How To Do Vertical Knee Raise Properly

Ever wondered what it feels like performing a record-breaker exercise, that has been recognized by fitness experts? Well, this is it. The vertical knee raise was ranked 2nd best in the list of best exercises for targeting the rectus abdominus.

This was according to a study done in San Diego State University, which compared 13 common abdominal exercise to determine the ones that really targeted the abs.

The vertical knee raise is a core workout that will enable you to add variety to your abs routine while also raising it to a whole new and advanced level.

If your aim is to have the elusive six-pack, this record breaker exercise will help you along your way. You can either use it as part of a core workout or a total body workout.

Enough spoilers. Let us discuss in detail more about this exercise that can thoroughly work your abdominal muscles when done correctly.

HOW TO DO VERTICAL KNEE RAISE PROPERLY

You will need access to a dip/raise machine to perform this exercise.

Below is a step-by-step guide that will ensure you perform this exercise in the right form for maximum benefits.

Begin by positioning yourself on a dip/raise machine with your back against the pads and your arms holding up your body by resting on the parallel bars.

Make use of the handgrips to hold on to the ends of the parallel bars and the foot bars to step up onto your starting position.

Take your feet off the support and allow them to dangle. Inhale at this point.

While exhaling, slowly bend your knees and begin to lift them towards your chest. This motion should be slow and controlled for effectiveness.

Keep bringing your knees up until a point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Continue to further list your knees past the parallel points, without rounding your back off the backrest and looking down. The further you lift above the parallel point, the more you will work your abs.

While inhaling, slowly return your legs to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

VERTICAL KNEE RAISE TIPS TO CONSIDER

You may need to stay clear of this exercise if you are pregnant, recovering from childbirth, have rectus diastasis, had a recent abdomen surgery or recovering from injuries involving your arms, back, neck or legs.

If you feel any pain while on set, stop immediately and ask your trainer for alternatives that you can use.

COMMON VERTICAL KNEE RAISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

Get the most out of this exercise by avoiding the following errors.

ALLOWING YOUR LEGS TO DROP

While completing the rep, avoid allowing your legs to simply drop as you will lose half the benefit of the exercise. While returning to the starting position, perform the slowly and in a controlled manner.

USING MOMENTUM

Avoid doing this exercise fast or swinging your legs up and down as this will use momentum in performing the exercise rather than the wanted muscle. This reduces the impact of the exercise on target muscles.

EXTENDING YOUR LEGS

If you are new to this exercise, always remember to bend your knees. Extending your legs will activate the hip flexors instead of the required abdominus, thus the attention of the exercise from the main muscle.

VERTICAL KNEE RAISE MUSCLES WORKED

In order to understand the impact of this exercise to your abdominal muscles, it is key to have an understanding of your abs, each of the muscles it is made up of and what they do.

RECTUS ABDOMINIS

This is the commonly known and the most prominent abdominal muscle.

It is a long and flat muscle that extends vertically between the pubis, the 5th,6th and 7th ribs.

This muscle helps in flexing the spinal column, narrowing the space between the pelvis and the ribs. Additionally, it is also key in side bending motions.

EXTERNAL OBLIQUES

This pair of muscles is found at each side of the rectus abdominis. Their muscle fibres run diagonally downward and inward from the lower ribs to the pelvis, forming a letter V.

They facilitate the flexion of the spine, rotation of the torso, bending on the sides and compression of the abdomen.

INTERNAL OBLIQUES

These are a pair of muscles that run deep just below the external obliques. They form right angle to each other together with the external obliques.

Along with the external obliques, the internal obliques play a role in flexing the spinal column, bending sideways, trunk rotation and compressing the abdomen.

HIP FLEXORS

These are a group of muscles that serves to bring together the legs and trunk in a flexion movement.

They are not necessarily abs muscles but they facilitate ab movements in several ab exercises such as the vertical knee raise.

VERTICAL KNEE RAISE BENEFITS

The vertical knee raise is an awesome exercise for isolating the abdominal muscles, for building strength in the hip flexors and developing your core.

While the rectus abdominus will be stabilising your core during this exercise, your hip flexors on the other hand will be bringing your knees up.

The main muscles worked by this exercise are the once that you show off: the rectus abdominus.

Other that a general appealing abdomen, this muscle will also help in spinal flexion, to help you in movements such as sitting up from a lying position.

VERTICAL KNEE RAISE ALTERNATIVES

LYING KNEE PULL IN/ RAISE

This alternative is for those who would want to isolate their abdominal muscles but lack efficient upper body strength to perform the vertical knee raise.

BICYCLE KICKS

This alternative will serve to increase abdominal, hip flexors and unilateral core strength and is also a great exercise to help you prepare for the advance vertical knee raise.

TAKE AWAY

This exercise can be modified in different ways to suit one’s level of fitness. If you are a beginner, it is safe to use the dip/raise machine as in this exercise compared to parallel bars for the advanced level trainers.