These low impact, high rewards workouts are perfect for those of you who spend your days on your feet, or hunched over your computer, or are looking for a more gentle, accessible workout so you can get fit while you sit.
Take a few minutes out of your day to move through these quick, seated chair exercises. Sometimes the most simple movements feel so good. So don’t knock it ’till you try it. These seated workouts will help you boost your energy, awaken your spine, and ease lower back pain. We got our ideas from our very own instructors, Cheri Morgan and Kristin McGee, whose classes are on Burnalong.
Stretch it out with these three poses:
- Seated cat cow: Sit upright at the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands gently on your knees, the crown of the head reaches towards the ceiling as your shoulders roll back. On your inhale press your chest forwards, squeezing your shoulders back, collarbones broaden, and on your exhale, round through your spine, draw your core up and in, and tuck your tailbone. Repeat as many times as you want!
- Lower-back circles: Coming into the same stance as your seated cat cow, you’ll place your hands on your knees and start to make big circles moving clockwise and then counter clockwise. Don’t worry about how you look, there’s no right or wrong way to move through this exercise.
- Seated crescent moon: Find a comfortable seat, sitting cross-legged on the floor or upright in a chair. Reach your arms up and over your head, biceps by your ears, draw your shoulders back away from your ears, interlace your fingers in a steeple grip. On your inhale find length, on your exhale arch up and over to the right side, keeping your sit bones grounded. Hold for two breaths finding length in the left side body and avoiding crunching in the right side body. Repeat on the left side.
Tone your core and get your heart-rate up with these workouts:
- Seated elbow to knee twists: Take a comfortable seat, knees bent, legs zipped together, toes pointed. Interlace your hands behind your head. On your inhale find length and on your exhale, draw your core in as you twist right elbow to left knee. Inhale straighten, exhale crunch left elbow to right knee. Repeat 12 times.
- Chair dips: Tone the arms without equipment! Facing away from the chair’s seat, sit down on the edge of the chair and place your hands directly behind your hips, shoulder width distance. Lift your hips off the seat of the chair and walk your feet towards the front of the room. Draw your shoulders back, lengthen from the bottom of the tailbone to the crown of the head and being to slowly lower down to a 90-degree angle (it’s okay if you aren’t at a 90-degree angle, everyone’s range of motion is different!). Repeat 8-12 times.
- Leg extensions: Get the blood flowing in your lower body by doing a few seated leg extensions. Finding a comfortable seat in your chair, plant the left foot firmly on the ground and extend the right leg until it’s parallel to the floor. (The extension comes from bending your right knee). Place the right foot down on the floor in a controlled movement and then repeat on the left side. Keep the leg muscles active and engaged as you move through these leg extensions 20-30 times, depending on your energy level.
Looking for some additional seated chair workouts? Celebrity yoga instructor and author of Chair Yoga, Kristin McGee, has a 20-minute seated yoga flow that is the perfect escape from the daily grind. You can do it at home, in the office, or outside on a park bench! Check out the clip below or log into Burnalong to take Kristin’s Lunchtime or Office Break Seated Yoga class now. We also have some fabulous chair yoga classes taught by Cheri Moran from Yoga4You that range from beginner to advanced!