Captains chair straight leg raise exercise
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Captain’s chair straight leg raise

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Iliopsoas
  • Synergists: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Sartorius, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris, Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis
  • Stabilizers: Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Quadriceps
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Climb into the captain’s chair with your forearms resting flat on the parallel bars and back pressing against the back support.


  1. Keeping your knees straight and lower back pressed against the back support, exhale as you flex your hips to raise both legs until they are parallel with the floor.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • The captain’s chair straight leg raise is an isolation exercise that strengthens your hip flexor muscles. The Iliopsoas is the target muscle because flexion only occurs at the hip. The abdominal muscles and the obliques only act as stabilizers, since no waist flexion occurs. If waist flexion occurs, the exercise becomes a leg and hip raise.
  • For the safety of your lower back, keep it pressed against the back support throughout the exercise.
  • Perform the captain’s chair straight leg raise in a controlled manner. Do not swing your legs up and down.
  • To make the exercise easier, perform it on an incline board (incline straight leg raise) or bend your knees as you flex at the hips (captain’s chair leg raise).
  • To make this exercise more challenging, place a weight between your ankles (weighted captain’s chair straight leg raise).
  • See also the incline straight leg and and hip raise, the weighted captain’s chair leg and hip raise, and the hanging straight leg raise.

Captain’s chair straight leg raise video

Source, Hip Articulations

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