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June 17, 2020 5 min read

One of the easiest ways to strengthen the stomach muscles and build a tighter midsection is through the use of hanging ab straps. The reason ab straps are so effective is because they provide more core resistance since you’re working against gravity and pulling yourself up. 

To some, ab straps may be intimidating and they’re often overlooked because people aren’t sure how to use them. There could be some truth to the intimidation factor because if misused they can be dangerous — just like any other piece of equipment. 

The purpose of the hanging ab straps is indicated in the name. You’re in a hanging position, which allows for more natural spine alignment, so you can really dig deep and flex the core muscles. In this guide, we will provide you with more details on what hanging straps are, who can use them, and how you can use them to strengthen your core.

What are hanging ab straps? 

Hanging ab straps are simple to use pieces of equipment that are designed to support your upper body, allowing you to target your core muscles. The ab straps come as a pair and have a hook and clip attachment. They’re made from durable material that supports your arms as you perform a hanging ab crunch.

Quality hanging ab straps can hang from a chin-up bar, door pull-up bars, and just about any sturdy bar. They are uniquely designed to help train and target your core for the development of the abdominal muscles. 

How do you use hanging ab straps? 

It’s quite simple. The straps attach to a pullup bar with a clip, leaving the cloth loop material to hang. You’ll insert your arms through the open loops so that they’re resting on your tricep area. This will allow you to hoist your lower body and perform your reps. 

Make sure you have a firm grasp on the material that sits below the clip, which provides support to lift your lower body into a crunch. Be sure to have a tight core as you lift up, avoiding the overuse of your back and shoulders. The objective is to use your core to pull yourself up into a crunch position.

Who can use hanging ab straps? 

As we mentioned earlier, there is an intimidation factor if you’ve never used hanging ab straps. Now that you know a little about them and how to use them, hopefully, you will give them a shot. The best part is that unless you have had serious injury or mobility issues, you can start incorporating hanging ab straps.

If you’ve never used hanging ab straps, start slow and follow the correct form from above. Hanging ab straps are perfect for anyone who is short on time, whether you’re at home or at the gym. For anyone that’s looking to tone up their core and get the six-pack they’ve wanted, using hanging ab straps can help you get there fast. Best of all, they’re affordable and portable. 

The benefits of ab straps

One of the biggest advantages of hanging ab straps is that they’re lightweight and small, making them portable. Another great benefit is that when you use them, you don’t need to invest a huge amount of time. Most hanging ab exercises take only three to five minutes to complete. 

Aside from relatively short exercise time, hanging ab straps can travel with you. Due to their lightweight design, they can travel with you wherever you’re going and you don’t have to miss out on toning your core while away from home or the gym. You can’t do that with most other fitness gear. 

Hanging ab straps exercises

The cool thing about hanging ab straps is you know exactly what they target. But there are several ways of accomplishing the goal of tighter abs and core. Below, we’ll detail out the three top workouts you can do with ab straps.

Hanging Knee Raises

Hanging knee raises are an awesome way to challenge yourrectus abdominis which sits at the front of your abs. Indirectly, hanging leg raises also target the obliques when performed sideways. This may be a good beginner move until you work up the stamina for hanging leg raises. An ideal goal is to do 10 to 15 reps for a total of 3 sets. Here’s how to perform hanging knee raises:

  • Use a platform box or step to help you step up. Insert your arms into the arm straps and let your legs hang toward the floor. Bend your knees up toward your stomach, take a short pause, and release the legs back down. That completes one rep.
  • For an extra challenge, you can target youroblique muscles by bending your knee and moving it up towards the left and right, instead of straight up. 

Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are very similar to knee raises, but are a little harder to perform. They work similar muscles, so you can perform these as a step-up to hanging knee raises. This may be a good advanced move to build the stamina and definition in your abs. You should do 12 to 15 reps for a total of 3 sets. Here’s how to perform hanging leg raises: 

  • Use a platform box or step to help you step up and secure your arms into the ab straps. Let your legs hang straight down toward the floor. Keep your core tight, your upper body firm, and avoid shrugging with your shoulders.
  • Lift up your lower body, keeping your legs straight out (and together). Bend at the hips to raise your legs toward your head and bar. Release your legs back to the hanging position to complete the rep.

Hanging Trunk Rotations

The most advanced workout is the trunk rotation. This may take some time to build into, but it is an awesome way to train your oblique muscles. There is some danger to performing this workout, so if you experience any strain or discomfort you should stop and re-evaluate. You should attempt 10 to 12 reps for a total of 3 sets. Here’s how to perform hanging trunk rotations: 

  • Use a platform box or step to help you step up and secure your arms into the ab straps. Let your legs hang straight down toward the floor. 
  • Keep your legs firm, straight, and together as you move them in a twisting motion — going to the right, up (toward your head), left, and then back down to the floor.
  • You should make each movement controlled and avoid unnecessary swinging or momentum from your body. Completing one “twist” is equal to one rep.

What ab straps are right for me? 

There are a variety of ab straps on the market. The biggest quality to look for is durability and stitching. You can’t rely on straps that are flimsy and could give out on you while you’re pushing your limits. Invest in a quality pair of hanging ab straps from a reputable company. Gymreapers offers premium apparel and equipment, and although ab straps are not yet offered, stay tuned for more updates. 


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