14 Chair Exercises And How To Get Started




Not able to go to a gym? Not able to go outside for a walk due to bad weather? Not have enough space to walk around inside the house too? No problem… You can still keep yourself active by using a humble chair instead. Yes! Chair exercises are real! All you need is a sturdy chair that will support you perfectly. Use it to try out a few simple exercises and stretches,  and watch the long-standing aches and pains vanish slowly.

Do remember to sit up straight on the chair, however. Your posture will improve for sure.

Draw up a chair and use it to exercise your entire body. You may stretch out your muscles by sitting on the chair or use it while holding it with one or both hands. Certified trainers and nutritionists approve of chair exercises that have proved to be highly beneficial for physically challenged, seniors and hard-pressed individuals for time. You will be able to appreciate chair exercises, as you do not have to incur any additional expense. You will begin to feel lighter and capable of physical activities without getting tired unduly. Some of the pluses that you are sure to experience courtesy chair exercises include the following:-

  • Perfect posture– Sitting up ramrod straight on the chair will cause your muscles to be positioned correctly. Your body would be rejuvenated, with tiredness becoming a thing of the past.
  • Pain Relief– Almost all chair exercises aim to relieve the stiff muscles and alleviate the associated pain and stiffness of the joints.
  • Improved Flexibility– With the limbs being stretched adequately, you will find the muscles become more supple. This will help your body to become flexible, allowing you to remain physically active and fit.
  • Better Coordination– The repetitive nature of chair exercises helps achieve coordination of muscle groups and ensure proper alignment of your spine. Senior citizens who have dementia can remember the steps on account of repetition.
  • Increased Circulation– Your lung capacity tends to increase as you continue to do chair exercises regularly. This promotes faster healing of wounds and lowers the time of recovery while improving your mobility.
  • Enhanced Balance– Your body can balance itself perfectly thanks to regular chair exercises. This will reduce the risks of falls and physical injury.
  • Gaining Self Confidence – You become confident of handling multiple activities simultaneously without bothering about moving from one place to another. The newly developed self-confidence helps in promoting mental wellbeing.

14 Chair Exercises and how to do it

1. Posture check

posture check

Sit on the chair, keeping your upper body straight.  Do not bend your back. It will help in toning multiple stabilizer muscles in your body. Convert sitting into an exercise by bringing your knees to close together and clench your thighs’ inner parts. Squeeze the buttocks while drawing the navel in. Let your shoulders be pressed back. Hold this position for long as possible

2. Seated Jumping Jacks

jumping jacks

It is time to do a bit of cardio exercise without getting up from your chair. Do a few jumping Jacks while remaining seated. Move towards the edge of the chair and open and close your arms and legs simultaneously or even alternatively. This is similar to the conventional Jumping Jacks, yet you have to hold the sitting position. Do it as quickly as you can and finish 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets

3. Shoulder Press

shoulder press

Strengthen your shoulder muscles without getting up from your favourite chair. Keep your feet apart firmly on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells or water bottles in your hands, and hold them at shoulder level. Let your palms face outwards. Extend the elbows and press the dumbbells or water bottles over your head. Pause for a second or two, and slowly return to the starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

4. Abs twister

abs twister

Increase the mobility of your spine by doing this exercise everyday. Go to the very edge of your chair and cross your arms at the chest level. Draw  your navel inside and hold the position as you turn the upper body towards the right and left. Do it alternatively, for 3 sets of 20-25 reps on each side. This exercise will also help relieve the stiffness and or pain of your lower back.

5. Leg Extensions

leg extensions

Increase your thigh strength  by merely extending your legs. Go to the edge of your chair and extend both the legs straight out. Slowly lower one leg by bending the knee and  touch the floor  with the heel. Raise it back to starting position and repeat the movement with the other leg. Do 2-3 sets of 12-15 Reps on each side.

6. Press-Ups

press ups

Work the shoulder muscles and triceps on the upper body to add strength.. Keep your arms by the side of your body as you sit on the edge of the chair. Press down firmly, putting pressure on your palms. The position is similar to lifting from the chair with the aid of your palms. Do not get up from your chair, however. Keep the palms pressed until you count 6-10 seconds and then release the pressure. Repeat 5-6 times.

7. Elbow Curls

14 Chair Exercises And How To Get Started 1

Relax and free your shoulder and chest muscles adequately while seated. Bend your elbows as you raise both arms slowly. Bring the knuckles up to the temples.  Let the elbows come together. Then bring them down to the original position. Do this 20-25 times.

8. Arm Circles

14 Chair Exercises And How To Get Started 2

Enhance the flexibility of your shoulders by trying out this exercise. Extend both your arms straight in front to the shoulder level.  Now circle your arms backwards slowly and continue for 20 counts. Stop and change the direction to circle your arms in forward direction

9. Triceps Dip

triceps dip

Forget the flabby arms and keep them toned perfectly with this unique exercise. Hold your chair shoulder width apart with both the hands. Keep your feet shoulder width apart a little further on the floor. Raise yourself off the chair and go down as much as possible by bending the elbows. Return back to the starting position by extending elbows. Do 2-3 Sets of 12-15 Reps.

10. Chair Plank

chair plank

Keep your forearms on the chair. Extend your legs out, keep the foot on the floor and get into a plank position. Make sure your body remains in a straight line without any slouching or sinking of the hips. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds  and release. Do 2-3 sets of 20-30 seconds holding.

11. Leg Lift

leg lift

Sit on the chair and hold the bottom of the seat firmly with your hands. Lean back and raise the feet a few inches off the floor. Pull or tuck the knees in towards the chest as much as possible. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Do 2-3 sets of 15 -20 Reps.

12. Quick Feet

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Sit straight on the chair with a straight back. Hold on to the seat of the chair for support.  Mimic the action of fast spot jogging without getting up from the chair. Do it for 30-45 seconds at a stretch. Repeat for 3-5 sets. You may not become a sprinter by trying this exercise, but you get to improve your body’s agility.

13. Chair Squat

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Keep the chair behind you and stand with legs shoulder width apart.  Extend the arms straight in front of your shoulders and hold. Push the hip back, bend your knees and squat down to sit on the chair.  Stand back up to the starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 Reps. This is a great exercise to strengthen your legs, glutes and lower back muscles.

14. Calf Raise

squat calf raise

Stand behind the chair and hold the top edge with your hands. . Lift your body up by raising the heels as high as possible. Hold the position  for 1 second and slowly lower the heels down to touch the floor. Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 Reps.   This will make your calves stronger and give stability to your ankles, reducing the risks of injury.


You do not need an athletic bend of mind to ensure your body’s flexibility and remain physically fit while toning up your limbs. Try a few simple chair exercises to stay in shape and reduce injury risks while eliminating all those niggling aches and pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

 1. Why should I do chair exercises?

A. It is a brilliant way to be active without tiring yourself out. You get to tone some of your muscles and reduce flab. The exercises keep your heart healthy, and you find yourself handling physical activities effortlessly. Moreover, you will be elated to find the long-standing aches and pains decrease in intensity as you exercise regularly.

2. Do chair exercises work?

A. You do not have to go the extra mile and visit a gym regularly to tone up your body now. Sit on your chair instead and indulge in a bout of beneficial chair exercises that will delight you after a month or two. It works for old age people and for those who are hard-pressed for time and are not too comfortable exercising in a group.

3. Can I lose weight while sitting in my chair?

A. Yes! You can try several chair exercises to help your body function better and burn some calories to lose fat. But you need to focus on eating a healthy diet which is customized for weight loss.  .

4. How do I motivate myself to do chair exercises?

A. Well, you do not have to find extra time for exercising. Do it before you begin your daily work and do it with the help of your chair. Take it up as a challenge and set yourself a goal that can be achieved by regular exercise. You will find yourself looking forward to the exercises once you try a variety of them. Play music even as you go through the moves, and this will set the tempo, with chair exercises becoming a fun activity.