We all know that moving more is in our best interest. This is something that is told to all of us, and we all try to, where it is possible. However, sometimes there is so much work on that getting up and moving just seems like a painful exercise that will make our work take even longer. So, here is the solution; we have put together some easy to do exercises that don’t even require you to leave your chair (though you will be using it as more than a chair in some of these)!
You might be surprised how simple and effective an office chair-based workout can be! Aim to perform each of the following exercises in 2-3 rounds of 10 reps per exercise.
Exercise 1: Chair Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Move so your weight is in your heels and your glutes and hamstring muscles become tight feeling, making sure your knees come outwards in line with your toes. Ideally try and tap your bum on the seat which acts as an excellent guide to check if you are going deep enough.
Exercise 2: Chair Dips
I’m going to start this one with a warning – if your chair has wheels, and is prone to rolling away, please be careful here! Place your hands beside your hips on the chair, facing outwards. Put your feet flat in front of you. If you want a challenge, you can move your feet further away or keep your heels down only instead. As you lower your body using your arms, try to keep your back close to the edge of the seat.
Exercise 3: Chair Elevation Lunges
Place one foot with toes down in the middle of the seat. Make sure the other foot is planted with your knees behind your toes. If you don’t feel balanced, move your floor foot accordingly (be careful) or move over to a wall for extra balance. A good tip if you struggle with this: keep your feet hip width apart. Also, you can kneel into position before standing up. Once into position, lunge by keeping your chest upright or “proud”. Once again, making sure the front knee is tracking well behind the toes.
Exercise 4: Chair (or desk) Push Ups
These variations of the push up are both a progression (chair) and a regression (desk) from the standard push up, so will have a different difficulty to the standard push up, performed on the floor. For both, the push up movement is effectively the same, the only difference is where your hands or feet are. For chair push ups, both feet with toes down are placed onto the seat, with your hands positioned outside chair width. For the desk push ups, your hands will be on your desk, and your feet on the floor! From here, everything is done the same way you would normally do a push up! For more effect on the back of the arms or triceps than your chest, place your hands just outside your body width. Make sure to breathe out as you push back up!
Exercise 5: Chair Sit Ups/Crunches
This sit up or crunch variation forces you to engage your core properly without cheating.
Place both of your feet on the seat, and hands are placed behind your ears (no pulling on your neck!). Lift the upper half of your body as high as you can without “throwing” your body up. Aim to keep your lower back pushed into the ground the entire time here!
Exercise 6: Chair Hip raises
Another exercise progression from the floor-based exercise with the added instability of the office chair acting as a yoga/gym ball. Place your feet on the ground, and your upper back onto the chair. The aim here is to start in a position where you create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, with a right angle in the knees. From here, you will slowly lower your hips towards the ground, focusing on keeping your core muscles and glutes engaged the entire time. You will be going as the to the ground as you can without feeling like either of these muscle groups have relaxed. From there, you will raise your hips up again, focusing on the glutes doing all the lifting. Lift up until you have that straight line from your shoulders to knees again!
Exercise 7: Chair Hamstring Leg Curls
This exercise combines hip raises with the added benefit of your roller office chair acting as a stability ball! A word of warning for this one; you are definitely going to feel this one working! For this exercise, you are going to be in the opposite position to the Hip raises; your heels will be on the seat this time, and your shoulders on the ground. To start of here, you will be raising your hips off the ground to engage your core, glutes and hamstrings. Keep your hips fairly close to the ground here, both for safety and for helping to keep the right muscles engaged (we don’t want your lower back to start helping here!) From this position, slowly and gradually pull your roller chair towards you with your heels. Once you have come in as far as you can, slowly push it away again until your legs are nearly straight. That’s one rep!
There you have it! If you can fit this routine into your day 1-2 times a week, you will start to notice a huge difference! As I mentioned earlier, I understand that sometimes the workload that some people have can make stopping and exercising seems like something that is just going to make the day drag on for longer, but in a lot of cases, the exact opposite happens; the exercise will help increase blood flow to your brain, which will help you to feel more alert, and concentrate better! This can result in you finishing your work faster than you would have if you hadn’t taken the break at all!
The other alternative, which is the one that I prefer, is starting your day with a workout! If you get up just 30 minutes earlier, you can get through a good training program before you even start work! A Personal Trainer will be able to assist you in getting the most out of this 30 minutes as well!
Give it a try! If there is anything here that you aren’t sure of, we are happy to help! Just head over to our contact page and either shoot us an email, or give us a call, and we will see what we can do for you!