How NOT to Swing on Hanging Ab Exercises!


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. So today I’m going to show you a really simple
way to make sure that when you’re doing either a hanging leg raise, or a pullup, that you’re
not swinging all over this bar out of control. A lot of people say “When I do my pullups
I swing too much”, or “When I’m doing hanging leg raises I can’t control my body and I swing
too much”. It’s actually really, really simple to fix
and we’re going to start by fixing it over at the captain’s chair. Okay, so you’ve probably seen one of these
if you’re training at the gym. If you don’t have access to one, the tip
I show you over there is going to help. But from a progression standpoint the captain’s
chair is going to provide you with a couple opportunities to get this right, and to learn,
and to build the strength. First of all, if I sit back into it and I
rest my forearms down, by placing my back into the back pad here I’ve already given
me an additional point of contact. I have a lot of stability between my back
and the pad. So I can sit here, stabilize really well,
and I can go and do my hanging knee raises, say, for my abs. Remember, I always say you’ve got to show
your ass on these. You’ve got to make sure that you – whoever
is in front of you – can see in the bottom of your pelvis because you’re flexing, and
curling from the bottom, up. So I show that. Now you move away – after you’ve mastered
that – to out here. So now what we’re doing here, we need the
stability still. I had some nice stability back here. I don’t have it out here. But what can I do? I can use my lower traps to depress my shoulder
blades here and provide that stability. Now it’s easier to do it when you’re pushing
down, than it is when you’re hanging from a bar. But this is what you do: you get in here,
and you can point your toes a little bit to engage your abs. Just a little bit in front of your body because
if you go backward it wants to promote swinging. Once you get in this position here, you can
do your leg raises. Again, curl up, and show. Curl up, and show. At any point in time you should be able to
stop, and not be swinging. Now, how do we transition this to the more
difficult, and more popular version, which is hanging from a bar? I’m going to show you that right now. Okay, so now back at the hanging bar. Again, this is what we’re building toward. Again, if it’s pullups you can still work
on that progression there because you can still work on developing stabilization through
your scapula to be able to do this when you come over here, but we have to reverse what
we’re doing. We still need stabilization, because when
I get up onto a bar what’s happening here is my only points of contacts now is my hands
on the bar. My hands run through my arms, which run through
my shoulder blades. If my shoulder blades are not controlled,
and allowed to move around my body – my ribcage – I’m going to have a lot less stability
up here on the bar, and I’m going to swing. Now if I start to add momentum in it becomes
a bigger problem. If I start doing leg raises it becomes an
even bigger problem because now I’ve created this front to back momentum, and we don’t
want that. So now we need to be able to stabilize. It’s a really quick, and easy fix. Two parts to it. The first thing you want to do: create stability
from the bottom, up. We can do that by letting our legs come just
a little bit in front of our body. So once we’re here, instead of hanging straight
down, just come up, just like that. A little bit in front of our body to create
the contraction of the abs here, a little bit of stabilization. The next thing now, is the important part. If you come around the back you can see that
the shoulder blades are not really supported. They’re just hanging here. So what we want to do is, once again, engage
those lower traps by depressing them. Just like that. Just a small, little move. Pull them down. Keep your arms straight, and do a scapular
depression here. So with the other thing that people think
about though is, they go really fast, and they think that they’ve created stability. Here’s why they haven’t. If I come up here and I do knee raises, and
I go really fast it looks like I’m staying in the same position here, up and down, with
minimum sway, and swinging. But all I’ve done is take whatever momentum
I was driving forward and back, and I’m doing it up and down. But I’m really not putting a lot of focus
on the contraction of the abs, which means I’m not really doing that much to improve
what I’m trying to improve in the first place. Which is: my core strength. So don’t go fast. Go slow. Make those two changes. So here, depression, legs out in front, here,
boom, lock it in, come up, show your ass, boom. And down. And down. You can see, I can kind of lock it in place
here, at the bottom of every rep, and not be swinging all over the place. So guys, those little details matter. Sometimes it’s those little, tiny tricks that
work so well, and help you to do it once and for all. I hope you guys are going to find that helpful
and try it out. I promise you, it’s going to work no matter
what part of progression you start at. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a program
that cares about the details – they all matter – head to ATHLEANX.com, take two
minutes to use our program selector by clicking on the link below this video. It will help you to find the program that’s
best matched up to whatever your goals are at the moment. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what you want me to cover in a
future video and I’ll do my best to do that for you in the days, and weeks ahead. All right, guys. I’ll see you soon.

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