Using ab straps allows you to perform hanging exercises without gripping the bar.
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Arm slings, or straps, are often offered at gyms and fitness facilities to assist in performing abdominal and oblique exercises. The straps are designed to hang from an overhead bar. You can also purchase them for home use and attach them to a pullup bar installed in a doorframe. Arm slings assist in performing both hanging leg raises for your hip flexors and abs and hanging side-leg raises for your obliques.
Using Ab Slings
Abdominal slings come in pairs, one for each arm. You hang them overhead, so you may need to stand on a stool or box to reach them. Ab slings feature durable webbing designed to hold your elbows and upper arms. From your position on the stool, adjust the straps so that they're shoulder-width apart and then set your upper arms onto each sling so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Grip the top of each strap with your hands for greater stability. Place all your body weight onto your arms and step off the stool so you're hanging from the straps. After you're done with an exercise, set your feet atop the nearby stool to safely dismount.
Hanging Leg Raise
The hanging leg-raise exercise primarily works your iliopsoas, which is the major muscle in your hip flexors. If you perform the exercise correctly, it will also effectively work your rectus abdominis, the largest muscle in your abs. Hang from the straps with your legs pointed vertically toward the floor. Lift your legs and bend your knees to bring your thighs up to your chest. Then, lower them back down to complete one rep. Be sure you lift your thighs past the height of your waist to recruit your abdominals.
Windshield Wiper Exercise
Using arm straps to perform the windshield wiper exercise works the hip flexors, abdominals and obliques. While hanging from the straps, lift your thighs, bringing your knees up and to the left until your knees are waist height. Lift your knees higher as you sweep them over to the right, as if traveling the pathway of a windshield wiper. Continue sweeping them back and forth until you've completed your reps.
Hitting Your Obliques
By tweaking the hanging leg raise, you can effectively develop strength in your obliques, which are the muscles on either side of your torso. Instead of lifting your knees up in front of you, pull your knees up to one side, lifting them as high as you can. Switch sides on each rep.