This Hanging Leg Lift Attacks Your Abs from Every Angle

Your core muscles help you with a variety of things. They help you brace your midsection, and they help you flex your spine. They create rotate through your torso, and resist it, too.

Typically, you have to do a handful of core moves to train all these functions. But every so often, a single exercise hits everything. Such is the case with the Hanging Typewriter Single-Leg Lift, a vicious core exercise from the mind of Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. It’s an ultra-challenging core move for sure, but it’s a move you can do just about anywhere. “All you need,” says Samuel, “is something to hang from.”

The move delivers plenty of challenge even though it looks simple. Traditionally, doing a leg raise with both legs is more challenging than doing a single-leg raise. But Samuel’s variation more than compensates by adding time-under-tension and forcing your core to twist and turn. “You’re challenging your abs to work extra-hard,” says Samuel. “And you’re also not completely eliminating involvement from that other leg. The straighter you keep your non-working leg, the more it becomes a weighted lever that adds challenge to the other leg’s work.”

The end result crushes your core in multiple directions and does so in a manageable way that you can gradually scale upwards. Bend your off-leg more to make the move easier. Keep it straight and you’re working your abs to the max. Either way, you’ll want to master this core move for max ab development.

The Typewriter Single-Leg Lift can fit into your workouts in a variety of ways. If you’re doing a full core workout, make this your first ab exercise, then follow with lighter-load movements, like hollow rocks, V-ups, and planks. Or if you want a quick dose of core training at the end of any other workout, do this as a standalone core exercise. “Your abs can be trained every day,” says Samuel. “This is an ultra-challenging, ultra-worthwhile way to do that.”

For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s All Out Arms program.

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