Use Your Chair for a Home Workout

Photo: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock
Photo: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

Welcome to the last of our fitness challenge posts for the month. I hope you’ve enjoyed these mini breaks from your day, even though they’re sometimes a little silly. Today, I have a challenge that’s even sillier: put something other than your butt on your chair.

For example: scootch forward so your butt is off the chair, with your hands on the seat. Now you can do chair dips, an excellent tricep exercise.

To take this even further, the gymnastically ambitious among you can hold your butt off the chair with straight arms, hovering directly above the seat. (If your chair is narrow, you may need two chairs next to each other to give yourself enough space.)

Now pick up your feet. If you’re very strong, you may be able to do an L sit, holding your legs out in front of you. If you’re not there yet — neither am I — work on it with bent legs and try to straighten them as you get stronger.

Don’t forget that chairs are also a perfect platform for push-ups. If you’re not great at doing them from the floor yet, put your hands on the chair to make the move easier; this way you can still practice keeping your body straight in a plank position — much better than doing push-ups from your knees.

Or, if you’re great at pushups, flip this around. Put your feet on the chair, and do feet-elevated pushups. You can keep your body in a plank position, or start working toward handstand pushups by getting into a pike position, with your upper body vertical. Or do like this guy and walk your hands around the chair rather than doing pushups.

The possibilities are endless. Chairs can also be great for step-ups, or for any exercise that in the gym would require a bench or a box. Just make sure the chair you choose is suitable for the movement — it’s probably not great to do box jumps onto a wheeled office chair. Ouch.

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