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Your abs need this exercise: The hanging knee wiper


It’s time to intensify your ab workout. If your stomach is your most problematic area, then trust us when we say, you’re not alone. The thing is, strong abdominal muscles are imperative when it comes to performing most exercises and sports – for example running – and also serve as protection against injuries. #CoachKnows. That’s why one of the 40 brand new exercises added to the Freeletics Training Coach this summer, is the hanging knee wiper. It’s deemed one of the most effective core exercises out there, and takes the meaning of “burn” to a whole new level. If only it were as easy as it is effective. Here’s how to master this challenge step by step.

The Hanging Knee Wiper

Combine an oblique twist with a hanging toe-touch that works the entire body and you’ve got yourself one hell of an exercise. Your grip, shoulders, back and core are all strengthened with the hanging knee wiper – so challenging it makes toes to bars seem like a walk in the park. Scared? Don’t be. Follow these steps and you’ll have it mastered in no time:

Knee and leg wiper

These give you a solid first understanding of the movement and how to engage your obliques. Unlike the hanging version, they are performed on the ground by swinging your legs from side to side, creating a rotation in your core area. Start with knee wipers, then move on to leg wipers to further strengthen your obliques and core.

Hanging knee and leg raises

You’ll need a pullup bar for the next stage. This is when your entire upper body strength comes into play, especially your grip and shoulder strength. While hanging from the pullup bar, slowly and steadily raise your knees (hanging knee raises) to your chest, or extended straight legs (hanging leg raises) to hip level. Keep your core highly engaged, so as not to place unnecessary stress on your back and always focus on good technique.

Strict toes-to-bar

Here’s when it starts getting tricky. Strict toes-to-bar includes hanging from a bar and lifting your legs straight in the air, until your shins almost touch your forehead, and your toes touch the bar. Doing these strictly will give you the core and shoulder strength required for the hanging knee wiper. Try it without swinging by keeping the core and shoulders engaged for the entire movement.

Hanging knee wiper

Mastered all of the above? Then it’s time for the grand finale. This exercise is a combination of all of the 5 exercises shown – making it the ultimate, compound exercise for your entire body, especially targeting your obliques. What’s so special about obliques? These muscles, although decisive when it comes to rotary motions, are very rarely trained.

So here’s how you should perform a hanging knee wiper: start with a hanging knee raise. Then, lifting your knees above your chest, slightly tilt your body backwards so your hips and shoulders are in one straight line. Finally, with a slow and controlled movement, rotate your tucked legs from side to side.

Enjoy the burn? There’s plenty more where that came from. Get the Freeletics Training Coach now to unlock all 40 brand new exercises that will intensify your training and enhance your athletic performance.

The recipe for success:

  1. Passion
  2. Practice
  3. Perseverance
  4. Push