Captain’s chair leg raises are a perfect exercise if you want to isolate your abdominal muscles and hip flexors.
This exercise is done on a seat-less chair that has both horizontal and vertical support in form of arm and backrest respectively.
As a strength-training workout, your focus will specifically be to work your abs and hip flexors.
This equipment can look complex but don’t let that make you shy away from using it especially if you are a beginner
In this article, we will give you a clear guide on how to reap all the benefits of performing your normal leg raises on this chair.
WHAT TO DO
- Position your body on this frame by ensuring that your back is straight on the horizontal support.
- Grip the handles close to your armrest with your knees somewhat bent, then breathe in to begin the exercise.
- You will start by tightening your core muscles then slowly raising your legs to a 90-degree angle.
Pause while at this position for one to two seconds
- Exhale as you gradually lower your legs without relying on momentum whatsoever.
- Make sure that your core is engaged at all time to stimulate your abdominals
- In your original position, repeat this exercise.
WHAT MUSCLES DO CAPTAIN’S CHAIR LEG RAISES WORK?
As one of the exercises done on a captain’s chair, this workout targets mainly your rectus abdominis and traverse abdominis.
Working these two muscles helps make your core stronger.
The rectus abdominis, just simply known as abs is what you see when you look at your anterior abdominals.
It stretches from the pelvis all the way to your ribs at the front and helps with forward movements of the spine .
The traverse abdominis on the other hand is deeply rooted in the abdominals muscles and is mostly on the sides.
This muscle main function is to protect internal organs as well as prevent back pains by stabilizing your core.
These are a group of muscles that assist you as you move your knees and legs.
They are found near your hips and should be exercised regularly to prevent strain.
When you carry out captain’s chair leg raises you work your hip flexors as you move your legs to your body.
Your obliques are involved during this exercise in the following;
Internal obliques, located deep into your abdomen, extend from your rectus abdominis to the front part of your hip.
They help support your spine as you perform this exercise
External obliques are detected nearer to the surface compared to internal obliques supporting your abdominal muscles.
While exhaling, these muscles are utilized making them important during this exercise
CAPTAIN’S CHAIR LEG RAISES BENEFITS
PROMOTES CORE STRENGTH
Incorporating this exercise in your daily workout regimen will boost your core in strength and health.
This workout isolates your abdominal muscles and if done consistently can act as a strength training exercise for your abdominals giving them definition.
So if you’re looking to make your abs look better make this exercise your best friend
A STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISE
As seen earlier, engaging your core is one of the necessities to strike gold with this exercise.
With your core as the main area of focus, this workout is the perfect isolation exercise to strength train your core muscles.
Other muscles on your core that may have otherwise been neglected will get full attention hence become strong.
HELPS BUILD A HEALTHY CORE
When you have a healthy core, you will be less prone to injuries that may happen to your abdominal muscles or hip joints.
As you’re doing this exercise, you also better your agility and flexibility as a result of lifting your leg on this equipment.
The more flexible you are the easier it will be for you to perform daily activities that require you to use your hip and core muscles.
ALTERNATIVES TO CAPTAIN’S CHAIR LEG RAISES
LYING LEG RAISE
In an instance where you can’t access the gym or the chair apparatus, you can do lying leg raises that still work your abdominal muscles.
- To perform this exercise, find some space on a mat then lie on your back.
- Stretch out your legs and put your feet together, your hands should be flat as well. Raise your legs until your legs are perpendicular to your hips.
- Slowly lower them till they are almost touching the floor mat. Pause for a few seconds before repeating this workout.
KNEES TO ELBOWS
This exercise works similar muscles as the captain’s chair leg raises by focusing on your abs.
- To start off, you will need a bar that you will use to propel this exercise.
- Jump on the bar, gripping it tightly, and spread your grip out.
- With your feet together, bend your knees and ensure that your core is engaged.
- Raise your knees upwards to touch your elbows then lower them till they are straight. Repeat.
- Ensure that you inhale when you raise your knees and exhale when you lower them.
SINGLE LEG AND HIP RAISE
This exercise uses the same concept as the lying leg raise.
- Begin the exercise on the floor with your left knee bent while your right leg is straight
- Lift your right leg to so it’s parallel to your left thigh by pushing your hip upwards.
- Maintain this position then gradually return to the initial position.
- Alternate to your left leg bend your right leg and repeat this exercise on each leg.
CAPTAIN’S CHAIR LEG RAISES MISTAKES TO AVOID
FORGETTING TO BREATH
Breathing is an important aspect when it comes to doing leg raises on the captain’s chair.
In the midst of tension, as you lift and lower your leg, you may forget to breath.
Holding your breath will make this exercise harder as your muscles need oxygen to fuel these movements.
The trick here is programming your raises to your breathing.
As such, anytime you want to lift your legs you breathe in and exhale when you lower your legs
FAILING TO INVOLVE CORE MUSCLES
Leg raises on this equipment require you to work your cores to get the full benefits of this exercise.
This should be done in preparation, right before you raise your legs.
Engage your abdominal muscles all through this exercise to prevent any injuries on your spine that may arise when you bend your back.
Keep your head and neck straight as you tighten your core muscles.
SWINGING YOUR LEGS
Every time you swing your legs during this workout, you are depending on momentum to move your legs instead of working your abs.
Remember, your aim should be to fully engage your abdominals and not your legs.
While at it, don’t forget to raise your legs in a controlled motion upward and downward to optimize the efficacy of this exercise session
Overall, using the captain’s chair to do leg raises has great benefits to your abdominal muscles. You have no excuse whatsoever to ignore that equipment you found quite out of place in your gym.
Start with less reps as you build up to become a pro. In time, your abs will look snatched and aesthetically pleasing.