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Captain’s Chair Ab Workout: Alternative Exercise Method

The captain’s chair workout is rated as one of the best and most effective abdominal exercises according to a study conducted at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Laboratory. Although it is a relatively easy exercise to learn and do, not everyone has access to a Captain’s Chair or Power Tower device. However, there is an alternative to these exercise equipment.

With a lock-grip exercise bar and two abdominal straps, you can perform a similar abdominal exercise. This alternative piece of equipment uses a door frame that allows you to perform exercises like knee raises and pull-ups. Two brands that sell the combination of a grip-lock bar and abdominal straps are:

  • The local circuit of Gold’s Gym
  • And the Iron Gym Upper Body Training Bar.

The advantages of using the grip lock bar and abdominal straps for this exercise are:

  • The equipment is less expensive.
  • It allows you to do this training at home.
  • It can be easily stored in a closet.
  • And it is easy to install on the appropriate door frame.

The disadvantages of this alternative are:

  • There is no backup. You should pay special attention to keeping your spine straight and in line with your neck.
  • You may experience shoulder pain as your shoulder muscles will support the weight of your body. This pain usually goes away after your shoulder muscles get stronger.

With this type of exercise bar, you need a door frame that is 27.5 to 30 inches wide and 4.5 to 6 inches deep. The bar locks easily and quickly into the door frame and will support a body weight of up to 250lbs.

The grip-lock bar comes with an upper cross bar and a lower exercise bar. Use the following procedure to properly install the grab lock bar into an appropriate door frame:

  1. First attach the abdominal straps to each side of the lower exercise bar.
  2. Thread the upper crossbar through an open door leaving the lower exercise bar on the opposite side of the door frame.
  3. Place the crossbar on the top edge of the door frame and push it as far as it will go over the edge of the door frame.
  4. Then set the ends of the exercise bar against the opposite side of the door frame.
  5. If there is a door attached to the door frame, make sure the cross bar and door hinges are on the same side of the door frame.

After the exercise bar is properly installed in the corresponding door frame, use the following procedure for the Knee Raise exercise:

  1. Slide your arms through the abdominal straps as far as they will go.
  2. Hold on to the handles for support and to keep your body stable.
  3. Allow your body to hang while keeping your back straight and in good alignment with your neck.
  4. Keep your legs together.
  5. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and focus on using your abdominal muscles to lift your knees toward your chest.
  6. As you inhale, bring your knees up toward your chest.
  7. As you exhale, lower your legs back to the starting position.
  8. Do 10 reps at a time at first. Increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger.

This alternative to the captain’s chair abdominal workout will help you develop a flat, muscular stomach. And now you can do this exercise at home with little expense for exercise equipment.

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