Did you know you can get a full body workout while sitting in a chair? It may seem contradictory, but seated workouts are all the rage right now and they’re perfect for anyone who feels that they don’t have time to get a workout in. When you can do workouts anywhere, even from your office chair, there are no more excuses. Plus, after sitting all day, it’s ideal to have workouts you can do sitting down to keep your body mobile and strong. Here are 6 chair exercises you can do anywhere!
What Are Chair Exercises?
Chair exercises were created for those of us who have limited time or space to exercise, as well as for those who are stuck in an office chair for the better part of the day. They’re exercises that are done while sitting in a chair, and are ideal if you want to get a quick workout in at your office desk or at home.
Chair exercises improve your mobility, flexibility and balance, and help you gain muscle strength. They work to strengthen your arms, core, hips and legs, and are ideal for people with balance problems or injuries. Sitting down at a desk all day is not healthy for anyone, which is why it’s so important to move your body, even for just ten minutes.
4 Tips to Get the Most Out of Chair Exercises
1. Create a Routine
Carve out a certain time each day to do your chair exercises. Creating a stable routine will help you incorporate these workouts into your daily life and ensure you’re reaping the benefits. Plan to exercise at the same time every day to keep yourself on track and hold yourself accountable. It will eventually become a regular part of your daily routine that you don’t even have to think about.
2. Switch Up the Exercises
Like any type of workout, you can start to get bored and your fitness level can start to plateau if you do the same exercises all the time. Keep things interesting by switching up your chair exercises from time to time. Perhaps one day you’ll focus on cardio, and another day you’ll focus on strength and continue switching between them. This ensures you’re working different parts of your body to get the most out of your workouts.
3. Focus on Short-Term Goals
Create a list of goals you want to achieve with your daily chair exercises and place it somewhere visible that you look at every day to keep you motivated. Focus on short-term goals, such as reducing stress, improving your mood, and increasing your productivity, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve with these types of exercise routines.
4. Don’t Forget Warm Up and Cool Down
If you’re able to, it’s beneficial to do a warm up and cool down before and after your chair workout. Warm up with a few minutes of light walking, shoulder rolls, arm swinging and ankle rolls, followed by some light stretching. After your workout, cool down with a few minutes of light activity and deeper stretching.
6 Workouts You Can Do Sitting Down
1. Inner Thighs and Glutes
Sit at the edge of your chair with your knees bent and together. Place your feet flat on the floor, with your hands at either side of your hips, and your elbows slightly bent. Squeeze your knees and glutes together tightly while pushing down on your hands and extending your elbows. Note that you’ll sit taller, but you’ll never actually push off of your seat. Release and do at least 30 quick reps in a row.
2. Skater Switch
Sit at the edge of your chair and bend your right knee, extending your left leg out straight to the side, with your toes pointed. Extend your arms out straight and bend forward slightly, reaching your left arm to the inside of your right foot, and raising your right arm up behind your body – you should be doing a torso twist. Quickly switch sides and repeat as fast as you can for at least 30 alternating reps.
3. Tricep Dips
Place your hands at the edge of the chair, shoulder-width apart. Slide your bum off the chair and hold yourself up with your arms straight. Keep your back close to the chair and slowly bend at the elbows, going as low as you can go. Return to starting position and repeat at least 20 times.
4. Back and Abs
Sit tall with your knees bent and together. Focus on squeezing your inner thighs together, which will create more muscular activation. Point your toes and place your hands behind your head. Brace your abs in tight and hinge back until your shoulder blades are lightly touching the back of the chair. Bring your body forward and cross your right elbow to the outside of your left knee. Return to starting position and repeat for at least 20 alternating reps.
5. Chair Running
Sit with your legs extended, toes pointed and arms bent by your sides. Brace your abs in tight and hinge back, until your shoulder blades are lightly touching the back of your chair. Lift your legs low in front of you, embracing your abs, legs and upper body. Bend your left leg into your chest, turning your right shoulder in towards your knee and pulling your left elbow slightly back. Quickly switch sides and repeat as quickly as you can for at least 30 alternating reps.
6. Russian Twist
Sit on the edge of your chair, lift your legs and bend your knees, leaning slightly back without rounding your spine. Bend your arms so your elbows are in line with the bottom of your rib cage. Brace your abs, pulling your navel in and twist slowly to the left. Inhale and twist to the right. Repeat for at least 30 alternating reps.
Whether you don’t have a lot of time, or are stuck sitting at a desk all day, these chair exercises will keep your body moving and healthy. Work them into your daily routine to ensure you are active on the daily!
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