If you've ever been inside a gym, you’ve seen a captain's chair. It’s the vertical rack with padded arms that allows your legs to hang free. The captain’s chair leg raise is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack muscles”) as well as the obliques, but you can challenge your core just as well on your couch. Here’s how:
Sit tall on the couch with your hands behind your head. Keeping your spine straight and abs pulled in, hinge back slightly from your hips. Bring your knees up towards your chest (without rounding your back), and engage your abdominals to lift and lower your legs. Try alternating legs to make it easier and extending your legs for more intensity. Try 3 sets of 12-15 controlled reps (avoid swinging your legs).