What are hanging knee raises?

For people who are trying to sculpt six-pack abs or get a toned midsection, few exercises target the lower abs as much as the upper abs. This is where hanging knee raises come in. 

Since this knee raises exercise requires you to ‚Äėhang‚Äô from a pull-up bar and lift your lower body off the ground and pull up your knees, it is considered to be an advanced abs exercise.¬†

The hanging knee raise exercise works on these muscles:

  • Hip flexors
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Internal and external obliques
  • Forearms

How are hanging knee raises done?

Though knee raises exercise is a great addition to your workout, it is a challenging move that puts your entire body to test. That’s why it is important to know its correct form before you start doing this exercise. 

Here is a detailed explanation of how to do hanging knee lifts correctly:

  • Stand under the pull-up bar with your feet hip-width apart.¬†
  • Grip the pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Make sure that the grip is a little wider than your shoulder width.
  • Keep your body straight and stable.
  • Keep your head up and get your legs together and raise your body.
  • Exhale and engage your abdominals while raising your knees to your chest.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly lower your legs to the starting position.

Sets and reps of the hanging knee raise: You can start with 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps of this exercise. Gradually build upon this. 

Which are some variations of hanging knee raises?

Hanging knee lifts have several variations that promise to give your workout a boost each time you practise them. 

Here are some of the most effective variations of hanging knee ups:

  1. Hanging knee raise twist: Also known as hanging side knee raises or twisting hanging knee raises, this variation is great for those who want to target their obliques, the muscles that run on the sides of your core. Here is how the hanging knee raise twist is done:

  • Begin by hanging on the pull-up bar.
  • Inhale and engage your core muscles.
  • Pull up your knees to your left until your thighs are perpendicular to the chest.
  • Lower your legs and repeat the hanging side knee raises on the other side.

  1. Hanging knee raise hold: This variation is an excellent option to put extra tension on your abdominal muscles. Here is how the hanging knee raise hold is done:

  • Start the hanging knee raise exercise by hanging from the pull-up bar.
  • Engage your abs and pull up your knees up to your chest.¬†
  • Instead of lowering the knees immediately, hold them in position for 25-30 seconds.¬†

  1. Weighted hanging knee-ups: As the name suggests, this exercise requires you to hold a weight between your feet. You can either use ankle weights or hold a dumbbell. This helps in adding resistance and makes your legs stronger. 

  1. Toes to bar hanging knee raise: This is the most advanced variation of the hanging knee raises. It helps bolster your core strength, coordination, and control. It requires you to use a full range of motion and touch the bar with your feet. 

What are the benefits of hanging knee raises?

There are plenty of great reasons for including hanging knee raises in your workouts. Here is a roundup of some of the most important hanging knee raises benefits:

  • Hanging knee raises are an excellent exercise for targeting the rectus abdominis and increasing the strength and size of this muscle. This can be used to prepare your body for more advanced workouts such as the twisting hanging knee raise, L-sits, and other abdominal exercises.

  • One of the most important knee raises benefits is that it is a great exercise to build strength and stability in your upper back and shoulders. This not just improves your functionality and workout performance but also prevents postural problems.

  • By torching calories and helping you build lean muscle, this is one of the best weight loss exercises. This gives you an aesthetic toned appearance and prevents obesity-related health problems.

  • One of the best hanging knee raises benefits is for those who struggle with weak grip strength. Regularly doing this exercise and hanging knee raises alternatives has a great impact on improving your grip strength.¬†

  • With a minimal setup, you can easily do hanging knee raises at home. All you need is a pull-up bar or gymnast rings, making it a great addition to your workout at home.¬†¬†

How to try hanging knees raise safely?

You need to be mindful of the correct posture to gain the benefits of hanging knee raise exercise and prevent injury.

Here are some things to keep in mind while doing the hanging knee raises:

  • Learn the correct technique from an experienced trainer before doing hanging knee raises at home. This is especially important for beginners.
  • You need upper body strength for doing hanging knee raises. A good way of doing this is to work your way up to this exercise. Practice sit-ups or other bent-knee leg raises before moving to this exercise.
  • While hanging from the pull-up bar, ensure that your back is stable to prevent swaying.
  • Always incorporate a warm-up and cool-down session in your workout. This helps stretch your muscles and prevents injuries and strains.¬†
  • Keep your abdominals engaged throughout the movement.
  • If you have a pre-existing health condition, pain, or injury, don‚Äôt do the hanging knee raise exercise without talking to your doctor.
  • If you feel pain or dizziness while exercising, stop immediately.
  • To gain the benefits of hanging knee lifts, adapt it to match your fitness (sets and reps range, rest periods, and weight range) goals.¬†


The hanging knee raises are an excellent exercise that helps build your overall strength and stability. One of the best knee raises benefits is that it can be included in anyone’s fitness routine with a bit of modification. Once you have gained experience with this exercise, consider doing hanging knee raise alternatives. This is a great way to stay engaged and motivated and progress to other advanced workouts. 

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