Sara Ali Khan is a fitness enthusiast. She often shares workout videos and photos that serve as a motivation to everyone. Her incredible weight loss journey is also an inspiration to many. This time, the young actor shared a video where she can be seen doing hanging leg raises.
“For real results, you have to push yourself! Or sometimes…pull yourself,” she captioned the video.
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What is the hanging leg raise?
According to fitness trainer Maya Pereira Sawant, “hanging leg raises is one of the most effective ab workouts to strengthen your entire core because it involves the forearm muscles and shoulder girdle. It strengthens the handgrip. Overall, it improves spine health and mobility”.
“The leg raise is a strength training exercise which targets the iliopsoas and abdomen (isometrically). It is an auxiliary exercise,” physiotherapist Dr Prashant Mistry added.
Sawant shares a step-by-step method to perform hanging leg raises:
*To perform this exercise, grab on to a fixed pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, using an overhand (pronated) grip.
*Engage your abdominal muscles and while keeping your torso stable, slowly raise your legs, keeping them straight and driving through your glutes, until they’re at 90° with your torso.
*Slowly lower and return to the start position.
“If you’re a beginner, you can start with a bent knee and then proceed to straight leg raises. There is a big misconception that those with a bad back should avoid, but it’s great for those who have a weak back as it strengthens it,” she added.
Which muscles are involved during hanging leg raises?
“The hanging leg raises require flexion and extension of your torso. This activates the fronts of your hips,” said Sawant.
The iliopsoas– It is the primary muscle worked during a hanging leg raise. Hip flexors are the prime movers for flexing the thigh and the trunk.
Rectus Abdominis– The rectus abdominis form the enviable six-pack in lean athletes. The muscles flex and rotate the lower back and stabilise the pelvis when walking. The rectus abdominis muscles, however, are not engaged during a hanging leg raise until your knees rise above hip level and your pubis lifts toward your chest.
Obliques- The external and internal obliques are worked, to some extent, once your knees become horizontal when performing a hanging leg raise. When the obliques work individually, they aid the muscles of the back in trunk rotation and lateral flexion — or bending side to side. A variation of the hanging leg raise that puts more emphasis on your obliques is you alternately raising your legs to the left and right, rather than straight to the front.
Who should avoid it?
She suggested that “those who have shoulder or any nerve issue should avoid doing hanging leg raises”.
Dr Mistry added that “those who have existing lower back pain should also avoid this exercise. People who have hernia should refrain from doing hanging leg raises, too”.