Your Desk Chair Can Be Your Next Must-Have Piece of Gym Equipment
At-Home Exercises You Can Do In Your Chair!
Some places are re-opening at this point, but many of us are still working from home. For those of you working from home, you may find it difficult to keep up with your usual steps with the lack of office space to walk through, or even the lack of regular errands. You may not be getting up between Zoom meetings or walking to your next conference room. Your bathroom is two steps away and your kitchen has everything you need. But for many of us, adding in additional time to do a prolonged workout may not be realistic in the midst of juggling work, kids and taking care of things at home.
Keep reading to learn some chair stretches and chair exercises that you can do in a matter of minutes at home. Mix and match to make your own routine or simply do one or two as a quick, productive break. *See safety note at the bottom of this blog.
Whether you’re working from home or are tasked with all the at-home chores, the added stress these days could leave you feeling a little extra back and neck stiffness. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises that you can incorporate right from your desk. Try some of these tricks to help you alleviate any extra discomfort you’ve been feeling.
Side Bend: Plant both feet widely on the ground, angled outward. Bring your left elbow to your knee, bending left with your right arm raising up and over to the left side. Repeat on the other side, holding for 5 breaths on each side.
Figure Four: Plant both feet in front of the chair. Sitting straight up, lift your left foot to your right knee, resting ankle to knee. Bend forward from the hips, holding for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Thigh Stretch: Stand up and walk behind the chair. Hold the back of the chair with the right hand and use the left hand to reach back to grab your left foot, behind your back. Hold for 5 breaths then repeat on the other side.
Seated Cat/Cow: Slide to the front of your seat, placing hands on knees. Tuck your chin to chest, rounding your back. Hold for two breaths then open up, lifting your chin up and arching your back. Hold again for two breaths then repeat for a total of 10 times.
Seated twist: From the front of your seat, place your left hand on your right knee. Place your right hand behind you, in line with your tailbone, fingers pointed out toward the wall behind you. Gently turn your left shoulder toward the right, leading with the chest. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
If you’d like more active movement, try these chair exercises for a little extra burn.
Hinge and Twist: Sit in a chair with your legs together, feet on the ground. Lift your feet, pointing your toes towards the ground. Raise your arms, placing your hands on the back of your head, with elbows out to the sides. Tighten your abs and bring your left elbow to right knee, crunching forward slightly. Return to the start position, alternating sides. Repeat movement 20 times.
Seated Punches: Sitting straight up in a chair, bring your fists up, protecting your face. With one fist at a time, punch forward, bringing your hands back in front of your face. Repeat 12 times. Next, from the same start position, punch to the left, crossing your right arm over your body. Repeat on each side 12 times.
Knees to Chest and Straighten: Sit with your legs together, pulling them up towards your body. Hold for three seconds, straighten out and hold for three seconds then repeat 10 times.
Scissors in Chair: Sit back in the chair, holding onto the sides. Push your legs straight out in front of you, off the ground. Keeping your legs straight flutter kick for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and repeat 10 times.
*This blog contains general information and does not constitute individualized recommendations. Prior to beginning any fitness regimen, please consult your physician and make sure that you are fit to engage in such activity. If you feel unfit to perform this or any other recommended exercise, or feel faint, ill, injured or uneasy while performing an exercise, stop immediately and seek medical attention. If you choose to do any of the exercises presented above, you understand that you are doing so at your own risk and the authors of this blog (and all members of Alyssa Lavy Nutrition & Wellness LLC) will not be held liable for any injury. You are responsible for determining whether these exercises are appropriate for your individual needs and ability. DO NOT USE A CHAIR WITH WHEELS FOR THESE EXERCISES.
This article was written with the help of Lauren White Davis, a dietetic intern completing her MS/DI at Pace University and a running and wellness coach.
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