum to assist the motion. This isn’t necessarily bad, since momentum and dynamic motion are valid means of training hanging knee raises, but you should mix it up and use them without momentum on a regular basis for best benefit to your core.
I recommend doing 5 sets of 10 to 12 hanging knee raises without momentum with every other workout session.
Hanging Knee Raises Video on Youtube:
Disclaimer: If you have shoulder, elbow, wrist, or lower back mobility issues (or any other type of issue) that could result in pain or damage, either stop doing hanging knee raises or find a variation that you can safely do. If you don’t have commercially available straps and a safe place to fasten them, please find training or information for another variation.
Be sure to look for my upcoming Mountaineering Fitness: Beginner Training Manual – DETAILS