A chin-up, or pull-up, bar can be used for doing more than chin-ups -- it is also effective for performing abdominal exercises. Chin-up bars offer an intense exercise routine that works the abs. Before performing ab exercises on the chin-up bars, choose what part of the abs you want to focus on: lower, upper or oblique muscles.
Chin-up bars are commonly seen in gyms, in the form of a rack apparatus. A chin-up bar rack must at least have one area to grab; this bar is usually horizontal, though some chin-up bar racks also include a parallel grip that allows your palms to face each other while holding on. Regardless of the type of chin-up bar you have access to, abdominal exercises can be performed on them all. Every type of abdominal exercise making use of the chin-up bars requires you to start in a hanging position, grasping onto the chin-up bars. These exercises will require you to lift your legs upward in some fashion.
The leg raise tends to be the easiest abdominal exercise performed on the chin-up bar, as it requires the least amount of leg movement. Move your legs upward until your knees are at least parallel with your waist. You can perform this type of exercise with bent knees or with straight legs, though using straight legs typically is harder and requires more developed muscles. Once the straight leg version of the lower abdominal exercise becomes easy, you can try grasping a dumbbell between your ankles to add extra resistance. This exercise works your lower abs.
The leg-hip raise is an extension of the leg raise exercise, and being so, it is a bit more difficult. However, the advantage the leg-hip raise has over the leg raise is its ability to engage the upper abdominal muscles. You perform a leg-hip raise exercise in the same way you perform a leg raise, with the addition of tightening your upper abs when your legs become parallel with your waist; this action will allow your legs to move upward so that your knees almost touch your face. Like the leg raise, the leg hip raise can increase in difficult if you add weight to the exercise by placing a dumbbell between your ankles.
The oblique muscles engage when you add a twist to an abdominal exercise, letting your legs move in a diagonal fashion instead of a straight fashion. While the windshield wiper on the chin-up bars is difficult for exercisers lacking a strong core, for those with a solid abdominal muscle basis, windshield wipers can lead to quick muscle growth. To perform a windshield wiper, first perform a leg-hip raise and stop when you reach the maximum height. From here, swing your legs together left and right, like the needle of a metronome. This exercise engages the oblique muscles, which are located at the sides of your abdomen.
Having obtained a Master of Science in psychology in East Asia, Damon Verial has been applying his knowledge to related topics since 2010. Having written professionally since 2001, he has been featured in financial publications such as SafeHaven and the McMillian Portfolio. He also runs a financial newsletter at Stock Barometer.