Work Your Abs and Build Your Upper Body Strength With This Combo Exercise

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As a guy, it is often hard for me to dedicate a lot of time at the gym solely to working out my abs. While I know that having a strong core is good for me, I usually find myself spending more time on exercises designed to build my upper body strength rather than work my middle.

That’s why I like this Hanging Leg Raise exercise from the book “Core Fitness Solution” by Michael De Medeiros and Kendal Wood. Not only is it a super effective way to work your lower abs, it’s also a great test of strength for my upper body.

You’ll need a chin up bar for this move and a great deal of patience. Although this exercise can be done quickly, the best results come from a methodical upward and downward motion with a focus on your lower abs throughout.

Because you’re also holding your entire weight on the bar, consider this a test of your upper body, grip and arm strength all in one. Enjoy.



Hold your weight on a chin-up bar with your arms shoulder-width apart. Let your legs dangle directly downward so the soles of your feet are parallel to the floor.



Crunch your legs up toward your torso so your hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Do not bring your knees past your hips and look straight ahead throughout the movement. Slowly return your legs to the starting position without using momentum.


Make this move easier by alternating your legs. Remember to keep your body straight throughout the set and resist the urge to twist to either side to complete your reps.


Add ankle weights to increase the intensity of this move.


Core Fitness SolutionThe promise of building a six-pack is found in many places–Results, however, are not. With Core Fitness Solution, those results are finally attainable. With more than 5,000 customizable solutions in this book, you pick the exercises. You decide the workout, the location, the duration and the intensity. Finally, a leaner middle, a stronger core, and the set of abs you’ve always wanted can be yours. Former editor-in-chief of Men’s Fitness, Michael de Medeiros, and “King of Abs,” Kendall Wood, have handpicked the most effective exercises to target all areas of your midsection. Crafting your core has never been so simple.

Michael De Medeiros is the former vice president and editor in chief of Men’s Fitness magazine, former editor in chief of Maximum Fitness magazine, and author of 13 books, including historical biographies, educational textbooks, and active health and fitness books. He has been nominated and shortlisted for several awards, including best book and best book in a series (Weigl Publishers).

Kendall Wood, NASM CPT, M.Ed., CES, PES, FNS CERTIFIED, the “King of Abs,” is a multi-time fitness magazine cover model, NASM certified personal trainer, health advocate and a forerunner in the fight against childhood obesity. His foundation, Smart Moves, works to end obesity for children by partnering up with school boards and family associations. He is also the promoter of FitScience’s annual fitness contest in Atlanta.



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