Chair exercises to stay active

May 14, 2020
Posted in: Fitness   Posted by: Natalie

Chair exercises are a great way to keep active, and provide a change of activity on the days you might not be able to get outside (or, better yet, take a chair into the garden and get a dose of vitamin D while you exercise) . Plus, just a small amount of activity can do wonders for our wellbeing, and help you to tone and strengthen. So why not give it a go? You might be surprised at just how good it makes you feel.

Always use a strong chair, preferably with armrests and not too soft. When you sit in the chair, your thighs should be parallel with the floor.

Hip Flexion

Sit tall with the tummy pulled in and lift the left foot off the floor a few inches, knee bent. Hold for two seconds, lower to only just touch the floor (not rest) and immediately repeat.

Leg Extension

Sit tall with the tummy button drawn back towards the spine and extend the left leg until it’s level with hip, squeezing the muscles in the front of the thigh. Hold for two seconds then slowly lower.

Inner Thigh

Place a towel between your knees and squeeze it together using a strong contraction in the inner thigh of both legs.

Chair Squat

From sitting, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms out for balance, press the heels into the floor, stand all the way up, and then slowly lower back down. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in tight at all times, so your back does not arch.


Place hands next to hips with the fingers pointing forwards. Move hips in front of chair and bend the elbows, lowering the backside down towards the floor until the elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up by straightening the arms but do not lockout the elbows.

One-Leg Squat

Lift one foot slightly off the floor, in front of the other. Use the hands to assist your balance (and the lift if you need to) as you push up into a one-legged squat, hovering just over the chair, not all the way up, then slowly lower back down.

Front Raise to Triceps Press

Sit tall with the navel drawn in and hold a full water bottle in one hand, by your side. Lift the bottle up in front of you, with the arm only slightly bent. Now continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow. Now reverse the motion, straighten the arm, lowering the bottle down in front of you and to the start position.

Bicep Curl

Hold the water bottle in one hand, with your back nice and straight. Keeping the elbow fixed against your ribs, bend the elbow to curl the bottle up towards your shoulder, and then slowly lower down.

Side Bends

Hold a water bottle with both hands and stretch it up over the head, arms straight. Gently bend towards the left as far as you can. Come back to centre and repeat to the right. Focus on keeping your tummy pulled in at all times to protect your lower spine.

Ab Twists

Hold the water bottle at chest level and, keeping the knees and hips forward, slowly and smoothly turn your upper body to the left as far as you comfortably can. Come back to the centre and repeat to the right.


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