The captain’s chair workout is rated as one of the best and most effective abdominal exercises according to a study conducted at San Diego State University’s 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 this exercise equipment.
With a grip lock exercise bar and two ab straps, you can perform a similar abdominal exercise. This alternate 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 Iron Gym’s upper body workout 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 workout at home.
- It can be easily stored in a closet.
- And it is easy to install on the suitable door frame.
The disadvantages of this alternative are:
- There is no backup. You must pay special attention to keeping the spine straight and in line with the neck.
- You may experience shoulder pain as the 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 quickly and easily locks into the door frame and will support a body weight of up to 250 lbs.
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 a suitable door frame:
- First place the abdominal straps on each side of the lower exercise bar.
- Thread the upper cross bar through an open door leaving the lower exercise bar on the opposite side of the door frame.
- Position the cross bar at the top edge of the door frame and push it as far as it will go over the edge of the door frame.
- Then clamp the ends of the exercise bar against the opposite side of the door frame.
- 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 appropriate door frame, use the following procedure for the Knee Raise exercise:
- Slide your arms through the abdominal straps as far as they will go.
- Hold on to the handles for support and to keep your body stable.
- Allow your body to hang while keeping your back straight and well in line with your neck.
- Keep your legs together.
- Keep your abdominal muscles tight and focus on using your abdominal muscles to lift your knees up toward your chest.
- As you inhale, lift your knees toward your chest.
- As you exhale, lower your legs back to the starting position.
- Do 10 repetitions 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 muscular and flat stomach. And now you can do this exercise at home with little expense on exercise equipment.