Friday, April 6, 2012

Hanging knee raises

These are identical to the hanging leg raises, except that your knees are fully bent, and you bring your knees all the way up to your chest while curling the pelvis up. This modification from the hanging leg raise basically reduces the amount of weight that you’re lifting making the exercise easier. If you cannot yet properly perform a hanging leg raise, this is the best exercise to progress towards that goal. Both hanging leg raises and hanging knee raises can also be done from training rings slung over a power rack or pull-up bar, which makes them even more effective and easier on your shoulders.
Lying leg thrusts
This is a two part exercise – a “halfway down” leg raise followed by a hip thrust. Start by lying on your back with your head and shoulders raised off of the floor, your hands (palms down) on the mat by your hips, and your legs at a 90° angle from the floor. Slowly lower your legs only half way to the floor to an angle of approximately 45° from the floor. Do not go all the way to the floor with the legs as this promotes an arched back and can put a lot of stress on the lumbar spine. From the 45° position, raise your legs back up to the 90° position. Once the legs are back at the 90° position (no further), thrust your hips off the floor. Decline board leg thrusts to do hanging knee raises as well.
This is essentially the same movement as the lying leg thrusts, however, by slightly changing the angle a little closer to vertical, it makes the movement a little more challenging. Just use one of the lower angle settings on the decline board, as that will be sufficient enough to make this exercise more challenging. Again, as with the lying leg thrusts, only lower your legs approximately half way down, before reversing the legs up to a 90° angle at the hips, and finishing with the upward hip thrust. Remember to keep your back from arching during this exercise as well. If you don’t have access to a decline board, simply substitute extra sets of lying leg thrusts in place of the decline board leg thrusts into the training program.

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