How to Roman Chair Leg Raise

About the Roman Chair Leg Raise

Found in most gyms, the roman chair is a great piece of equipment for training the hip flexors and abdominals. Like the free hanging version of the leg raise, the first half of the movement, where the athlete brings their legs up to parallel, is dominated by the hip flexor muscles. As the thighs travel past parallel, and the pelvic flexes towards the ribcage, the abdominals are strongly active.

Many people mistake the fatigue of the hip flexors as that of the lower abdominal muscles, hence why it is widely stated that the roman chair leg raise is a lower abdominal exercise, and wrongly advised to only take the thighs up to parallel with the ground.

The exercise can be made harder by keeping the legs extended throughout the leg raise.

How to perform


  1. Climb onto the roman chair using the foot supports
  2. Press your back onto the back rest, and support your torso with your forearms resting on the arm pads so that your legs are hanging down to the ground


  1. Raise your knees up towards your chest by flexing at the hips, bending at the knee as you bring your thighs up
  2. Bring thighs past parallel, flexing at the hip for peak contraction of the abdominals
  3. Slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions


Other Core Exercises