Hanging Knee Raise

Isolation exercise, Body weight




Required equipment

Main muscles

  • Abdomen: Straight abdominal muscle
    (Musculus rectus abdominis)

Workout plan

Here you can find example plans for hanging knee raise training:

Hanging Knee Raise: Basics and alternatives

: Involved main muscle groups Hanging Knee Raise

Involved main muscle groups:
Hanging Knee Raise

Despite its name, the hanging knee lift isn’t a leg exercise but focuses on your abs. To perform it, you’ll hold onto a pull-up bar and bend your legs at the knees and hips, raising your knees.

The hanging variation is an alternative to the “normal” knee raise on the machine. In the standard version, your elbows rest on the device’s armrests, taking some strain off your hands and arms. This makes it easier than the hanging version described here.

For an even more advanced option, consider cable lying knee tucks. However, this requires a large cable pull tower.

Correct execution

One of the great advantages of the hanging knee raise is its versatility. There’s no one-size-fits-all way to do this exercise—it depends on which muscles you want to target.

The video below demonstrates different variations. For example, you can perform the exercise with your legs extended or your hips stiff to engage your abs differently. You can also focus on your obliques by moving your knees to the side.

The following instructions explain the knee raise with bent hips and knees. Pull your knees up as high as possible to also work your hips.

Video tutorial

Hanging Leg Raise | HOW-TO

Step-by-step instructions

If you’re using them, securely attach the arm straps to the pull-up bar.

Without arm straps: Grab the pull-up bar with your hands and let your body hang. With arm straps: Put your arms in the straps, reach your hands towards the strap attachment, and let your body hang.

Engage your abs and keep your back straight.

Lift your knees by bending your hips and knees simultaneously.

Raise your knees as high as possible. You can do this by bending your hips more at the end of the movement and slightly crunching your stomach.

Slowly lower your knees back down, extending your hips at the same time.

Common mistakes

There are two main errors people make during the hanging knee lift:

  1. Because of the hanging position, you need a strong grip. As you do more reps, the exercise becomes harder on your hands and arms, which can lead to improper form. “Ab straps” or arm straps provide relief in this case. If you plan to include this exercise in your regular workout routine, investing in this equipment is worth considering.
  2. As with many exercises, using momentum can distort the movement. If you can’t do any more reps, swinging your legs up won’t help. Make sure to perform each rep in a clean and controlled manner.