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Fitness » Workouts » Ab Workouts » Pull Ups For Abs: Rock-Solid Ways To Get Defined Abs

Pull Ups For Abs: Rock-Solid Ways To Get Defined Abs

pull ups for abs

Why are people motivated to strengthen their abs?

Abs are always associated with beauty and good health in both women and men. This is one of the key reasons why core muscles are the main target among the majority of those who work out. Apart from helping you lose some weight, ab exercises give you sexy ripped abs, which also have been proved to improve your posture. Although traditional floor exercises and standing ab exercises have a number of fans, working out with equipment is much more effective and fun. For example, you can use a pull-up bar or rings to do even more challenging exercises. Let’s look at pull ups for abs to grow them fast with the help of pull-up equipment.

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What are core muscles?

Apart from adding to your attractiveness score, abdominal muscles play an essential role in the proper functioning of your body. Thanks to your abs, you can breathe and move your body, and there is hardly a limit to the ways in which you can strengthen them. Your body core is the main stabilizing muscle area that lets you control your body and keep balance. The core muscles include (1):

  • Rectus abdominis (or “six pack”), which allow you to bend forward
  • Internal and external oblique muscles, responsible for twisting and side-bend movements
  • Transverse abdominis, which stabilizes your spine, allowing you to cough, sneeze, and exhale

The Reasons to Strengthen Your Core

You can benefit a lot from a strong core, which will considerably improve your health and lifestyle. Here is why (2, 3):

  • The stronger your core is, the better your stability and equilibrium are, which allows one to engage in a variety of sports activities. Likewise, working on your abs can improve the way you perform daily physical activities, such as bathing, cleaning, etc.
  • A strong core is key to a healthy back. Building up your abs will help you prevent the incidence of pain in your lower back.
  • It is hard to have proper posture without strong abs.
  • A strong core enables you to take in deeper breaths.
  • Strong abs equal defined abs, which many people find attractive.

best pull ups for abs

Leg Pull Ups for Defined Abs

Leg pull-ups is an exercise that primarily targets your core muscles. To perform these, you need pull-up bars or rings. There are various ways to perform leg pull-ups for abs:

1. Leg lifts

As you are hanging from the bar or rings, start raising your legs without bending the knees. Raise your legs as high as possible, using your core muscles. If it is too difficult for you, you can do this exercise with your knees bent. In case you want to make it more challenging, pause when you reach the highest point with your legs. Hold this position for as long as you are comfortable with. In the beginning this could be just a couple of seconds but later you could make it last for up to 30 seconds.

2. One leg lift

Hang from the bar or rings and start raising one straight leg at a time. Raise your unbent legs to 90 degrees. To modify the exercise, bend your knees. When you have raised your leg to the highest point, hold the position for a few seconds for a better burn. Do 15 reps on each leg.

weighted pull ups for abs

3. Windscreen wiper

This exercise will not only burn for your six-pack abs but also for your oblique muscles, making your muscles more defined. Hang from the bar or rings with your legs straight. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart to keep balance. Raise your legs without bending your knees so that your feet are slightly above the bar or rings. Then, start rotating your legs from side to side, in a nice and controlled move. Alternate the direction, moving your legs to the right and to the left in a wiping motion. For a modification, perform the exercise with your knees bent. Do 10 reps on each side.

4. Toes to bar

Hanging from the bar or rings, put your hands shoulder-width apart to enable a wide range of motion. Then start swinging your legs, up and down. Reach your bar or rings with your straight legs and then lower them down. This exercise activates not only your abs but also glute and leg muscles. Do 10-15 reps.

5. L-hang

Unlike the previous exercises, this one is static. As you are hanging from the bar or rings, raise your legs parallel to the floor and hold. You can continue this exercise for as long as your core strength allows you. It might be 15 seconds for beginners and a minute or more for the advanced. To enhance the effect upon your abs, you can add weights to your legs. L-hang is considered to be a difficult exercise, and for some even more challenging than pull-ups themselves. Therefore, if this is too hard for you, you may substitute it with non-hanging sits (with your hands on the floor and legs in the air, parallel to the ground).

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leg pull ups for abs

6. L-siders

This one is similar to L-hangs but is dynamic instead. While hanging from the bar or rings, start raising your legs until you get them parallel to the ground. As you have your body in the perfect L-form, start moving your torso to the right as far as you can. Then change the direction and move to the left. Continue alternating sides. It is important to focus on your core muscles here and at the same time deactivate your chest. This exercise is great for oblique muscles. For women, this will help to shape the waist region. To make the exercise more challenging, hold for a moment as you reach the far right and left. To make this easier, bend your knees and move them from side to side. Do 10 reps on each side.

7. Burpee pull ups

This one is rather advanced and engages all the muscles groups of your body. First, you will be performing a burpee. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down as you bend down to touch the ground with your hands. Shift your weight onto the hands and jump backward with your feet, taking up the plank position. If you are in a mood for a challenge, do a pushup. Then, from your plank position, jump forward while keeping your hands on the floor, landing them just outside your hands. Quickly jump straight up to catch the pull-up bar, then do a pull-up on the pull-up bar. Repeat 10 more times.

pull ups

8. Hanging crunches

For this exercise, you need to hold onto the pull-up bar or rings with your hands. Place your calves over the bars so that you are hanging from the bar upside down, holding it with your knees. Then do the traditional crunch movement, folding your core as you raise and lower your upper body. This exercise enables a wider range of motion than the traditional crunches, and it might be a bit challenging to reach your knees with your head. As challenging as it might be, do not give up but raise your core as high as you can each time. For an additional challenge, add weights to your upper body. Do 10 reps of this exercise for maximum benefit.

If you consider yourself to be advanced, you are welcome to add leg weights to all these exercises. This will increase the difficulty and improve the effectiveness of the workout.

The Bottom Line

Abs are the main muscles responsible for the physical attractiveness of a person. Besides this, they are an indicator of your health. There are numerous reasons why you should want to strengthen your core muscles. Strong abs can help you improve your posture and perform your daily tasks. Strengthening your abs will open new opportunities in terms of workouts. Therefore, the more you feel the burn in your abs, the more benefits you get. This is why exercises on the pull-up rings or bar are a great choice for anyone willing to have a sexy body and back. Include this type to your workouts and eventually you will be able to notice how much your body has transformed and become more athletic.

FAQs

Are pull ups effective for obese people?

It might be difficult to do these exercises for obese people. Pull-ups are not easy to perform, which is why you might want to start with traditional ab exercises on the floor. Eventually, you will be able to make it to the pull-up bar, so never give up!

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Are pull-ups good for weight loss?

Pull-ups might help you burn calories, but not as much as the cardio exercises, which are designed for this purpose. Pull-ups are strengthening exercises, which means they are geared towards building muscles, not burning fat. One exception is pull-up burpees which are a cardio activity. You are free to add pull-ups to your cardio workout, to do them during the resting intervals.

Are pull-ups an ab-isolation exercise?

No, pull-ups are not an ab-isolation exercise. When you are performing these, your whole body is working, beginning with the hands and ending with your calves. Nevertheless, it is recommended that during pull-ups you try isolating your core. That is, put less pressure on your hands, legs, and chest. Let your abs do the main part of the work.

If you are interested in pull ups, this 20 Min Full Body Workout at Home may be useful for you. Take the challenge today!

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Abdominal Strains (webmd.com)
  2. Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles (2017, mayoclinic.org)
  3. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core (health.harvard.edu)
Lilly Lawrence

Lilly Lawrence

Lilly is a professional writer specializing in health and science writing. She’s highly inspired by questions of science, which particularly concern nutrition, fitness and medicine. She is a firm advocate for a healthy lifestyle, which is why she creates informative articles based on scientific research and strives to deliver clear and yet detailed information on how to take care of your body and mind. Lilly never fails to flesh out her articles with no-frills nutritional advice, up-to-date fitness tips, and latest medical research data which helps readers get a better grasp on the issue they are concerned about.

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Hey there! I'm a European Champion in synchronized swimming who holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education. I have experience in working with Olympic level athletes, produced National Champions, State Champions and helped athletes secure their spots on the National teams.
I don't just want to work with professional athletes. I strongly believe that my purpose is to help anybody I work with to achieve their fitness goals and become their best self.

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