20 Effective In-chair Exercises to Try While Working From Home
23rd December, 2020
Netflix verywellfit.com
Don’t let working from home take a toll on your body. Try these simple chair exercises to get rid of aches and pains and increase your flexibility. We might be in the middle of a pandemic, but we still have work to do. If you’re working from home, you’re most likely spending your day sitting on a chair. Perhaps you have an ergonomic chair, but sitting in the same place for prolonged hours will eventually lead to aches and pains and other problems. There are plenty of exercises you can do while sitting that will loosen your muscles and improve your body posture. Here are some easy but proven workouts you can try.
Posture check www.considerable.com
01
Posture check
Let’s start with a simple but important exercise —which is more of a posture— that focuses on your entire torso. Press your knees together, squeeze your buttocks, sit straight without back support, and pull your abdomen back while pressing your shoulders back and down and keeping your neck straight. Holding this posture for several minutes will tone the muscles across your torso.
Arm circles www.considerable.com
02
Arm circles
Arm circles help increase flexibility and improve body posture. Extend your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height. With palms downs, thumbs pointing forward, do 20 forward circles with your arm. Then change the direction by flipping your palms up, pointing your thumbs out, and repeat 20 backward circles. You can also do the same exercise standing with your feet slightly apart.
Glute squeeze www.work-fit.com
03
Glute squeeze
Did you know that you can tone your glutes even while you’re sitting? All you need to do is squeeze your buttock muscles and hold for about 10 seconds before releasing. Keep practicing, and you will soon be able to hold for a minute. The best part about this exercise is that no one around you will notice a thing. So, don’t forget to work those glutes every day.
Quick feet www.betteryoumag.com
04
Quick feet
It's a great idea to get in a little cardio while you’re glued to your seat. This exercise is simple and fun. Just sit straight on your chair without any back support and place your arms on the armrest. Then bend your legs at the knees and run on the spot. Begin at a moderate pace, but quickly speed up and do this for about 30-45 seconds.
Chair dips www.businessinsider.com.au
05
Chair dips
For chair dips, you need a chair without wheels. Place your hands on the edge and slide your bottom off the seat. Keep your legs straight, and move your body up and down using your arms and shoulders. Go as low as you can, and repeat the movement 15-20 times for it to be effective. It’s a superb workout to tone your triceps muscles.
Chair squats www.betteryoumag.com
06
Chair squats
Chair squats are a great way to strengthen your leg muscles. You can do this exercise even when you’re on audio calls. Simply stand in front of your chair, and squat down till you’re almost touching the chair. Repeat this 20 times, and make sure your form is correct: upright back, knees above the feet, weight on the heels, arms bent at the elbows, and hands together.
Elbow curls www.considerable.com
07
Elbow curls
This exercise helps loosen the chest and shoulder muscles. Extend your arms at the sides and bend your elbows so that your knuckles are touching your temples. Then bring your elbow together so that they almost touch, and return to the starting position. Make sure that your arm movements are not rapid—moderate pace is perfect for this exercise. Repeat this movement 30 times.
Chair back stretch body.ba
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Chair back stretch
This is an easy, relaxing exercise that will loosen your chest muscles and stretch your back. Position yourself comfortably, leaning against the backrest, and bring your hands together behind your back and around the chair. Hold the hands tightly, arch your back, and push your chest forward. Try to maintain the position for 30-40 seconds and repeat this movement a couple of times.
Chair plank www.helicraft.co.uk
09
Chair plank
Chair plank is a great exercise that you can do every day before starting work in the morning. For this, place your forearms on the chair seat. Keep your legs together and straight, with only your toes touching the floor. Your core should be tight, and the entire body must be straight. Maintain the position for 45 seconds and repeat this exercise multiple times.
Chair push-ups www.insider.com
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Chair push-ups
If you want something more challenging than a plank to start your day, try chair push-ups. It’s similar to a regular inclined push-up. The only difference is that you’re placing your hands on the chair seat this time. So, make sure you use a chair without wheels that stays firmly on the spot. Start with 5-10 push-ups at a time. It’s the perfect exercise to strengthen your upper body.
Russian twist www.betteryoumag.com
11
Russian twist
This workout will fire up your abdominal muscles! All you have to do is sit on the edge of your chair and lift and bend your legs at the knees. Lean back a little, so your torso and legs form a V-like shape. However, make sure that your spine remains straight. Then bend your arms at the elbows and bring your hands together. Pull your stomach in and twist from side to side. Repeat this 30 times.
Bulgarian split squats www.betteryoumag.com
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Bulgarian split squats
Tone the muscles of your legs, hamstrings, glutes, and claves with these Bulgarian split squats. For this exercise, rest one foot on a sturdy chair behind you. Squat with your standing leg until the knee of your resting leg almost touches the floor. Push up through your front foot to get back to the starting position. Repeat this 20 times and then switch legs.
Press-ups www.considerable.com
13
Press-ups
This is a great exercise to engage your shoulder and triceps muscles. Make sure you’re seated on the edge of your chair with your palms over the edge of the seat. Then press down with your arms as if you’re trying to lift yourself off the seat. Try to hold this position for three seconds before releasing, and repeat this exercise 10 times.
Seated leg raises www.businessinsider.com.au
14
Seated leg raises
This one is a great ab workout that you can try multiple times in a day. While sitting on your chair, place your hands on your desk and lean slightly forward. While you’re applying pressure on the desk with your hands, start lifting your knees alternately. Lift them as high as you can and repeat this exercise. However, make sure your feet don’t touch the floor.
Seated hip thrust www.betteryoumag.com
15
Seated hip thrust
This one is slightly challenging, but if you pull this off, your core and lower body will become much stronger. Sit on the edge of a chair, with your legs bent, toes touching the floor, and hands on the armrest. Lean back at a 45 degree angle and pull your legs toward your chest. Then extend your legs straight out and pull them back again. Lower your feet, but don’t let them touch the floor.
Wrist stretch www.readers.com
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Wrist stretch
Wrist stretches are particularly useful if your work involves using a laptop a lot. This exercise will alleviate wrist pain. It’s extremely easy. Press your palms firmly together and hold for 15-20 seconds. Then press the back of your hands together and hold for another 15-20 seconds. Repeat this a couple times. You can also try wrist curls using water bottles as weights.
Torso twist www.blog.sk.bluecross.ca
17
Torso twist
Having strong abdominal muscles is not only attractive but it also helps stabilize your torso and alleviate back pain. To do this exercise, make sure your feet are placed firmly on the floor. Place one hand on the back of the armrest, exhale, and twist your entire upper body toward the hand on the armrest. Repeat this one the other side.
Seated jumping jacks fitnessbit.net
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Seated jumping jacks
Don’t worry, it’s not difficult at all, as you don’t actually have to jump in this modified jumping jack. Simply sit up straight at the edge of your seat with your knees pressed together. Then quickly open your legs out to the sides and extend your arms as you would during a regular jumping jack, and return to the starting position. Repeat this 20 times. You can also increase the speed gradually.
Seated toe stretch www.multicare.org
19
Seated toe stretch
This is a simple and very effective exercise that will relax and strengthen your hamstrings and lower back. Sit on the edge of a chair with both feet touching the floor and then extend one leg forward. Bend forward and reach for your toes with one arm, followed by another. Try to hold the position for two or three breaths before releasing. Then repeat the same steps with the other leg.
Calf raises www.womenfitness.net
20
Calf raises
Make it a habit to do a few sets of 10 calf raises a day whenever you stand up to take a break. It will build your calf muscles and improve your ankle strength and stability. Stand behind your chair and hold it for support. Keeping your legs straight, slowly raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes and repeat this movement 10 times.