Captain's chair leg and hip raise exercise
| |

Captain’s chair leg and hip raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Rectus Abdominis
  • Synergists: Iliopsoas, Tensor Fasciae Latae, Sartorius, Pectineus, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis, Obliques
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Rectus Femoris
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Get into the captain’s chair with your forearms on the pads, your hands on the handles, your back against the back pad, and your legs hanging straight down.
  2. Press your lower back against the back pad.


  1. Keeping your feet together, exhale as you raise your knees towards your chest by flexing your knees, hips, and your waist.
  2. Try to hold the end position for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower your feet to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep the movement under control. Do not allow momentum to build up.
  • During the captain’s chair leg and hip raise, your rectus abdominis and obliques only act as stabilizers unless you flex your waist and raise your hips off the back pad at the top of the movement. If you do not flex your waist, your iliopsoas is the target muscle.
  • Apart from when you raise your hips off the pad, keep your lower back pressed against the back pad. This is important because your legs are raised by your hip flexors, especially your iliopsoas. Your iliopsoas originates on your lower back (lumbar spine) and attaches to your thigh bone. To raise your legs, your iliopsoas must pull on your lumbar spine, which can force it to hyperextend. If you do not support your lower back by pressing it against the back pad, the repeated hyperextension of your lumbar spine could lead to lower-back problems and pain.
  • The captain’s chair leg and hip raise is a brilliant exercise for developing the strength and stability of your core. You can make it more difficult by straightening your legs or holding a dumbbell between your feet.
  • Also known as the vertical leg and hip raise.
  • See also the captain’s chair leg raise, the crunch with leg raise, and the incline straight leg and hip raise.

Captain’s chair leg and hip raise video

This is not the best demonstration of the captain’s chair leg and hip raise. I couldn’t find any better videos!


Similar Posts