Believe it or not, it is possible to work out while sitting in a chair. And it can be an effective workout, too. Chair exercises offer extra support, enhance stability, improve range of motion, and can be done without any additional equipment besides a chair. They can also help boost confidence and relieve tech neck.
Without further ado, here are five chair exercises anyone can do using only a chair.
1) Core Twisters
This move can serve as a wonderful spinal stretch while also working the entire core.
To do core twisters:
- Begin by sitting in a chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor and the back should be nice and straight. Engage the core.
- Extend your arms out and bring your hands in so they touch your shoulders.
- With the core engaged, rotate to the right. You want to originate the twist from your belly button and not your shoulders.
- Do 8 to 10 reps on each side.
2) Seated Side Stretches
Another great back stretch, this exercise gently stretches the entire back and spine, as well as both arms.
To do seated side stretches:
- Sit up straight and relax the shoulders.
- Raise both arms above your heads
- Grasp your left wrist with your right hand and gently stretch to the right side from the waist. Hold this for 5 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
- Repeat 3-6 reps.
3) Seated Leg Raises
This exercise helps to strengthen the core, which is especially important as you age. Core stability helps to prevent injury, improve balance and stability, and helps you better perform common, everyday activities like standing up straight, getting out of chairs, and walking.
To do extended leg raises:
- Sit up nice and tall with your back straight.
- Hold onto either the armrests or the chair seat for support.
- Lift the right leg as high as you can without moving any other part of your body. Keep your left heel on the ground, and toes pointed towards upwards.
- Lower your right leg and switch legs. Lower your left leg. That counts as one rep.
- Complete a total of 8 to 10 reps.
4) Thigh Stretch
This is a great stretch for your thighs and can help improve balance and stability.
To do thigh stretches:
- Stand next to or behind your chair. Use the arm closest to your chair to grasp the back of it for balance.
- Lift your opposite leg and use your other arm to grasp your foot.
- Gently hold this position, stretching your thigh muscle.
- Hold for 5 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
5) Standing Leg Raises
Now that you’re warmed up, you’re ready for standing leg raises. This exercise requires standing throughout the movement, using your chair for balance. This one is great for balance, stability, and improving range of motion.
To do standing leg raises:
- Stand up next to your chair and use the hand closest to it to hold onto the back for balance.
- Slowly bend your right knee and raise your right leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and put your leg back down.
- Repeat with the other leg. That’s one rep.
- Complete 7-10 reps.
Hopefully these exercises get your blood pumping and help you incorporate more movement into your day. However, after a great workout or stretch, you might experience some lingering discomfort or sore, achy muscles. If this is the case, apply a heating pad to any areas where you feel sore or pain.
You can also try a topical pain reliever, like Zheng Gu Shui, Evil Bone Water, or topical CBD lotions to help temporarily relieve the pain.