The Best Hanging Exercises for ABS & OBLIQUES

June 29, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

The best hanging exercises for abs and obliques. Exercise progressions from beginner to advanced!

Abs and obliques are like any other muscle group in the body: when they are used they will get bigger, more defined and of course stronger. If you want to have strong and bulky abs, they need to be trained.

Training your abs is important for health and overall functionality and most people do a great job of training them. It's the obliques that are easily overshadowed by abs and it's the obliques that tend to be weak.

Obliques are actually more important than abs if you are looking for pure athleticism. Your obliques are firing when you rotate, bend and flex your trunk. These movements are all heavily used in all sports.

Although obliques are probably more important than your abs, you can find 99 abs videos for every obliques training video.

Most people just don't train obliques and that affects tremendously their muscle growth and strength potential (like any weak muscle group would).

However, if you do lots of movement or play sports, you probably don't need much oblique work. For example, in Movement 20XX most of the movements are so versatile that your obliques will get plenty of work done.

If you just go to gym and do regular exercising, your obliques are probably in a horrific shape. The obliques exercises demonstrated here will help you a ton.

Workouts for Abs & Obliques

Abs & Obliques Workout Routine (BEGINNERS)

Hanging Knee Raise: 4 x 8-12 repetitions.

Obliques Knee Raise: 3 x 8-12 repetitions.

Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets.

Abs & Obliques Workout Routine (ADVANCED)

Obliques Pendulum: 3 x 10-20 repetitions.

Hanging Leg Raise: 4 x 5-10 repetitions.

Hanging Leg Raise Circles: 3 x 5-10 repetitions per side.

Take 1-2 minutes of rest between sets.

You can do these workouts 2-4 times per week or as a workout finisher to really annihilate the abs.

Abs & Obliques - The Best Hanging Exercises

Hanging Knee Raise

tuck knee raise for abs

With the hanging knee raises you should aim to keep your body stationary: don't lean backwards.

Focus on lifting your knees up with your abs with a crunch motion. This way you will actually target the abs and not work the hip flexors too much.

You can make the exercise harder by adding weight (like a dumbbell) between your ankles.

Hanging Leg Raise

abs leg raise

You can bend your legs a little bit in case holding them straight is too difficult. Similar to the knee raise, avoid leaning backwards too much.

A full hanging leg raise is a solid abs exercise and a harder progression to the knee raise. Hip flexors are heavily worked in this one, especially if you keep your legs straight.

Focus on crunching with your abs and doing as much as work as possible with your midsection (unless you actually want to train the hip flexors). 

You don't have to lift your legs all the way up, just lift them as high as you can. Just parallel (90 degrees) can be enough.

The hardest variation is to do hanging leg raise circles like demonstrated in the video. The hanging leg raise circles will also hit your obliques very intensively!

Hanging Obliques Knee Raise

hanging oblique crunch for obliques

Similar to the previous exercises, stay stationary and focus on crunching with your obliques. You should feel a very nice burn in your obliques and abs.

Hanging oblique knee raise is a superb oblique exercise for both beginners and advanced which will target the lower fibers of the obliques.

For targeting the upper fibers of the obliques, you need to do oblique work on floor. 

Obliques Pendulum

obliques pendulum
obliques pendulum

You just swing from one side to another bending from your waist. Do it with control and you should definitely feel it in the obliques.

Obliques Pendulum will hit the obliques amazingly well, because your hip flexors are taken out of the equation.

In case the obliques pendulum is too difficult, then just work on the oblique knee raises until you have developed enough strength to do the pendulum.

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

You may also like

Explaining The Internal Frame & Ribcage Expansion

Explaining The Internal Frame & Ribcage Expansion

Utter and Final Abs Annihilation Workout

Utter and Final Abs Annihilation Workout

4 Avant-garde Core Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back

4 Avant-garde Core Exercises for Abs, Obliques and Lower Back

WHY and HOW to Strengthen the Hip Flexors

WHY and HOW to Strengthen the Hip Flexors

5 High Level Core Exercises (NOT EXTREME)

5 High Level Core Exercises (NOT EXTREME)

3 Useful Things You Can Learn from Bodybuilding

3 Useful Things You Can Learn from Bodybuilding
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}