16 Hanging Core Exercises Every Athlete Should Do

Building a strong, athletic core takes much more than simply doing crunches.

An athlete's core is one of the most important muscle groups as it pertains to the movements they perform in their respective sport. The core is the basis of an athlete's strength, power and stability. To be able to perform at a high level athletes need a strong core. This doesn't mean performing endless crunches in the gym to get that six pack. Most generic crunches only target your rectus abdominis. To develop true, functional core strength, athletes need to take their core workouts to new heights with hanging core exercises. Here are 16 Hanging Core Exercises Every Athlete Should Do to build functional core strength.

Photo Credit: skynesher/iStock

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An athlete's core is one of the most important muscle groups as it pertains to the movements they perform in their respective sport. The core is the basis of an athlete's strength, power and stability. To be able to perform at a high level athletes need a strong core. This doesn't mean performing endless crunches in the gym to get that six pack. Most generic crunches only target your rectus abdominis. To develop true, functional core strength, athletes need to take their core workouts to new heights with hanging core exercises. Here are 16 Hanging Core Exercises Every Athlete Should Do to build functional core strength.

1. Two-Arm Hanging Bent-Knee Raises

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, and your core and shoulders engaged, bend your knees and bring them toward your chest until you break 90 degrees.
  • Reverse the movement until your legs are completely straight.
  • Shoot for 3x15 or us much as you are comfortable doing.

2. Two-Arm Hanging Rotational Bent-Knee Raises

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, and your core and shoulders engaged, twist your body slightly in one direction and bend your knees bringing them toward your chest until you break 90 degrees.
  • Lower your legs until they are completely straight, then twist your body toward the other direction and repeat the same movement.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each side or us much as you are comfortable doing.

3. Two-Arm Hanging Straight-Leg Raises

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes toward your hands, then reverse the movement back to starting point.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x10-15 or us much as you are comfortable doing.

4. Two-Arm Hanging Flutter Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Separate your legs lifting one upwards and the other downwards, then reverse the movement, switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x10-15 each leg or us much as you are comfortable doing.

5. Two-Arm Hanging Scissor Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Keeping your legs in that L-Sit position, separate your legs crossing one over the other, then reverse the movement, switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x10-15 each leg or us much as you are comfortable doing.

6. Two-Arm Hanging Bicycle Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Keeping your legs in that L-Sit position, bend one knee toward your chest, then reverse the movement, switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x10-15 each leg or us much as you are comfortable doing.

7. Two-Arm Hanging Around the World

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, twist your body slightly in one direction and bring your toes toward your hands in a circular motion.
  • Once you have made a full circle, reverse the movement in the other direction.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each side or us much as you are comfortable doing.

8. Two-Arm Hanging L-Sit Rotations

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Twist your body moving your legs toward one direction maintaining the L-Sit position, then reverse the movement toward the other direction.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each side or us much as you are comfortable doing.

9. Two-Arm Hanging Windshield Wipers

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes towards your hands.
  • Maintaining that position, twist your body slightly in one direction until your toes are parallel to the floor, then reverse the movement in the other direction.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each side or us much as you are comfortable doing.

10. Two-Arm Hanging Bent Knee Kick Outs

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, and your core and shoulders engaged, bend your knees and bring them toward your chest until you break 90 degrees.
  • Holding that position, extend your legs kicking them outward, then reverse the movement.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x15 or us much as you are comfortable doing.

11. One-Arm Hanging Bent-Knee Raises

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, and your core and shoulders engaged, bend your knees and bring them toward your chest until you break 90 degrees.
  • Reverse the movement until your legs are completely straight.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

12. One-Arm Hanging Straight Leg Raises

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes towards your hands, then reverse the movement back to starting point.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

13. One-Arm Hanging Flutter Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Separate your legs lifting one upwards, and the other downwards, then reverse the movement, switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each leg with each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

14. One-Arm Hanging Scissor Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Keeping your legs in that L-Sit position, separate your legs crossing one over the other, then reverse the movement, switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each leg with each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

15. One-Arm Hanging Bicycle Kicks

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, legs straight, and your core and shoulders engaged, bring your toes upward until your legs are in an L-Sit position.
  • Keeping your legs in that L-Sit position, bend one knee towards your chest, then reverse the movement switching legs.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each leg with each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

16. One-Arm Hanging Bent Knee Kick Outs

  • Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip (toughest), underhand grip (easier) or neutral grip (easiest).
  • Keeping your momentum to a minimum, and your core and shoulders engaged, bend your knees and bring them toward your chest until you break 90 degrees.
  • Holding that position, extend your legs kicking that outward, then reverse the movement.
  • Make sure to bend at your hip flexors and lean back only slightly.
  • Shoot for 3x5-10 each arm or us much as you are comfortable doing.

Photo Credit: skynesher/iStock

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Topics: CORE | PULL-UP