Knee Pull-Ups – Here Is How To Perform This Exercise

Knee Pull Up is one exercise that many beginners have trouble performing correctly. Here I will show you how to do this exercise correctly step by step.

What are Knee Pull-Ups?

Core strength is essential for solid balance and stability. And to improve your core strength, you need to exercise your abdominal muscles. Knee pull-ups, also known as pull up with raised knees do just that and are a great way to increase your abdominal strength.

How to perform Knee Pull-Ups?


Knee pull-ups are a straightforward way of improving your core muscles. It doesn’t require you to have gym equipment or a trainer. This makes it perfect for workout sessions at home. In case any of these steps hurt or cause pain, consult a trainer. Follow this step-by-step list to perform a knee pull-up and tone your body.

Flat Bench Knee Pull-Ups

  • Step 1: Lie on your back on a flat bench.
  • Step 2: Keep your feet flat on the bench surface, knees bent, and touching each other.
  • Step 3: Take your hands behind your head and grab the bench, palms facing each other. Your elbows will be bent in the process.
  • Step 4: Draw in your stomach to contract the muscles in your abdomen.
  • Step 5: Extend your legs into the air by slowly lifting your hips off the bench. Ensure that your abs remain contracted. The bottom of your feet must face the ceiling.
  • Step 6: Point your toes towards your shins. Pause for a moment and then reverse the movement until your hips touch the bench. Keep your abdominal muscles tight during the knee pull-up.
  • Step 7: Repeat the movement of your legs extending and contracting. 2 or 3 sets of 10 knee pull-ups each is ideal.

What muscles do knee Pull-Ups work on?


The knee pull-up focuses squarely on the abdominal muscles. This helps with core strength, boosting stability and control. If you’re looking to develop abs, look no further. These muscles are:


  • Muscle 1: Rectus abdominis – It is located in the front of the body, starting from the pubic bone until the sternum. When this muscle is exercised, the exposed muscle gives the impression of a “six-pack.”
  • Muscle 2: External obliquesThey extend from the lower half of the ribs on each side until the pelvis. These muscles help pull the chest and adjust the spine when needed.
  • Muscle 3: Internal Obliques – These muscles are located under the external abdominal obliques. The right internal oblique muscle works with the left external oblique muscle and vice versa during the torso rotation.
  • Muscle 4: Transverse abdominis – The transverse abdominal muscles are located deep inside the “six-pack” abs region. These muscles help keep your pelvis stable. 
  • Muscle 5: Gluteus maximusThis muscle is connected to the tailbone and the other surrounding bones. It is responsible for hip and thigh movement. 

These muscles play a critical role in your overall strength, especially core strength. Knee pull-ups are a great way to enhance your abdominal muscles. Developing them is an essential step in building a healthy and fit body.

In addition to the muscles listed above, knee pull-ups use the muscles in your arms, upper back, and chest as well. But these muscles are only used as stabilizers.

What is an alternative exercise to Knee Pull-Ups?

If you’re looking for a similar move in nature to the knee pull-up, consider giving leg pulls or reverse crunches on a bench a shot. They work on the same abdominal muscles that play a crucial role in core strength. Also, they are simple to execute and do not need complex equipment or a fitness trainer. Here’s how leg pulls and reverse crunches on a benchwork:


1. Leg Raises – How to do it


    • Step 1: Sit down and ensure that your back is straight.
    • Step 2: Lean back on your hands and keep your legs straight.
    • Step 3: Lift your hips off the ground and make your body a straight line.
    • Step 4: Keep your legs straight as you lift your left leg off the ground. Bring it towards your face, but keep your ankle straight.
    • Step 5: Bend your ankle as you lower your leg back down.
    • Step 6: Lift your left leg thrice before switching to your right leg.
    • Step 7: Repeat this based on the number of reps needed.

2. Reverse crunch on a bench – How to do it



    • Step 1: Sit down on a bench. Place your hands on the outside of your hips.
    • Step 2: Straighten your spine by lifting your chest. Bring your shoulders back as well.
    • Step 3: Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
    • Step 4: Lift your feet off the ground. 
    • Step 5: Brace your abs and lean back slightly.
    • Step 6: Lift your knees toward your chest.
    • Step 7: Return to the initial position.
    • Step 8: Repeat based on the number of reps required.


What are the major benefits of performing Knee Pull-Ups?

Knee pull-ups train your core muscles, ensuring that they work together in harmony. This, in turn, leads to improved balance and stability. Solid core strength helps with sports and activities of all kinds, boosting performance and decreasing fatigue. Besides, if you’re looking for toned abs, core exercises are your best bet. Knee pull-ups are relatively simple to perform and don’t require gym equipment. Take your first step towards hitting your fitness goals today!