Desk job? No time to work out? NO EXCUSES. These chair exercises can be done virtually anywhere. All you need is a sturdy chair and a few feet of space.
Like many of you, I have a typical “desk job.” And perhaps also like you, I have used this as an excuse for weight gain or general laziness. But really – drop the excuses. There are plenty of ways to stay active at work even if a good chunk of your day is spent seated.
For example, a standing desk. These have quickly gained popularity at offices nationwide, and can be attributed to weight loss and an increase in overall wellness. If that’s not an option, get up and MOVE. Just standing up and stretching every 30 minutes can greatly decrease the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Or better yet – throw in some exercise moves!
These simple chair exercises work the arms, legs, glutes and core. And all you need is one single chair. Just make sure your chair of choice is sturdy (wheels are a no-no). If you’re worried about looking silly, I say phooey! This is your health we’re talking about! So grab a chair and get to work.
Tricep Dips with a Leg Extension
A killer tricep workout. Make sure your elbows are going straight back – not out to the sides. If the leg extension is too much, simply adjust your form by dropping the extended foot to the floor at 90 degrees.
Incline Push Ups
A step up from standard push ups. Get a chest workout from home or work with incline push ups! Hands should be a tad wider than shoulder width. Notice how with every rep I take my whole body with me. My back is flat, eyes forward. Lifting your butt or arching your back won’t only effect results, but could cause unnecessary injury.
Abs and legs rolled into one. The need of a sturdy chair is of upmost importance for this exercise. Step flat onto the chair and lift your opposite knee, crunching your abs as you do so. Switch the stepping leg with each rep. If you start to stagger (which means your muscles are working) take a short break before beginning again.
Stationary Chair Lunges
Hello, glutes and hamstrings! Lunges are pretty straight forward – my advice here is to think of it like a horse on a carousel. You’re going straight up and down – not forward or backwards. Keep your eyes forward and aim for 90 degrees with the front knee. Back foot on the chair and front foot on the ground. Plant your front foot far enough forward so that when you lunge, your knee does not track past your toes.
Standing Leg Lifts
Your hip flexors and glutes will thank you. While your hands are rested on the chair, don’t rely too heavily on them. They are simply there for support. Make sure your grip is light and gentle. Lift your leg up and back. You don’t have to go high – just enough to feel the exercise. Perform 10 lifts and switch legs.