Chair Exercises

There are numerous ways to be physically active while sitting in a chair. This simple piece of furniture can help you to build strength and stamina. Listed below are a variety of exercises you can perform while sitting in a chair. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new type of physical activity, or if you experience any pain or discomfort before or after an activity.

For all of the exercises, make sure to sit up straight in order to perform the exercises safely and with proper alignment. Avoid rounding your shoulders forward, and make sure to place your feet flat on the floor, with a bend in each knee. Make sure to use a sturdy chair that does not have wheels and that is not a rocking chair. It is also helpful to use a chair without handles, as this can interfere with some of the exercises.

  • Leg raises: Place both feet flat on the ground and then starting with your right leg, straighten it as your lift it up to hip height, or as high as you can without discomfort or pain. Slowly lower your leg back to the ground while keeping it as straight as you can, and then repeat 10 times. Then re-bend your right leg, place your foot back on the ground and repeat the entire exercise with your left leg.
  • Bicep curls: For this exercise, you can use two soup cans to make it more of a strength building exercise, or you can simply start by not using any weights and just perform the movements. Start with your arms by your sides and then bend at the elbows until your hands or the soup cans meet your shoulders, and then slowly, with control, straighten your arms as you lower them to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times.
  • Lateral arm raises: Start with your arms at your sides, with the option of holding soup cans for an added challenge. Keep your arms fairly straight with a slight bend at the elbow and then slowly raise your arm until they are parallel with the floor. Slowly lower your arms back to your sides, where you started. Repeat 10-12 times.

Did You Know?

Strength-building exercises help to decrease the risk of falling. For the most benefit, try to do these types of exercises 2-3 days per week, on non-consecutive days.