There’s an exercise craze sweeping Instagram: The chair traverse. It only takes a minute to do, and the only equipment you need is a simple chair. The downside is that it’s basically impossible, but that’s OK. It’s goofy and fun. I tried it, and failed, and you can too.
To do a chair traverse, you begin by sitting in a chair. It should be the kind with no bars between the legs, unless I suppose you are very skinny. Then you simply climb under the chair and get back on the seat again, without touching the ground. How hard could that be? American Ninja Warrior contestant Erica Cook can do it. Rock climbers can do it, in between their other training exercises like fingertip pull-ups. Surely, I thought, I can do this.
I got under the chair without falling on my head. I kept my legs on top of the chair’s seat while I reached for the chair back, trying to climb up. The problem is that if I took my legs off the seat, I would fall onto the ground.
I ultimately failed because I couldn’t think of a way around this problem. The chair traverse is a puzzle as well as an exercise, much like rock climbing itself. If I’d had abs of steel I might have been able to hold my legs up with sheer muscle. If I was more agile I could have perhaps hooked my knee around the chair leg. Also, if I could levitate, that would have helped too.
I failed, but you might not. Are you strong? Are you foolhardy? You can do this. I’m rooting for you.
Chair Traverse [INSIDER Health]