Looking for an easy and convenient way to fit into a fast workout? Sit up: Chair exercises allow you to target just about your entire body, without having to invest in additional equipment.
Chair exercises allow you to target your lower body in a seated or supported position, making it a great choice for anyone with balance or mobility issues or those recovering from injury. They’re also great for pregnant women who need a little extra support as their belly grows. But it’s not just about your legs: you can also work upper body muscles like your arms, shouldersand chest while recruiting essential core muscles to help with stabilization. In addition, a chair is an ideal companion for doing seated stretches or Pilates chair exercises. So whether you sit in a chair or just stick to a chair for support, you can definitely get a lot out of these exercises.
And perhaps the best part is how easy they are to train. Chair exercises are all doable at home, in the gym, and some even while seated in a Zoom meeting (trust us, we’ve done it!).
“Anyone can benefit from using a chair, but often a chair is good for people who have trouble getting up and down from the floor or who just need help,” said the NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, Morit Summers, CPT, and founder of Morit Summers Personal Training, tells SELF. “In fitness, we have to learn to trust our bodies, and having a safety net like a chair can really help build that trust.”
This is especially true for a beginner who may need that safety net while building body confidence with movement. In addition, chair exercises help you focus on the movements themselves without worrying about balance, says Summers. This can be useful for both beginners and more advanced users looking to master progressions.
There are tons of exercises you can do with a chair – some are variations on tried-and-true moves you’ve probably done before, while others are more chair-specific – but we’ve rounded up nine of our favorites. below. Before we get into our favorite picks, though, we’ll cover the ins and outs of chair exercises, including how effective they are and why using a chair is beneficial for just about anyone who needs a routine. solid for the whole body.
How effective are chair exercises?
When done correctly, Summers says chair exercises can be incredibly effective, allowing you to work every muscle in your body. The key to effective chair training is simple: incorporate exercises that engage as many muscle groups as possible while allowing you to remain seated (if necessary) or use the chair for balance or exercise.
One of the reasons they are so effective is that many of them work the same way as the moves you already know. Take one plank or push-up, for example, where your hands are elevated on the seat. While the chair puts your body on an incline, which helps take some of the weight off, you’re still performing the same basic exercise, Summers says.