I have been teaching versions of chair workouts for many years. I’ve decided to offer a free program that my students can follow, should they be unable to attend class. This is meant to be used by those clients who have been to my classes before. If you have not attended my classes, just be aware that there is risk inherent in any exercise.
Before beginning any exercise program, please speak to your doctor. This program is meant to be done two days per week, with a days rest in between. If you experience any pain, stop the exercises immediately and contact your doctor before continuing. It is normal to experience some muscle soreness up to three days after exercise, but if the pain persists, speak to your doctor. If you have been to my classes before, you know how to adapt the exercises to suit your specific needs. I strongly encourage everyone to seek the services of professional personal trainers before beginning any training program.
The following exercises are meant to be completed in the order listed. You will need a stable chair and some hand weights. Pick hand weights that will be challenging. If you are new to fitness, start with lite weights.
Do a short warm up before beginning these exercises. For example, go for a brisk walk for ten minutes.
Do not hold your breath during the exercises. As a tip, exhale on the hard part. Focus on your posture at all times. Remember to do the stretches provided after the workout.
1. Wall Sit: Place your back against a wall and slide down until your knees are bent to 90′ or a pain free range of motion. Hold for a count of 3 and rise back up again. 10 repetitions. You can place a playground ball or a towel behind your back to make sliding easier.
2. Bicep Curls: Sit on the edge of the chair, back straight, with your elbows by your sides, palms facing forward. Curl your arms, bringing your hands toward your shoulder while keeping your elbows by your side and then lower. Do 12 -15 repetitions.
3. V-Sit Abs: Sit on the edge of your chair and contract your abs. Keep your back straight as you hinge backward, arms crossed over your chest. Hold for a count of 3 and rise up again. You can vary your arm position by placing your finger tips on your temples or arms overhead. An option is to place your hands on the chair behind you but do not touch the chair with your shoulders and keep your back straight and abs tight. In both cases, you can lift a leg to increase intensity. If this exercise hurts your back, stop immediately. Do 10 repetitions.
4. Lateral Raise: Sit on the edge of the chair, arms by your side, palms facing inward. Raise your arms out to the sides, even with your shoulder and then lower. Do 12- 15 repetitions.
5. Split Squat: Stand on the right side of your chair. Place your left hand on the chair and extend your left leg behind you, in line with your hip. Lower yourself down, keeping your right knee in line with your right ankle (not passing your toes), and lower to a pain free range of motion or 90′. Rise up again. Do 12- 15 repetitions on the right and then do the left.
6. V-Sit Abs: Complete a second set of abdominals. 10 repetitions as in exercise # 3.
7. Wall Push-Ups: Stand facing a wall. Place your hands on the wall, wider than your shoulders and in line with your chest. Lower your body toward the wall, until your arms are bent at 90′ at the elbow and rise up. do 12-15 repetitions.
8. Standing Superman: Stand to the right side of your chair and place your left hand on the chair and extend your left leg behind you, in line with your hip. Hip hinge forward, keeping your back straight while lifting your left leg up even with your bum and your right arm up, in line with your right ear. Keep your hips even. Try not to let your left hip lift higher than the right. Do 12- 15 repetitions on the right and then switch to the left. Challenge is to have both arms out in front.
You can do two sets of this program if you want more challenge. Do this routine for the next four weeks, two days per week and next month I will offer you new exercises based on the strengths that you will have gained during the month of May.
Stretches: Hold for 20 seconds or longer. Remember to breathe. Stretch to the point of tension, never pain.
1. Lower Back and Chest: Sit tall on the edge of your chair, rotate your torso toward the right, starting at your lower back, then your ribs and finally your shoulders. Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee, while extending your right arm toward the back of the room. Repeat to the left.
2. Upper Back and Biceps/Forearms: Sit on the edge of the chair and interlace your fingers, rotate knuckles inward, pushing the palms out to the front, while rounding your upper back.
3. Chest and Arms: Sit tall on the edge of the chair and open your arms wide.
4. Hamstrings: Sit tall on the edge of the chair and extend your right leg out in front of you, in line with your hip. Hinge forward from your hip, keeping your back tall and reach for your toes. You may round your back after your hinge, as long as you still feel the stretch in the back of the upper thigh. It is more important to feel the stretch than to reach your toes, so stop hinging forward as soon as you feel your hamstring.
5. Quadriceps: Turn sideways on the chair and grab your ankle, sock or shoe. Lift your foot toward your bum, keeping your knee underneath your hip. It may be easier to stand behind the chair.
6. Abdominals: Sit tall on the edge of the chair and reach your arms up overhead. If you are able, you can lean backwards slightly to increase the stretch.
7. Shoulder: Sit tall on the edge of the chair and bring one arm across your chest and with your other hand, pull it inward. Repeat with the other arm.
I hope that you enjoy this workout.
This workout has been designed by me, Beth Oldfield. I own all of the rights. Please do not copy without permission from me. I thank Peter Vatne for being my model. The photographs are owned by Beth Oldfield.
Have a great day and see you soon,