Captain's Chair Hanging Leg Raises

Captain's chair hanging leg raises are a great way to work your abdominals with the main focus on those hard to reach lower abs.  One of my favorite reasons for doing this exercise is because it stretches the lower back and spine the way that an inversion table would.

Captains chair hanging leg raises

Primary Muscles Used

Captains chair hanging leg raise Muscles Used

Captain's Chair Hanging Leg Raises Instructions

  • Stand in the captain's chair frame and place your forearms on the padded armrests and grab the handles. Check that your arm position is firm (stable arms enable you to lift your legs with proper form). Your back should be straight.
  1. Inhale and engage your abdominal muscles to prepare for the leg lift.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and raise your legs upward until your quads are parallel to the ground.
  3. Lower your legs in a controlled movement, exhaling as you go, until you're back in the starting position.
  4. Keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement.
  5. Repeat.
Hanging Leg Raise Instruction

Tim's list of benefits for Captain's Chair Hanging Leg Raises

  • This exercise targets the abdominal muscles, creating maximum contraction on the abdominals and a strong contraction on the obliques.
  • Since your lower body is suspended, gravity is working to pull your lower body down, this helps to decompress the spine.  It works even better than an inversion table would since the contraction of the abdominals further support and stretch the lower back.  Although you can do the inversion table for a longer period of time than you can the leg raises.
  • Just like pull ups and push ups this exercise uses your body weight.  By controlling your body weight it gives you a sense of accomplishment and positive self image.
  • The main focus is on the lower abs which help with running and going up stairs, in addition to the hardest area of your midsection to tighten up.
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