10+ Effective Power Tower & Captain’s Chair Exercises

Have you ever tried body weights exercises in your Power Tower or Captain’s Chair? It’s possible that you don’t even be aware of a Power Tower or Captain’s Chair. If so, you need to read more. This article includes 14 of the most effective Power Tower & Captain’s Chair exercises with step-by-step directions and exercises that work your muscles. There is also a demo Power Tower workout that can assist you in building a lean six-pack.

What’s a Power Tower?

It’s the Power Tower is a piece of gym equipment you’ve likely seen in the fitness center without knowing what the name means. It’s a pull-up bar dip station and the knee lift station (a.k.a captain’s chair) and grips for push-ups on the bottom. This device’s primary purpose is to allow users to compete in various bodyweight workouts that help build the upper body’s and core strength.

The equipment typically comprises a backrest and forearm rests with vertical grips on its end, making up” the “Captain’s Chair” part. The “Power” portion of the apparatus comprises horizontal grips at the top of armrests that allow you to perform dips and a bar for pull-ups and chin-ups. At the bottom are usually handles for deep “Atlas” push-ups. In conclusion Power Tower, you can find Power Tower usually combines three components into one unit:

  • Pullup Bar
  • Parallel Bars/Dip Station
  • The Captain’s Chair/The Knee Raise Station/Roman Chair

What Is Captain’s Chair?

A Captain’s Chair is a piece of equipment used in gyms like a giant chair, but it does not have a seat for you to sit on. This gym equipment consists of armrests and backrests with handles towards the sides. It is used for core workouts that target the abs and the obliques. It lets users lift their legs and work their core muscles. Certain Captain’s Chairs have parallel grips that allow dips are possible too.

Power Tower Vs. Captain’s Chair What’s The Difference?

Although some people might think of them as one, there’s a slight distinction. It is important to note that the Power Tower almost always has pull-up and dip bars. However, it may not contain the captain’s chair function. It is designed for core exercises since it features an armrest backrest with grips that are vertical and dip horizontal bars. Therefore, you can use the Power Tower with no Captain’s Chair or an ordinary Captain’s Chair with no pull-up bar.

What Is The Power Tower Ideal For?

If your gym has an entire Power Tower, you could do an entire body workout on the same device. Its Power Tower is suitable for dips, pull-ups, chin-ups, leg raises, knee raises, push-ups, etc. You can train all over your body using the Power Tower, including the back, arms, chest, and legs (to some extent).

What Is A Power Tower Workout?

A Power Tower workout centers around exercising with body weights that will aid in building strong muscles. You can alter the difficulty of the Power Tower workout, making it easier or more challenging by using additional equipment, like bands, weights band, and weights. Its Power Tower makes it possible to carry out numerous pushing, pulling, and core exercises. Below, we offer the sample Power Tower Workout and a Captain’s Chair exercise if you are looking to only work at your core.

What Does The Captain’s Chair Do?

The Captain’s Chair is mainly used for core exercises targeting your obliques and abs. Using the chair to work out your core can replicate more difficult abdominal exercises such as lifting your legs with a hanging motion without requiring an extended grip and strength. It is possible to isolate your core muscles, complete more reps, and not be concerned about your grip breaking out before your abs are ready to do.

Is The Captain’s Chair Perfect For Abs?

The captain’s chair is a fantastic piece of equipment to assist you in building solid abs and obliques. A study conducted in the year 2001 conducted by ACE (American Council for Exercise) evaluated the effectiveness of 13 exercises by EMG for the external and internal abdominus and the rectus abdominus. The exercises and equipment used included: Bicycle Crunches as well as Captain’s Chair knee lifts and exercise Ball crunches, Ab Rollers, Ab Rockers, as well as a variety of crunch variations. The results indicate that the Captain’s Chair knee raise was ranked 2nd in the activation of the oblique muscles and 2nd in rectus abdominis activation. Ab exercises from the Captain’s Chair with other ab exercises will assist you in getting closer to the six-pack you’ve always wanted.

Benefits Of Power Towers

Is The Captain's Chair Perfect For Abs

Power Tower Power Tower is a versatile piece of equipment with numerous advantages when properly used. Let’s examine some of the most significant advantages below.

Complete Body Exercises: We’ll give you a full-body workout that can be performed just using your body and the Power Tower. The only muscles that are difficult to train when using the Power Tower are the legs because you’re suspended in the air most of the time. You can do various compound exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, and dips using the Power Tower to help stimulate the development of your muscles. Doing bodyweight exercises will allow you to improve and maintain your overall fitness. Its Power Tower allows users to make most exercises simpler or more complex by using additional equipment like resistance bands, weights vests, suspension trainers, etc.

Flexible design: Most Power Towers or Captain’s Chairs are constructed with similar features so that the user can benefit the most from it in a secure and effective method. When performing exercise in the captain’s chair, the backrest cushion and armrests allow you to concentrate on the exercises in front of you. The grips for dips are set in the right size to perform dips. Certain Power Towers can even be divided into smaller pieces to make them easier to store. This is an added benefit if you’re thinking of purchasing one for your use at home for gyms.

Accessible to all fitness levels: The Power Tower can be utilized by experienced lifters and senior citizens. Experienced lifters may make exercises more challenging by adding weights to pull-ups, dips, and chin-ups. Beginners can use aid tools such as loop resistance bands to make chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips less complicated. Additionally, the captain’s chair allows you to perform exercises such as vertical knee raises, similar to hanging knee raises, but with no shoulder mobility or grip strength as a prerequisite.

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Accessibility: The multi-functional Power Tower is a low-cost piece of equipment that can be purchased for $100 and $300. If you consider that gym memberships aren’t affordable and you can achieve a complete body workout from this device, then the cost isn’t too expensive.

Bodyweight Exercises: The best thing about using the Power Tower is getting an excellent workout using just your body weight. Most of the body weight-based compound exercises you can complete with the Power Tower will make daily activities more enjoyable and help you improve your larger lifts.

14 Of The Best Power Towers And Captain’s Chair Exercise

We have compiled 14 top Power Tower & Captain’s Chair exercises to strengthen the upper muscles, including shoulders, back, chest, arms, and core. Nearly all of these exercises can be less or more challenging with the help of other equipment like a band or weights.

While the following exercises are purely bodyweight exercises, they may be challenging to complete based on the fitness levels of your participants. If this is the case, you can use bands to help you.

Develop muscle and become stronger by utilizing the process of overloading your muscles progressively, even while performing the Captain’s Chair exercises. The progression of exercises is below:

If you cannot complete exercises like the Power Tower or Captain’s Chair on your own, then begin using a resistance band. If you can do at least 20 repetitions using the tiniest resistance bands, you should attempt to complete the exercise independently.

When you can perform at least ten reps of the exercises without assistance, Try 15 reps, then 20 reps.

When you’ve completed 20 reps using your body weight, you’re in a position to add weight or a form of resistance.

Continue to follow this route of gradual progress by increasing the weight by 5-10 pounds. Until you can complete at minimum 3-4 sets of 10 reps, increase the weight to around 15lbs. You can continue to increase the weight or resistance for as long as you can correctly complete the exercise.

If you follow this sequence, you’ll be in a position to build muscle using the Power Tower or Captain’s Chair. The time is now to begin the exercises and learn how to complete them.

Notification: Consult your physician before starting any new exercise routine. Be sure to warm up before starting your workout.

  1. Knee Raise

This is an excellent exercise to strengthen your core. Instead of doing core work where you do your exercises with your arms, this one demands the lower part be moved. This will activate your muscles of the core (particularly those lower abdominals) and the hip flexors such as Iliopsoas, TFL adductor longus, pectineus, and rectus femoris as well as the sartorius. Vertical knee raises are one of the most effective exercises you can perform on the Captain’s Chair, particularly for those new to the sport.

How to:

  • Hold the handles in your hands and place your forearms in the pads and your back against the backrest.
  • Engage your core and shoulders to help stabilize your body.
  • Beginning with your legs hanging underneath you and your feet, bring your knees towards your chest.
  • Slowly lower them back to their position of
  • Repeat for desired reps

NOTE: Keep your knees higher than your hips to ensure that your abs are worked. Keep your hands up to the highest point of your exercise and slowly lower for an additional burn.

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques, Hip Flexors

2. A Heightened Knee Rise

This is the fundamental exercise you saw however it’s the next level of intensity after doing the vertical knee raise. This exercise is a great way to test the rectus abdominus since you’ll not just be lifting your leg weight but also the additional weight. It is essential to secure your ankles to hold the dumbbell in a controlled manner. Start using a lighter weight until you can do a minimum of 20 reps before increasing the weight.

  • Place handles on the handle and put hands against pads and the backrest against the pads.
  • Engage your core as well as your shoulders to help stabilize your body.
  • Begin by hanging your legs beneath you, with your feet and your hands firmly gripping the weight, then raise your knees towards your chest.
  • Slowly lower them back to their position of
  • Repeat for desired reps

NOTE: You could also use a resistance band or kettlebell for resistance instead of dumbbells.

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques, Hip Flexors

3. Straight Leg Raise

Straight leg raises are like knee raise that are vertical in that it uses the same muscles; however, it’s a bit more challenging to master because it puts more stress on your hip and core flexors when you have your legs extended to the side. Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and limit the force to the minimum. A controlled and slow motion is vital to building the abs.

How to:

  • Hold the handles in your hands, place your forearms in the pads, and then back against the backrest.
  • Engage your core as well as your shoulders to help stabilize your body.
  • Begin by hanging your legs between your feet and your legs together, raise your legs until they’re parallel to the floor
  • Slowly lower them until they are in the start position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

NOTE: Hold your legs at the top for as long as possible to create an isometric movement.

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques, Hip Flexors

4. Side Hip Rise

This variant is a vertical knee lift that targets the obliques, not the abdominal rectus. When you lift your knees towards the side, you’ll increase the strength and tightening of a specific problem area, as many people tend to keep excess fat within the “love handles” region. Remember that you’ll need a lower body fat percentage to notice the obliques.

  • Grab handles, put your forearms on pads, and rest your back against the backrest.
  • Engage your core as well as your shoulders to help stabilize your body.
  • Begin by hanging your legs between your feet and hanging them together; pull your legs upwards and move them towards the side by pressing your obliques.
  • Slowly lower them back to their beginning position and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Repeat for desired reps

Notice: Focus on contracting your oblique muscles to bring your knees upwards and your ankles towards the sides in a controlled way.

Muscles Worked: External/Internal Obliques, Hip Flexors

5. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are an excellent exercise that helps strengthen the abs and make you sweat at speed. If you are aiming toward abs, you must lift each leg slowly and in a controlled way.

How to:

  • Grab handles and put your forearms in the pads and your back against the backrest.
  • Engage your core as well as your shoulders to stabilize your
  • Start with your legs hanging over your shoulders and your feet together; pull one knee at a time to ensure your hips are in line with the floor.
  • Slowly lower it to its starting position while extending the other knee.
  • Repeat for desired reps
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Be careful not to use the momentum; focus on pressing your abs to raise your legs.

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques, Hip Flexors

6. Kicks Cross Scissor Cross

This is among the most difficult fundamental exercises you can perform on a Captain’s chair. You’ll need a solid core to complete this exercise effectively because your legs will be raised throughout the exercise, so your muscles are continuously stretched.

How to:

  • Grab handles and put your forearms on pads and your back against the backrest.
  • Engage your core and shoulders to help stabilize your body.
  • With your legs hanging underneath your body, raise both legs while keeping them straight at 90 degrees, leaving gaps between your legs.
  • The legs are crossed inwards, crossing over each other, and then return to the sides.
  • Repeat this alternate movement until you have completed the desired number of repetitions

Take note that you can do the more straightforward version first by ensuring your legs are bent at 90 ° while moving your legs open and closed to perform the desired number of reps.

Muscle Worked: Abs, Obliques, Hip Abductors, Hip Adductors

7. Dips

Dips are among the most effective exercises that can be done. In addition, they are effective in adding strength to your chest, triceps, and shoulders. They can also enhance the bench press. Dips are classified as a closed kinetic chain exercise since the hands press through the parallel grips, thus exercising opposing muscle groups while also focusing on the triceps. Before you can move to weighted dips, you must be able to complete at minimum twenty bodyweight dips. Do not be concerned if you cannot do a standard dip now. We’ve provided three dip variations below, ranging from easy to complex.

How to:

Assisted Dips using Resistance Band:

  • Attach the band to both hands of the dip bar.
  • Hold both grips with both fingers, palms facing one another, your wrists aligned with your forearms, and keep your arms straight.
  • Place both knees in the middle of the band.
  • Begin the dip down until your arms are in line with the floor.
  • Use your palms for a return to the original position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

Regular Dips

  • Take both grips in your hands. Place your palms in front of one opposite, and your wrists in line with your forearms. Keep your arms straight.
  • Begin the dip down until your arms are in line with the floor.
  • Use your palms for a return to the original position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

Weighted Dips:

  • The belt should be wrapped around your waist, then attach your weight plates to the chain, slipping into the hole in its middle, then attaching the chain to the belt typically via the carabiner.
  • Hold both grips facing opposite sides, your wrists aligned with your forearms.
  • Begin downward until your arms are in line with the floor.
  • Use your palms to bring them back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

NOTE: Lean forward to target your chest more. Make sure not to lock your elbows to maintain constant tension on your triceps.

Muscles Exercised: Triceps, Chest, Shoulders

8. Chin Ups And Pull Ups

Chin-ups and pull-ups are essential exercises that use bodyweight to build strength in the upper part of your body. The significant distinction between these two exercises is their grip. You’ll employ an underhand grip for chin-ups, making them somewhat easier because your biceps will be used more for lifting your body. For pull-ups, you need to grip your hands with an overhead grip, equivalent to your back performing most of the heavy lifting. Try incorporating both exercises into your regular workout routines to help build a strong back.

Note: By bringing your hands in a more tense or secluded manner, you can target troublesome regions of your back.

Muscles Exercised: Lats, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor Biceps, Shoulders

9. Gironda Pull-Up

The name is a reference to Vince Gironda, a.k.a. the Iron Guru, an American bodybuilder who in the 1960s created this variant of the well-known pull-up. Leaning back in the exercise, you will experience more contraction of the muscles in the upper back instead of mainly the lats.

How to:

  • Grab the bar using a grasp overhand, fingers slightly wider than shoulder distance.
  • Start by putting your shoulder blades down and arms straight, then use your elbows to pull the sternum (lower chest region) towards the bar, and lean backward until you look up towards the ceiling.
  • Return slowly to your starting point
  • Repeat desired reps

NOTE: If you can’t correctly complete the exercise, begin with slow negatives, beginning from the highest point of your exercise and gradually lowering your body. You could also try the resistance band looped around the bar and sit on it for additional support.

Muscles were used: Lats, Traps, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor Biceps, and Shoulders

10. Gorilla Chinup

The Gorilla Chin Up is a fantastic exercise that targets all of your body. Contrary to other pull-ups or chin-ups focusing on the upper part of your body, the Gorilla Chinup also targets your hip flexors and the core while doing the crunch mid-air.

How to:

  • Looking away from the Captain’s Chair, Take the bar in an underhand grip with shoulders away while your knees are bent, and your calves are behind your back.
  • Lift your body towards the bar with your elbows and then crunch your knees to your chest at the point that your chin is at the bar
  • Slowly lower yourself to the start position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

Notice: Perform this exercise at a controlled and slow pace so that you don’t cause your body to utilize the momentum to lift your body upwards.

Muscles Exercised: Back, Traps, Biceps, Shoulder, Abs, and Hip Flexors

11. Mixed Grip Chin Up

Chinups with mixed grips are an excellent way to keep your core muscles more involved during the exercise. Make sure you alternate grip so you don’t develop muscle imbalances.

How to:

  • Take the bar in one hand, using the grip of an underhand, and the other hand by using an overhand grip with about shoulder-width
  • Begin by extending your arms with your shoulder blades at a low angle
  • Maintain your core muscles as you lift yourself upwards until your chest is close to the bar.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.
  • Repeat until you have reached your desired repetitions (each side)

Be sure to keep your shoulders back and chest back during the exercise.

Muscles Exercised: Lats, Traps, Rhomboids, Teres Major/Minor, Biceps, Shoulders

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12. Shrugs

It’s a great way to slam the traps. People often work on their traps with dumbbells, barbells, or cable shrugs; they can’t perform an entire range of movement. The reverse shrug knew as the serratus shrug. Serratus shrug permits more motion since the deltoids rise higher while focusing on the negative aspect of the repetition.

How to:

  • Use the parallel grips using both hands, using a unidirectional grip
  • Begin by putting your arms in the air and your back straight
  • Lower your body and relax your traps as far as you can while maintaining your body’s straightness
  • You can push down against the grips and engage traps that push you back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat for desired reps

NOTE: Keep your core engaged and your elbows locked throughout the movement.

Exercises: Traps Triceps, Shoulders

13. Inverted Shrug

This more advanced version of a shrug isn’t one for those with weak legs. It’s possible to be upside-down during this exercise, which means you’ll have to use your core muscles to stay upright as you depend on the strength of your grip to prevent falling. This exercise can work effectively. However, it’s not for everyone to practice it since it could be risky.

How to:

  • Place yourself in an upright position with parallel grips. Then do a squat and reach upwards for the bar using a unidirectional grip.
  • Get your feet up and turn your body upside down. You can also remain straight with your knees or keep them bent over the level of your feet.
  • Your body should be lifted to the highest point with your arms pulled toward your ears.
  • Slowly lower until you are in the starting position.
  • Repeat as many times as you want before flipping your legs under you

Be aware that this could be risky, so have enough grip strength to support yourself.

Exercises: Traps shoulder muscles, Forearms, Core

14. Deep Push-Ups

Many Power Towers these days will feature push-up handles at the bottom of the tower, which allow you to do the Atlas push-up. This type of push-up means that the hands will be elevated from the ground, resulting in greater flexibility in the shoulders when compared to traditional push-ups. When you do Atlas push-ups, you’ll be able to work your chest and triceps muscles and your upper back.

How to:

  • Set your palms on the handles of the push-up with a unidirectional grip
  • Make sure to keep your core engaged and your body straight
  • Lower your body slowly until your chest is at the upper limit of the handle.
  • You can push up with your hands until you reach the starting point with your arms fully extended
  • Repeat for desired reps

Take note that you should only be as low as possible as certain people may have a limited range of motion in their shoulders.

Muscles Exercised: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders. Lower Back

Captain’s Chair Workout

Captain's Chair Workout

In this workout, Captain’s Chair, We will concentrate on the fundamental exercises that assist you in building solid abs. If you’re looking for a balanced workout, try our Power Tower workout below.

For this captain’s chair exercise, circularly perform this exercise and then run through each exercise three times. Allow up to 2 minutes of rest between each round.




Vertical Knee Raise



Side Hip Raise


5 (each side)

Straight Leg Raise



Bicycle Crunches


8 (each side)

Power Tower Workout

The Power Tower workout is a great way to build an upper body exercise that targets the shoulders, back, and chest muscles and the arms and hip flexors.

Begin with a fast warm-up that lasts 5-10 minutes. Set aside 60-90 seconds of relaxation between sets.




Vertical Knee Raise









Gorilla Chinups



Chest Dips



Side Hip Raises


Ten reps (each side)




What Is The Size Of A Power Tower?

The standard dimensions for the Power Tower will be an average base of 3-4 feet and a height of seven feet. However, most Power Towers or Captain can be adjusted these days, which allows the user to adjust the settings to fit their body. This means that the lift bar’s height or the location where the backrest rests can be altered to fit your requirements better.

What To Look For When Purchasing An Power Tower?

If you’re considering purchasing a Power Tower or Captain’s Chair is essential to choose one that will last and fulfills the purpose of providing an effective, safe exercise. Make sure you choose the Power Tower constructed from steel and coated with anti-rust to ensure long-lasting durability. Consider the features and ease of use, such as padding for elbow pads and grips and the best places for training with suspension, push-up grips, etc. Take a look at the amount of weight it can support that will give you an idea of the strength of the structure. Then lastly, selecting a Power Tower with adjustable components is crucial when multiple users of different sizes are expected to use it.

What Does The Cost Of An Energy Tower Cost?

Most Power Towers or Captain’s Chairs can be purchased for $100 to $300. Although cheaper alternatives are available, you should ensure you read reviews, warranties, and specifications before purchasing.

This post could include affiliate advertisements where we receive a small commission from every purchase.

Final Note

The Power Tower is versatile equipment that can boost your overall health, focusing on your core strength and upper body. We’ve provided the user with 14 Power Tower & Captain’s Chair exercises to test your physical strength. Start with the easy exercises first. If you cannot do the exercises without assistance, you should consider using weight bands that can help out until you can perform the exercise without assistance. Try incorporating the Power Tower exercises into your regular workout routine. You might try working through the demo Power Tower workout and Captain’s Chair workout that we’ve given you. Make sure you have a towel; you’ll require it!


  • Todd Miller

    Todd Miller is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been a CrossFit athlete and coach for over 8 years, and he is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall health and wellness. As an author at FitGAG, Todd shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics related to CrossFit, including functional fitness movements, Olympic weightlifting, and overall health and wellness. He believes that CrossFit is a fun and effective way to improve overall fitness and well-being, and he strives to inspire his readers to incorporate CrossFit into their fitness routines. Through his articles, Todd aims to provide his readers with practical tips and strategies for optimizing their performance and achieving their fitness goals.

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