What Is The Captain's Chair Exercise?

Captain's chair leg raise exercise guide and video Weight Training
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The Captain’s Chair exercise is a popular abdominal exercise that targets the muscles in your core. It is named after the equipment used for the exercise, which resembles a captain’s chair with armrests and a backrest. This exercise is commonly performed at gyms and fitness centers, but it can also be done at home with a simple equipment setup.

How to Do the Captain’s Chair Exercise

To perform the Captain’s Chair exercise, follow these steps:

  1. Start by sitting on the chair with your back against the backrest and your arms resting on the armrests.
  2. Grip the handles firmly and lift your feet off the ground, so your legs are dangling in the air.
  3. Engage your core muscles and slowly raise your knees towards your chest. Keep your back against the backrest throughout the movement.
  4. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement and then slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

Benefits of the Captain’s Chair Exercise

The Captain’s Chair exercise offers several benefits, including:

  • Strengthening the abdominal muscles: This exercise primarily targets the rectus abdominis, which is responsible for the six-pack appearance.
  • Improving core stability: The exercise engages the core muscles, including the obliques and transverse abdominis, which help stabilize the spine and improve overall balance.
  • Enhancing functional strength: Strong abdominal muscles contribute to better posture, stability, and overall functional strength.
  • Reducing the risk of back pain: A strong core helps support the spine, reducing the risk of back pain and injury.

Variations of the Captain’s Chair Exercise

While the basic Captain’s Chair exercise targets the abdominal muscles, there are variations that can engage other muscle groups as well:

Leg Raises

Instead of bending your knees towards your chest, keep your legs straight and raise them towards the ceiling. This variation primarily targets the lower abdominal muscles.

Oblique Twists

While performing the leg raises, twist your legs to one side when they are raised. This variation engages the oblique muscles on the sides of your abdomen.

Knee Tucks

Instead of raising your legs, bring your knees towards your chest while keeping your feet off the ground. This variation targets the lower abdominal muscles.

Tips for Performing the Captain’s Chair Exercise

Here are some tips to help you perform the Captain’s Chair exercise correctly and effectively:

  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise, keeping your back against the backrest and your core engaged.
  • Control the movement and avoid swinging your legs or using momentum.
  • Breathe steadily throughout the exercise, exhaling as you raise your knees and inhaling as you lower them.
  • Start with a comfortable number of repetitions and gradually increase the intensity as your strength improves.
  • If you experience any discomfort or pain, stop the exercise and consult a fitness professional or healthcare provider.


The Captain’s Chair exercise is an effective way to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve core stability. By incorporating this exercise into your fitness routine, you can achieve a stronger core, better posture, and reduced risk of back pain. Remember to perform the exercise with proper form and gradually increase the intensity for optimal results. Happy exercising!





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