4 Hanging Exercises That Build Ripped Abs and a Stronger Upper Body

Work your way up to the Toes to Bar move and really set your core on fire!

Ben, it's summer and I really want to get ripped abs, what should I do?

Man, I've been hearing this question so much lately.

My answer most of the time is, "Try the Toes to Bar move and incorporate it in your workouts 2-3 days/week."

Then I get the response of "How the hell do I do the Toes to Bar?"

The Toes to Bar move is indeed a great move for getting ripped abs. It engages the rectus abdominis (front abs) and it gives you that "ab burn" very quickly. But I get it. Not everybody can just jump up to a bar and knock these out. Just like most exercises, there is always a progression and regression system you can use so that you can master certain movements.

In this video, I'll show you different forms of the Toes to Bar movements and how you can start slowly to build yourself up to the move.

The Toes to Bar

This is ultimately a gymnastic move. If you've ever seen a great gymnast then you've seen some really ripped abs. When I do the Toes to Bar I really try to keep my legs as straight as possible and I try to prevent any swinging motions.

Bring your legs up straight, fold your body and lightly hit the toes to the bar. The trick to this is really on the way down. You don't want to just let your legs go limp and flop them down. Contract your abs on the way down and bring your legs down in a controlled manner.


I learned this at a CrossFit gym and I found that this made the movement much easier. At the bottom of the movement, dip your head forward and use your momentum to push your body back while you bring your legs up. The kipping definitely helps make this easier, but you have to be careful. If your shoulders are beat up or if you feel more pain while doing this, don't do it. Slow down and do the next regression which is....

Hanging Knee Tucks

Start in the hanging position, bring your knees to your chest and again slowly bring your legs down. This is the easier form but it will for sure give you the same benefits of getting ripped abs.

Hanging Windshield Washers

Yeah, I'll admit it. I pretty much just added these in because they look cool as hell. I'm not sure if these will help you with doing the Toes to Bar, but I know for sure that this move will light up your obliques (side abs)! The hardest part of this might be the grip. Keep your abs up high, and windshield wash the sky moving your feet side to side.

Chase It!

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