Give it a Go - Pull Up Knee Raises

This blog will look at doing the Pull Up Hold with a Knee Raise. Please see my previous blog on 'Give it a Go - Pull Up' before attempting this version of the Pull Up. Pull Up Hold Knee Raises will provide you with a great core and upper body workout and will challenge your Cardiovascular System. Being able to pull up your own body weight off the floor, hold it there and then perform knee raises correctly under control is a great test of your strength and something many people struggle with. It will challenge a wide range of muscles and joints and is therefore a brilliant compound exercise.

Pull Up Hold Knee Raises don't require much equipment - if you don't have a pull up bar you can use a tree branch, climbing frame etc. You don't need much room and they can be performed anywhere and varied in so many ways. This exercise will challenge your cardiovascular system, will help you to burn calories and will provide you with a fantastic core workout because you have to transfer the force from you lower body through your core to your upper body and vice versa. Are you up for a challenge?

This exercise can also performed by letting your arms hang from a bar rather than holding yourself up. Either way will provide you with a great workout. I like to do knee raises to target my abdominals and upper body muscles whilst holding myself up in a pull up position, simply because I find it challenges my upper body and core muscles more due to holding yourself still in that position.

Poor technique is common when people do Pull Up Hold Knee Raises. Don't use momentum or let your body swing to help you pull up and do knee raises - you won't get the full benefit of the exercise. The following are a few tips on how to perform Pull Up Hold Knee Raises safely and correctly:

  • Stand underneath the bar (or object) that you will be doing the pull ups on. Take hold of it with a shoulder-width underhand, overhand or palms facing each other grip.
  • Either pull yourself up towards the bar (Pull Up Hold Knee Raises) or grab the bar and let yourself hang from it (Hanging Knee Raises), ensure your core is fully engaged throughout the exercise and that you don’t arch your back. Keep your legs and feet still with your knees slightly bent and your feet together.
  • With control hold yourself in that position and by tilting your pelvis, pull/lift your knees up towards your chest and shoulders.
  • Hold this position for a second before lowering your knees back to the start position whilst still holding yourself up on the bar or hanging from the bar with your arms. Repeat for the desired number of knee raises.
  • Using a smooth motion, breathe naturally.
  • Avoid letting your body swing as you do each knee raise and losing control on the downwards phase of the knee raises. Often the momentum will cause your knees, hips and legs to swing, which will reduce the tension on your abdominals and upper body muscles and thus the benefit of the exercise.

As a starter, aim to complete 4-6 repetitions and see if you can do this 2-3 times. If you can't don't worry. Build up to it. You are best doing 4 correct Knee Raises with safe and proper technique to work the targeted muscles rather than 8 incorrect ones. Please see my bank of 'Give it a Go - Pull Up Exercises'.

Please remember to warm up thoroughly before exercising and to speak to your GP before starting any exercise programme. Should you require any help, advice or information please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be delighted to discuss with you the tried and tested methods and lifestyle changes that I have developed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

Keep up the great work,

Live life actively,



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