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Hanging Oblique Knee Raise 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Hanging Oblique Knee Raise
Hanging Oblique Knee Raise

Exercise Synopsis

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The Hanging Oblique Knee Raise is a bodyweight exercise primarily targeting the oblique muscles, with secondary engagement of the abdominal muscles. Executed by hanging from a pull-up bar and lifting the knees towards the chest while twisting them to the side, this movement effectively isolates and strengthens the obliques, which are crucial for trunk rotation and lateral flexion. With no additional equipment required beyond body weight, this exercise offers a convenient yet challenging way to develop core stability and sculpt the sides of the abdomen.

How to Perform

  1. Setup: Begin by finding a sturdy pull-up bar that is high enough so your feet don't touch the ground when hanging. Grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing forward.

  2. Hang Position: Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and your body straight. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your body.

  3. Initial Position: While hanging, slightly bend your knees and keep your feet together.

  4. Raise Knees: Exhale as you lift your knees up towards your chest. Aim to bring them up as high as possible while maintaining control and stability.

  5. Twist Motion: As you lift your knees, simultaneously twist your torso to one side. For example, if you're lifting your knees towards your right side, twist your torso to the right. This engages the oblique muscles on that side.

  6. Contract Obliques: At the top of the movement, pause and squeeze your obliques to maximize muscle activation.

  7. Lowering Phase: Inhale as you slowly lower your knees back down to the starting position, keeping your movements controlled and deliberate.

  8. Twist to Opposite Side: Repeat the movement, but this time twist your torso to the opposite side as you lift your knees towards your chest. This ensures both sides of your obliques are targeted evenly.

  9. Complete the Set: Perform the desired number of repetitions for your workout routine, aiming for quality over quantity to maintain proper form throughout.

  10. Cooldown: Once you've completed your sets, gently release your grip from the bar and allow your body to relax. Stretching your obliques and other core muscles can help reduce post-exercise soreness and improve flexibility.


  1. Ensure a secure grip on the pull-up bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

  2. Hang with arms fully extended and body straight to engage core stability.

  3. Lift knees towards chest while maintaining control and stability throughout the movement.

  4. Simultaneously twist torso to the side as knees are raised to engage oblique muscles.

  5. Aim to bring knees as high as possible, emphasizing contraction of the obliques.

  6. Lower knees back down in a controlled manner, focusing on eccentric muscle engagement.

  7. Alternate twisting the torso to each side with each repetition to target both oblique muscles evenly.

  8. Keep breathing steady, exhaling on the knee raise and inhaling on the lowering phase.

  9. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the exercise to prevent strain on the lower back.

  10. Gradually increase difficulty by slowing down the movement, increasing repetitions, or adding weight if desired.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Swinging: Do not use momentum or swing your body to lift the knees. This diminishes the effectiveness of the exercise and places unnecessary stress on the shoulders and lower back.

  2. Don't Arch Your Back: Avoid arching your back excessively during the movement, as this can strain the lower back and detract from the focus on the obliques. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout.

  3. Do Not Rush: Avoid performing the exercise too quickly. Focus on controlled movements and full range of motion to ensure proper engagement of the obliques and prevent injuries.

  4. Avoid Jerky Movements: Do not jerk your knees upwards or drop them suddenly during the lowering phase. Smooth, controlled movements are key to effective muscle engagement and injury prevention.

  5. Don't Neglect Core Engagement: Avoid neglecting core engagement throughout the exercise. Keep your core muscles activated and stable to support your bodyweight and maintain proper form.

  6. Avoid Twisting Too Far: Do not twist your torso excessively to the side, as this can strain the spine and lead to injury. Aim for a controlled, moderate twist to engage the obliques without compromising form.

  7. Avoid Holding Your Breath: Do not hold your breath during the exercise. Remember to breathe steadily and rhythmically, exhaling on the knee raise and inhaling on the lowering phase.

  8. Don't Sacrifice Form for Repetitions: Avoid sacrificing form for the sake of completing more repetitions. Focus on quality over quantity to effectively target the obliques and prevent injuries.

  9. Do Not Ignore Shoulder Stability: Avoid letting your shoulders collapse or shrug up towards your ears. Keep your shoulders down and back to maintain stability and prevent strain.

  10. Don't Overextend: Avoid overextending your arms or shoulders at the bottom of the movement. Keep your arms slightly bent to maintain tension on the obliques and prevent strain on the joints.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


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Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.