Strong core muscles are a must for maintaining an injury-free lower back and improving your performance in many different sports. You can strengthen your abdominals in several different ways, but one of the most challenging is with hanging or inverted situps. When performing a hanging situp, you must curl your entire torso up against gravity with your ab muscles. It is wise to avoid hanging situps, or at least get approval from your doctor first, if you’ve had a low back or other trunk injury.
Raise the bar on a Smith machine or similar machine up past your head height and lock it into place.
Grasp the bar and pull yourself up so you can drape your legs over the bar at the knees. Bend your knees over the bar and have a partner hold your ankles and shins so you remain in place.
Hang straight down and cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your ears. Curl your torso up slowly as high as you can. Pause for a moment at the top, then lower yourself and repeat.
Strap on a pair of gravity boots with hooks if you have them. Pull yourself up on a typical pullup bar and slide the hooks over the bar. Hang down and perform the situps the same way as with a partner.
Any secure gym machine that has a beam or bar for your knees to go over and another to secure your feet is acceptable for hanging situps.
Curl your torso up to the sides slowly to work your oblique muscles while you’re hanging.