Stuck at work or have a lower-body injury that is preventing you from hitting the gym? No need to worry at all. Here are some power-packed chair exercises for full body workouts that will provide total-body cardio, flexibility, and strength training without creating much impact on the joints. These easy chair exercises are extremely useful for people with limited mobility. Incorporating a chair into your exercise regime helps to provide the support which is needed in order to perfect the form.
In this article, we have brought about 14 easy chair exercises which should be done back to back in the form of a circuit with little or no gap in between the moves in order to boost the calorie-burning capacity of the body.
14 Effective Full Body Workouts you can do with a Chair
Get your heart pumping and feel the burn in each and every muscle of your body with these 14 powerful chair-based exercises.
Jumping jacks are one of the best time-tested cardio exercises that aid in the better functioning of the heart and supplies oxygen to the muscles. It is also an amazing calisthenic workout that burns fat rapidly. But the fast jumping movement can put stress on the joints and knees and therefore, people with a knee injury or lower-body injury cannot perform it. The seated jack is one of the best chair exercises that works the entire body at the same it.
Sit straight on a chair with knees bent, legs together and feet pointed. Keep the elbows bent and arms open to the sides with palms facing forward. Now, open the legs out to the sides and extend the arms overhead in a quick movement and return to the initial position. Aim for 30 to 50 quick repetitions in a row. Try to maintain a fast tempo in order to notch up the workout.
Leg Lift and Twist with Chair:
This particular chair exercise targets a number of major muscle groups, and it is inspired by basic Pilates exercises. It targets and tones the inner thighs, quadriceps, and abs and can be considered one of the most effective full body workouts.
Sit at the edge of a chair with the right leg extended out straight and the right foot resting on the floor. Keep the arms crossed over chest, engage the abs and rotate the torso to the right as you lift the right leg over the left knee and then get back to the starting position. Focus on your breathing – exhale as you twist and lift and inhale as you return to the starting position. Target 20 repetitions and then do the same on the opposite side.
Skater Switch with Chair:
The side skater blast is a powerful exercise that engages the core muscles and helps to tone the tummy. The seated skater switch using a chair is a low-impact variation of this exercise that targets the core along with the inner thighs, arms, and shoulders. It is one of the easy chair exercises that can be performed by almost anyone.
Sit at the edge of a chair with the right knee bent out to the side and the left leg extended out straight to the side, toes pointed. Now, extend the arms in front and lean forward slightly, reaching the left arm to the inside of the right foot and raising the right arm up behind the body, twisting the torso. Now, switch sides quickly and continue to repeat these alternating movements as quickly as you can for 1 minute.
Hinge and Cross with Chair:
This is one of the functional chair based exercises to strengthen the back and abs. It is a wonderful body-toning move that helps to keep the lower body engaged throughout the workout.
Sit tall with the knees bent and together, toes pointed and hands behind the head. Engage the abdominal muscles and hinge back until the shoulders are lightly touching the back of the chair and then bring your body forward by crossing the right elbow to the outside of the left knee. Come back to the starting position and do 20 alternating repetitions at one stretch.
Enjoy all the benefits of running with this wonderful low-impact chair workout in order to get a powerful cardio boost. It helps to engage the abs, arms and legs and tone the entire body by cutting out excess flab.
Sit on a chair with your legs extended, toes pointed, and arms bent at your sides. Tighten the abdomen and hinge back till your shoulder lightly touches the back of the chair. Lift the legs in front, bend the left knee into the chest, turning the right shoulder in towards the knee and pulling the left elbow slightly back. Then, quickly switch sides and repeat the running movement on the other side. Aim this alternating movement for 1 to 2 minutes as quickly as you can.
The good old squat is the best exercise for toning the legs and the entire lower body. It engages and tones to glutes, quads, and hamstrings – all at the same time. The inclusion of a chair in this exercise helps to ensure a full range of motion and perfect form. The chair squat is a wonderful chair based exercise for those who are new to squats.
Stand in front of a chair with feet placed slightly wider than hip-width apart and hands resting on the hips. Now, bend the knees, push the hips back and lower your body as if you are going to take a seat. Lower down till your back is almost touching the chair and then stand back up again. Aim for 30 to 40 repetitions at a go. Always keep your knees soft throughout the workout.
Incline Push Ups with Chair:
The push-up is a classic body weight exercise that helps to work the core muscles along with the arms, chest, shoulders, and legs. The incline push up using a chair is an advanced variation of this exercise which is ideal for people who cannot perform the classic push up to perfection. It is one of the resistance chair exercises that work the core, chest, back, and arms.
Place both palms on the seat of a chair and get your body to a plank position, keeping the body straight in line from the head to the heels. Now, bend your elbows and lower your body towards the seat, pause for a few moments and then push up through the palms to come back to the initial position. This makes 1 repetition. Target 15 push-ups at a go without any gap.
Plank Knee Cross:
What better way to work your abs, back, and butt – three of the most common problem areas of the body than with one of the best chair exercises which is effective and yet low-impact.
Begin by placing both forearms on the seat of a chair and stepping back into a plank position. Now, raise your right knee up to the inside of your left arm, pause for a couple of moments and repeat on the opposite leg, this time touching your left knee to the inside of your right arm. This alternate movement makes 1 repetition. Aim for 15 to 20 repetitions without any gap. Keep your hips low and core engaged throughout the workout.
Standing Hydrant Kickback with Chair:
Give your abs, obliques, and butt a complete workout with the standing hydrant kick back move. Adding a chair to this workout helps to increase balance and stability so that you can perform the move to perfection.
Stand a few feet behind a chair, hold the back of the chair with both hands and bend forward from the waist. Transfer your entire body weight to your left heel and lift your right leg up and stretch it out behind you. Now, bring your right knee up close to your right shoulder, pause for a moment and then swing the leg out again behind you. This makes 1 repetition. Complete 20 repetitions on one side and then switch sides.
Standing Side Crunch:
The crunch is one of the best exercises for toning the abs and getting a slim and flat tummy but what if I told you that you can do crunches even without lying down? Yes, it is absolutely possible if you incorporate a chair into your workouts. The standing side crunch using a chair also helps to tone the arms and butt along with the mid-section.
Stand behind a chair such that your right side faces the back of the chair. Grab the back of the chair with your right hand and extend your left hand overhead and your left leg out to the side. Engage your core and lift your left leg to the side and drop your left arm towards the left leg so that you can tap your left heel and quickly come back to the initial position. This makes one repetition. Complete 15 repetitions on one side as quickly as possible before switching sides.
Standing Leg Raise with Chair:
A toned and shapely back and legs not only gives you a toned and leaner look but also makes your figure more balanced and attractive and the leg raise is one of the best exercises for working the leg and back muscles – glutes and hamstrings along with the lower back.
Stand a few feet behind a chair, grab the back of the chair with both arms and bend forward from the waist. Put your entire body weight on your left leg and lift up your right leg off the ground and point it out at the back with toes turned to the right. Try to lift your left leg up and overhead, pause for a few moments and bring the left foot back to the ground. Complete 15 repetitions on one side and then switch sides. Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the workout.
Standing Seat Taps:
The standing seat taps is a fun and interesting variation of the classic high-knee drill that helps to improve the functioning of the heart and works the legs, abs and arms – all at the same time.
Stand facing the front of a chair. Now, lift your right arm and tap the seat of the chair with your left foot simultaneous. Immediately lower the left foot down to the ground and tap the seat with your right toes. Continue the alternate taps for 1 minute as quickly as possible. Use your arms for balance and momentum.
Fan Kicks with Chair:
Fan kicks are one of the functional low-impact exercises that help to work the entire lower body – the hip flexors, thighs and abdomen and using a chair in this exercise helps to set a limit for raising your legs and increases the effectiveness of the workouts.
Stand in front of a chair with your arms stretched at your sides. Shift your body weight to your right side, lift your left foot, bring the left foot across the body and over the chair in a half-circular motion and put it down on the ground. Now, lift the right foot, bring it across the body and over the chair in a half-circular motion and put it down on the ground. This makes 1 repetition. Aim for 20 alternate repetitions at one go.
Tricep Knee Tucks with Chair:
A well-toned physique calls for well-toned arms as well otherwise the body looks disproportionate. The tricep knee tuck using a chair is an effective alternative to classic barbell and dumbbell curls. It helps to tone the biceps and triceps along with the core, glutes, and outer thighs.
Stand straight with the seat of the chair at your left side. Now, hold the back of the chair with your left hand and place the right hand on the edge of the seat. Bend forward, lift your left foot up and extend it to the back until your left foot is higher than your head. Then in a reverse movement bring the left knee in and place in on the chair, wait for a few movements and raise the left leg back out again. This makes 1 repetition. Perform 15 repetitions on one side and then switch sides.
So, grab a chair and perform these easy chair based exercises to have a complete workout the next time you are feeling too lazy to go to the gym or hit the running track.