The Core-Strengthening Ab Workout You Need Now

Best hanging core excises

The
Core-Strengthening
Ab Workout
You Need Now

These hanging exercises will get you in shape. No crunches or machines necessary.

Want to tone your abs? Get off the floor. Crunches suck anyway, right? Strengthen your core with simple yet effective hanging exercises. All you need is a pull-up bar (or maybe a set of monkey bars at your local park) to shred your midsection while improving your overall upper-body strength and endurance. These hanging movements engage key core muscles with the added benefits of also increasing your grip strength and decompressing your spine.

But you're here to look a little better shirtless, aren't you? So focus on these three exercises, which will help tone and tighten your abs (including the tough-to-target lower belly and side obliques). While they look simple, we promise that you're whole midsection will feel like it's on fire afterwards—but you'll also start to see some muscles poking through in no time. Not to mention, you're recruiting and engaging more muscles in your arms, shoulders and back at the same time. The key is to focus on staying stable and not allowing your body to swing too wildly. The more control you have, the quicker you'll develop a strong and performance-ready frame. Start each of these exercises by grabbing a pull-up bar and beginning at a dead hang. Then get to work.

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Dumbbell Hanging
Knee Tuck

A post shared by Don Carter (@dc_fts) on

A post shared by Don Carter (@dc_fts) on

Dumbbell Hanging Knee Tuck

1

Place an ankle weight on each of your ankles or squeeze a dumbbell in between your feet.

2

Grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and hang from it at arm's length.

3

Bend your knees and bring your legs and weight up towards stomach.

4

Hold and then return legs and weight to starting position.

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Knees to Elbows

Knees to Elbows

1

Grasp a pull-up bar with an over or under grip (whichever is most comfortable), arms extended and feet together.

2

Lock a slight bend in your knees and retract your shoulder blades, contracting your abs (the feeling should mimic pulling slightly on the bar).

3

Raise the knees up toward your elbows and stop once your shins are near parallel to the floor.

4

Keep your abs tight and lower your legs back to the starting position and repeat.

Pro tip: If you need a little stabilization help, you can place a ball behind your back like Ben Hart, shown here.

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Twisting Oblique Raises

A post shared by Cal Workouts (@calworkouts) on

A post shared by Cal Workouts (@calworkouts) on

Twisting Oblique Raises

1

Grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and hang from it at arm's length.

2

Lift your legs, twisting slightly at the waist, raising your right hip toward your right armpit.

3

Pause once your hips and knees are bent at 90 degrees.

4

Return to the starting position in a controlled manner and repeat, twisting to the other side.

ProSource Multi-Grip Pull-Up Doorway Bar

Multi-grip pull-up doorway bar,
$26.53 by ProSource

A Little Help

Outfit your place for a hanging workout with a well-reviewed pull-up bar or some arm straps that help you achieve greater isolation during leg lift exercises.

DMoose Fitness Padded Ab Straps

Padded ab straps,
$13.49 by DMoose Fitness

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