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Top 10 Questions About Abdominal Exercises

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Updated June 19, 2014

9 of 10

Question: How Does the Captain's Chair Exercise Work the Abdominals?
Captain's Chair Exercise

Captain's Chair Exercise

E. Quinn
Answer: Although the hip flexors are the prime movers in the Captain's Chair Exercise (hanging leg lift), the abdominals are still contracting in this exercise. During this movement, rectus abdominis contracts statically (without movement) and helps rotate and stabilizing the pelvis. In many cases the rectus abdominis is maximally contracted to stabilize the pelvis while you lift the legs toward the chest. This exercise is generally done with bent knees. Performing this exercise with straight legs creates a tremendous load on the lumbar spine and is only recommended for very fit athletes.
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