knees elbows crossfit gloves hip flexors

What Are Knees to Elbows in Crossfit Training?

Whether you’re a fan of bootcamp or crossfit training styles isn’t the point.  The knees to elbows exercise has been around for about as long as humans have hand arms and something to hang from.  Actually knees to elbows in crossfit training isn’t much different than the same exercise done on the floor.

So what are Knees To Elbows in Crossfit Training?

It refers to the movement of contracting the ab muscles and simultaneously bringing your knees up to your elbows and back again.  If you think it sounds like some fancy complicated move you’re just psyching yourself out.  It really means nothing more than that.  No actually DOING it requires far more effort than that!

How To Do Knees To Elbows

  1. Find your favorite pull up bar.  A tree branch in the park will even work to be honest (provided it’s not too thick).  You want to be sure you have a good grip, so put on a pair of the best crossfit gloves you can find.
  2. With a slightly wider than shoulder width grip begin by “hanging” from your pull up bar.
  3. Contract (squeeze) your abs and simultaneously begin to bring your knees and lower body up towards your elbows.
  4. In a slow and controlled motion, return to the starting position again.

What do Knees To Elbows Work?

Abs, Abs, Abs.  If you’ve ever done abs on the Roman Chair in the gym, you’ll feel a similar workout with knees to elbows.  While the movement itself does indeed work your ab muscles (and it works them hard) a great part of the movement is actually your hip flexors.   The hip flexors refer to the muscle group on the front of the pelvic bone.  They are responsible for flexing the femur (thigh bone) upward.

While lots of personal trainers and instructors love to have their clients bust out dozens of knees to elbows, thinking its one of the best exercises for 6 pack abs they’re half right.  A big part of this movement comes from the hip flexor muscles.  In reality, it’s not until your upper body is perpendicular to the floor that you begin to really focus on your abs.what-are-knees-to-elbows-in-crossfit-crossfit-gloves-hip-flexors

Knees to elbows in crossfit training also requires some more than average upper body strength.  While you’re not relying as much on your upper body strength to complete the movement, you do need to be able to handle your own body weight.  This is where your crossfit gloves or gloves for pull ups will come in handy.  If you’ve mastered the basic pull up, you should have no problem with knees to elbows once you’re comfortable with the movement.