How to Work Your Abs on A Pull-Up Bar
The pull-up bar is usually used for back work, but you can do much more than that. With the right exercises, you can get a killer workout for abs on the bar. Here are some abdominal exercises you can do on a pull-up bar.
Hanging Leg Raises
One of the simpler exercises to do on the pull-up bar is the hanging leg raise. A hanging leg raise is done by hanging from the bar and lifting your legs perpendicular to the bar. Keep your core tight to properly work your lower abs. Repeat this twenty-to-thirty times across several sets as part of a workout. Here is a video example of hanging leg raises by Josh Brown.
Hanging Knee Raises
If hanging leg raises are too difficult to start with, you can change up to a different variation called the hanging knee raise. A hanging knee raise is done similarly to a hanging leg raise, but you do not have to extend your legs the full length. You have your knee bent and perform the exercise as usual. This is an easier way to carry out a hanging leg raise and still allows you to get a good workout for your core. This video by Bryan Syuki will show you how to perform a proper hanging knee raise on your own.
Windshield wipers are a more advanced ab exercise that can be done with or without the pull-up bar. However, the bar pushes you and forces you to keep the core tight. The namesake gives away how to perform the exercises, swinging your legs left to right. But you have to keep form and try to touch your toes to your right hand, left hand, and then head. Scott Herman provides a great video example of how to perform hanging windshield wipers.
Hanging Pike Raises
Hanging Pike raises are difficult, but rewarding ab exercises that you can only perform on a pull-up bar. Pike raises start out as hanging knee raise, but then you continue to lift your legs up towards the bar. You extend your legs, slightly bent until your feet on level or slightly above the bar. Then, slowly return to the starting position with your legs straight at the bottom. This video by Bodybuilding.com explains and exhibits a proper form pike raise.
Around The World
The "Around the World" ab exercise is probably the most difficult hanging ab exercise to do. The exercise is similar to a windshield wiper, but you rotate your legs in almost a complete circle starting from left, then circling up to your head and down to your right. Pause when you come down to the floor after each rotation, then repeat. This exercise is challenging and requires a tight core throughout for optimal results and injury prevention. This video by Shane O shows the correct form for this exercise.Want more advice on how to strengthen your core? Click here to see important exercises for your abs, lower back, and obliques.