All You Need Is A Chair To Get A Great Burn At Home

chair exercises
A Personal Trainer's Top 20 Chair ExercisesHearst Owned

Chairs have gotten a bad rap lately. There's too much sitting, not enough moving, and much of the blame comes back to the humble seat (and your tush in it). That's all valid, but I'm here to prove that chairs can be used for a total-body strength workout with only chair exercises. With a little creativity, the common household item can transform from an everyday fixture into a versatile fitness tool for any fitness level.

Benefits Of Chair Exercises

Exercises that can be done using a chair rock for so many people, for so many reasons. If you're recovering from an injury or surgery, need extra support during pregnancy, or have balance challenges, using a chair is an accessible way to achieve an awesome sweat.

For seniors, chair exercises offer a safe and effective way to maintain strength, improve flexibility, and boost exercise coordination without the risk of falls. The additional stability and support makes chair exercises great for pregnant women, allowing for safer workouts that accommodate their changing bodies. (But don't forget to talk to your healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine when pregnant!)

Advanced exercisers who want to master more difficult progressions can also do so with, you guessed it, a chair. "Chair exercises allow you to build strength in your upper body, lower body, and core—without having to invest in any additional equipment," says Ariel Belgrave, CPT. Although adding a pair of dumbbells, as you'll find in many of the following exercises, can level up the moves. Plus, if you have limited mobility, you can build muscle without putting too much stress on the joints using only a chair.

Meet the expert: Ariel Belgrave, CPT, is a certified personal trainer and creator of L.E.A.N., to help her clients build healthy habits, lose weight, and get energized.

Safety Tips For Chair Exercises

Not just any old chair will offer a functional, safe chair workout experience. The best chairs to use for exercise are sturdy enough to support your body weight and feature four stable legs (avoid any chairs with wheels). The seat should be 12 to 24 inches from the ground for most users.

And, the floor under the chair matters too. "Be sure to check the floor for slippage because you don’t want the chair to move around while working out," says Belgrave. "If there’s any movement, slide a yoga mat under the chair."

How To Do The Best Chair Exercises

Time: 30 | Equipment: chair, dumbbells | Good for: total body

Instructions: Select seven moves from the list below. For each move, complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds before proceeding to the next move. Once you've completed all seven exercises, rest for 20 seconds, then repeat the entire circuit again for a total of four rounds.

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