Captain's chair knee raise

The captain's chair knee raise is a bodyweight exercise that targets the abs. It is performed on an apparatus that allows the forearms to rest on pads and the upright torso to hang freely. Knee raises are often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps or more, as part of ab-focused training.


  1. Strengthens the abs and hip flexors
  2. Emphasizes the lower part of the rectus abdominis or "six-pack" muscles
  3. Difficulty can be increased by holding a dumbbell between the ankles

Captain's chair knee raise Images


Captain's chair knee raise Instructions

Captain's chair knee raise muscle diagram
  1. Position your body on the vertical leg raise bench so that your forearms are resting on the pads next to the torso and holding on to the handles. Your arms will be bent at a 90 degree angle.
  2. The torso should be straight with the lower back pressed against the pad of the machine and the legs extended pointing towards the floor. This will be your starting position.
  3. Now as you breathe out, lift your legs up as you keep them extended. Continue this movement until your legs are roughly parallel to the floor and then hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Do not use any momentum or swinging as you perform this exercise.
  4. Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

Variations: As you become more advanced you can start to rotate your pelvis forward at the top of the movement to really engage the lower abs. You may also straighten your legs to increase the difficulty of this movement.