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Is it possible to work out your whole-body while sitting in a chair? You bet it is! My coworkers love this routine because they can do it while in their office chair at work, at home, or even in the bleachers as they wait for their little ones to finish dance practice. This chair workout routine is so simple and easy; that makes it great for beginners and anyone that needs to break the monotony of just getting up and walking around. (Although I am always an advocate for any healthy physical movement)
So how does it begin? Of course, you need a chair, and preferably one that does not have wheels or easily moves around on the floor. If it does have wheels, lock them if they can be locked. If the wheels cannot be locked and you insist on doing the chair workout, please be careful. Safety is very important while working out and I want to stress the important of that.
So, let’s begin! The routine follows a simple flow. To work the whole body, you will start from the shoulders and arms, and end with the feet and calves. Perform each exercise for 10 – 15 repetitions. You can do 1 – 3 sets or complete them in circuit in you want.
Upper body: Shoulders are up first! Sitting upright in your chair, have arms down at your side. Lift your arms straight up in front of you as if your arms were a lever. Stop at about chin or nose height. This is called front shoulder raise. The second exercise is side shoulder raise. Arms are down at the side and raised out to the side in the direction as your ears, or as if you were trying to fly. All movements are slow and controlled.
Arms: Bicep curls can be completed by holding a bottle of water and simply curling it to the top of your shoulder. If we work the front, we must work the back of the arm. Triceps extension begin with the arm bent at the elbow and squeezing the triceps to straighten out the arm. Bye-bye bat wings!
Back: This back exercise mimics the beginning of a big dramatic clap. Start with the arms together, straight out in front of your face. Keeping arms straight, swing them open towards the side of the body, squeezing your shoulder blades together. The squeeze is important to work the back and traps.
Core: You will work your abs with a gentle side bend with the upper body. Make sure the chair is secure and you will not fall over as you lean to the side. Squeeze those obliques to straighten back up. Make sure to work both sides, bending at the waist. A second core move is a gentle Russian twist. The slow twist of the spine is great for stretching and decompressing.
Legs: As you remain seated in the chair, the quads are going to be worked as you bring the foot up from a flat position on the ground to a straight leg. This will mimic kicking a soccer ball. Calf raises, and hamstring curls will round out the last of the exercises. With feet flat on the floor, push up with the toes, squeezing those calf muscles. For the last exercise, you may have to stand up or scoot to the edge of the chair. To work the hamstring, you must swing the foot up to your butt, pulling with the hamstring and glute.
There you have it! Your 10-exercise-chair workout. Sometimes I do this workout just to get some blood flowing to my muscles or wake my body up in the middle of a long day. I also love to use it will older clients or anyone that has balance issues. Resistance bands can be used to increase the intensity of the workout. The support of the chair is very effective. So, sit down and break a little sweat!