Hanging straight leg raise exercise

Hanging straight leg raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Iliopsoas
  • Synergists: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Sartorius, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis
  • Stabilizers (not highlighted; see comments): Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Quadriceps
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Using a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip, hang from a secure bar.
  2. Straighten your lower back by tilting your pelvis backward.


  1. Keeping your back and knees straight, and your feet together, exhale as you slowly raise your legs by flexing your hips.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your legs in a controlled manner by extending your hips.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your lower back straight. Ideally, the frame from which you hang should have padding to support your lower back.
  • Try not to use momentum to raise your legs. keep the movement slow and under control.
  • Make the hanging straight leg raise more difficult by holding a dumbbell between your feet.
  • To help with your grip, use a wrist strap or a hook strap.
  • Your abs and your internal and external obliques only act as stabilizers for the hanging straight leg raise because there is no flexion of your abdomen. There is only flexion of your hips. However, just because your abs and obliques only act as stabilizers doesn’t mean that they don’t get exercised. They just don’t get exercised as well as the target and synergistic muscles.
  • If you want your abs to be targeted, flex your hips and your abdomen. This is known as the hanging straight leg and hip raise.
  • See also the hanging leg raise, the lying straight leg raise, and the lying alternating straight leg raise.

Hanging straight leg raise video

Note: The guy in this video starts off with the hanging straight leg raise but ends with a couple of reps of the hanging straight leg and hip raise.


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