Today's blog post is dedicated to a favourite abs exercise of mine: hanging feet-to-the-bar leg lifts
This is one of the toughest abs exercises there is. This is one of the toughest exercises there is, period. In fact, it belongs to that group of exercises which not everyone will be able to perform from day 1 at the gym. If you are one of those, don’t let it get you down-hearted – instead meet the challenge and stick with it, because it will be worth it.
This is a great exercise for the entire abs, but most especially it targets the middle and the lower abs.
Why I like it
The already mentioned fact that it targets the lower abs. In my opinion the lower abs should always get extra attention. They are harder to develop for most people. (One of the reasons for this is that they don’t get as much “bonus work”, either at the gym or in life in general, as does the upper abs.)
It brings a special sense of accomplishment when mastered, in the same way as other advanced body-weight exercises, such as chin-ups. It is your body-weight that are being fought and conquered here. There is something grand about that notion.
The fact that it is not easy. As it has been said: nothing easy is worth doing.
It is one of those exercises where strength progress is acutely manifested. When you are able to perform one more rep than ever before – there is true beauty in that feeling. This, of course, goes for almost all exercises, but to me the feelings of grandeur are extra tangible in exercises like this one, where it is your body weight that is being defeated, which means that not only your strength, but also tour relative strength, in proportion to your size, has increased.
It gives good all-round training. The assisting muscles are many. Your grip, for example, gets strengthened.
It is time-effective in comparison to most other abs exercises, a benefit that is closely connected to another one: this exercise invites low reps-training. As stated above, I feel one should treat the abs like any other muscle - and let’s face it, most often you do not perform 100 reps of a biceps or pecs exercise, do you? No, you want to hit the abs hard and with lower reps, preferably not any higher than 15 per set. Why? Because you want to build your abs, not just increase their stamina. This means that you cannot be content with bursting out high-reps only, which is what many abs-exercises are inviting you to do.
There are interesting ways of varying this exercise. Read more about that in this full article of mine, in which I also elaborate on two other favourite abs exercises. /Daniel Schou