Core Focus: Hanging Knee Raises

For the next few weeks we are going to focus on building your core strength.

We often think of the core as being just our “abs”, but there are much more areas involved in core strength than the abdominal muscles alone.

Exercising your core also means training the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen.

And having a strong core isn’t just about having a leaner midriff either.

Core strength also helps with stability and balance and improves posture (vital these days when we spend so much time at desks or in the care). Of course, core strength also supports any athlete (from the dabbler to the professional) to improve their technique and help to avoid injury.

It’s useful to consider our core as the trunk of a tree – the trunk needs to be strong and supportive around the full circumference of the tree, and not just at the front 

Oisin has chosen this exercise, Hanging Knee Raises, as one of his favourite. It is a challenging exercise. If you don't have a high bar or access to one, visit your local playground, find the monkey bars and give it a go!

Reason he loves this exercise: There's no hiding!!

Body parts used: Abs, arms, shoulders, back

Muscles worked: 

Primary- Rectus Abdominis, Obliques 

Secondary- Forearms, deltoids, upper back

Sets/Reps: reccomend 3 sets, 8-12 repetitions


1. Grab and hang from bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. 

2. Raise legs by flexing the hips and knees until hips and knee are fully flexed or knees are above hip level. 

3. Return until hips and knees are fully extended downwards. 

4. Ensure hips go into full flexion, otherwise the rectus abdomonis and external obliques will only act as stabilisers to the pelvis and will not necessarily be put under optimal tension. 

4. Control and tempo is key. Keep exercise slow and avoid any swinging. Exhale during concentric(way up) phase, inhale during eccentric(way down)