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5 Ways To Stay Toned In A Chair

Many of us struggle to find time to exercise in this day and age. So many of us have to work at home and then we have to navigate the commute to get the kids to school, and then we sit down all evening- and the cycle continues… When we are, in essence, confined to our chairs regularly, we might think that there’s no way to stay fit. Truthfully, there are things that we can all do. Let’s take a look at some exercises you can do while in a chair at work or at home. 


For those who don’t have a standing desk or have the time to get up and move around, you can try doing some isometric exercises right where you are. One that benefits your core is crunches. These can be executed from a desk chair or even the sofa. All you need to do is move to the edge of your chair, place your feet on the ground, and lean back as far as you can go without pain or strain. Do this for 20 reps or more if you are in better condition. You can also do multiple sets with a rest in between. 

Another method is to crunch your abdominal muscles in a curved C forward and hold each rep for 10 seconds. This can be done anywhere, but I find it quite comfortable to do in bed or at my desk. Try doing spaced-out sessions throughout the day to keep the blood flowing in your midsection and back.

Toning Calf Muscles

Though it’s easier to exercise the calf muscles while walking or standing, you can do a milder version of it while sitting. Simply scoot off of your chair slightly and put your weight onto the balls of your feet. Go back and forth from your ball to your flat foot position. If you don’t feel that you’re getting enough resistance, you can stand in place at your desk to get more weight.

Arm Movements

There are a lot of arm exercises that you can complete while sitting at your desk. For example, bicep curls with small hand weights, overhead arm lifts, arm circles, and stretches. There are also other isometric exercises you can do without weights. Try putting your hands underneath a sturdy table and trying to lift it while also tensing your biceps. Remember, watch your back with lifting. Make sure you are in a solid, straight position before you lift.

You can do arm stretches by reaching as far to the left or right as you can while supporting it with the opposite arm. Also, by clasping your hands behind your back and lifting, you can stretch the tops of your arms and shoulders.

Leg Tension

While doing squats and leg lifts is better suited from a standing position, you can always focus on tensing the appropriate muscles that would provide the same workout as if you were doing a squat or lift. When you are sitting down, focus on your quadriceps and make them as tense as possible. Do this for your gluteal muscles as you are seated. Another simple one is lifting yourself off of your chair halfway, and then lowering back down slowly. Do 15 to 20 reps of each. I also do this while alternating legs, so each one gets a stronger workout.

 Create a Desk Routine

These are just a few ideas, but there are numerous isometrics websites out there that have many more. All of these exercises focus on tensing the muscles, which can give you an effective workout when you can’t do other activities. Create a daily routine that you can do consistently for greater results. Do also remember that, if you want to increase strength in different parts of your body, focus on training at three different angles, which will give you a complete range of motion. You may also want to use aids, such as slimming crystals for staying in shape.

There are so many other aspects of your health to look at, but keeping fit doesn’t have to be complex and taxing. Consistency and intention will pay off, so keep it up!


About Caroline Stewart

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