If you want to develop a set of eye-catching abs and you’re ready for a challenge, this exercise will be your new best friend. It’s one of the best abdominal exercises I’ve ever found, and it’s going to shred your rectus abdominis.
It looks a lot like hanging leg raises; however, you do it very differently from a standard leg raise. Instead, you convert the leg raise into what basically becomes a hanging bodyweight “pullover” or “front lever” type of exercise.
All you’ll need is a chinup bar. Strengthwise, you’ll need to be able to do at least 10 or more good chinup reps. This one isn’t a beginner exercise, and it does require some solid upper-body strength.
Start by pulling yourself up into the half-way position of a chinup—arms bent at 90 degrees—and hold it there. Bring your knees up so your hips and knees are also bent 90 degrees.
Now you start the “pullover” movement. The key here is not what you actually do but what you try to do. Focus on bringing your elbows down toward your knees (the pullover movement originates in the upper body), pushing forward and down with your arms.
Obviously, since your hands are locked onto the bar, your upper body won’t come down—your legs will come up. It’s the intention of that movement that you’re looking for. It will force the tension into the lats and the full sheet of the rectus abdominis rather than hitting the lower abs and hip flexors (you want to keep your hips bent 90 degrees with very little to no movement in them during the exercise).
Come all the way up until your upper body is horizontal. Now reverse the movement under control, keeping tension on your abs the whole way down until you return to the start position with your arms, hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Do not lower your legs down into the standard hanging leg raise position—keep them up and bent to maintain tension in the abs.
Now go directly into the next rep. This is going to be tough, and it’s going to shred your abs.
Repeat until you can no longer control the movement, and then come down off the bar.
The first time you do these, you will feel it very strongly in your abs, and your lats are going to get some work as well. What’s more, you won’t have to ever do a single crunch or situp again!
Editor’s note: To get a copy of Nick’s Muscle Explosion—28 Days to Maximum Mass, visit his Web site, www.28Day