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Full Body Chair Workout for Every Fitness Level

All you need is a chair and 25 minutes.

by goldsgym

Looking for another creative way to work out at home? All you need is a chair and 25-minutes to work your entire body. Gold’s Gym fitness expert Erin Gregory designed this at-home chair workout to be approachable and scalable for every fitness level.

All that is required is a chair at normal height (measured by ensuring your thighs are parallel to the floor when sitting) and a non-slip surface (a yoga mat or rug under your chair works well).

Chair workout circuit #1: Warmup
This warmup is designed to wake up your entire body. Erin specifically targets muscle groups that will be worked later and incorporates mountain climber moves to increase your heart rate before you reach the strength section of the chair workout.

Repeat this circuit two times:

Woman does good morning squat in gym for chair workout
• Squat Good Morning
Stand in front of the chair with your arms in front of you. Keep your back erect and look forward. Squat down until your bottom just touches the chair, and then slowly stand straight.
The goal: Perform five reps.

Woman does IYT exercise during chair workout in gym
• IYT
Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Lean forward at a 45-degree angle, keeping your head and neck in a straight line with your back. Slowly lift your arms simultaneously until they are in a straight line with your back.
The goal: Perform five reps.

Woman does lunge exercise with chair
• Lunge With Chair Balance
With your right hand on the back of the chair, position your right foot a small step in front of you and your left foot a small step behind you. With your left hand on your hip, drop your pelvis while keeping your back erect until your left knee slightly touches the ground.
The goal: Perform five reps on the left and then five on the right.

Woman does mountain climbers during chair workout
• Mountain Climbers
Grip the sides of the chair toward the front on each side, positioning your body at an angle to the chair. Slowly lift your left knee toward your chest and back, and then do the same thing with your right knee. Left and right together count as one rep.
The goal: Perform 10 reps.

 

Chair workout circuit #2: Strength
“I started with the split squat because it’s the most challenging,” Erin says. “And as you get fatigued, you don’t want to sacrifice form. Putting the most challenging move at the beginning of the circuit gives you the most time for recovery, but you can always do the squat with your back foot on the floor for decreased intensity.”

This portion of the chair workout alternates between your upper and lower body, including a chair dip exercise, to allow for regional recovery in your body.

Repeat this circuit 3 times.

Woman does Bulgarian split squat during chair workout
• Bulgarian Split Squat
With your hands on your hips, stand a short step in front of the chair. Place your left foot behind you on the chair. Keeping your back erect, dip down by dropping your pelvis until your right knee is near a 90-degree angle. Slowly lift your pelvis up.
The goal: Perform 12 reps.

Woman does push-up in gym during chair workout
• Push-up
Gripping the sides of the chair toward the front, position your body at an angle to the chair. Tuck your elbows back. Keeping your body in a straight line, drop your chest toward the chair and then slowly lift back up.
The goal: Perform 8-12 reps.

Woman does squat heel lift during chair workout
• Squat Heel Lift
Position yourself behind the back of the chair. Position your feet in a wide stance with your toes pointed slightly outward. Holding on to the back of the chair, drop your pelvis and squat toward the ground and then slowly lift back up.
The goal: Perform 8-12 reps.

Woman doing chair dip during workout
• Chair Dip
In front of the chair, face forward but place your weight on your hands behind you by positioning them in the seat of the chair. With your feet in front and your legs straight, slowly dip your body down until your elbows are close to a 90-degree angle. Slowly return, lifting your body back up.
The goal: Perform 8-12 reps.

Woman does leg drops as part of chair workout
• Leg Drops
Lay on your back in front of the chair with your head between the chair legs. Gripping the legs on either side of you, engage your core muscles and keep your feet slightly off the ground. Then, slowly lift your feet up while keeping your legs straight until your feet are above your pelvis and your back starts to come off the ground. Slowly return your feet to just above the ground.
The goal: Perform 8-12 reps.

Note: Stairs are a good alternative for some exercises — such as push-ups, mountain climbers and some squats — because they provide more stability to support your body weight.

Chair workout circuit #3: Interval
For this phase, the chair workout moves from integration to isolation. Seated on the chair, you will work the stabilizer muscles and use a Tabata-style approach to increase cardio intensity. “People really like to feel the burn at the end of the workout and end on a high note,” Erin says. “With these isolated movements, your muscles are sure to fatigue.”

Repeat this circuit two times.

Woman does adductor/abductor exercise during chair workout
• Adductor/Abductor
Sitting in the chair, lift your feet until your legs are straight, engaging your legs and core muscles. Keep your back straight. Slowly spread your legs out and then slowly close them.

The goal: Engage muscles for 20 seconds, and then disengage for 10 seconds.

Woman does leg circles during chair workout
• Leg Circles
Sitting in the chair, keep your back erect and hold on to the side of the chair. With your right knee at a 90-degree angle, lift your left leg until it is straight. Draw small circles with your foot. First do your left side and then your right.
The goal: Engage muscles for 20 seconds, and then disengage for 10 seconds.

Woman does lateral bend during chair workout
• Lateral Bend
Sitting in the chair, keep your arms and hands straight at a slight angle from your body. Slowly engage your core muscles and lean to the right. Return to the straight position and then lean to the left.
The goal: Engage muscles for 20 seconds, and then disengage for 10 seconds.

Circuit #4: Stretch
Stretches are arguably the most overlooked part of a workout. Erin created this stretch sequence to release tension in the targeted muscles. “These stretches are helpful to combat the sedentary lifestyle that most Americans are experiencing,” Erin says. You’ll release your hips, chest and thorax, loosening up your body and enabling recovery.

You can repeat this circuit as many times as your schedule allows during the chair workout.

Woman does chest stretch during chair workout
• Chest Stretch
While seated, hold the sides of the chair and curl your shoulders back, looking slightly up.
The goal: Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds.

Woman does seated twist to stretch
• Seated Twist, Left Then Right
In a seated position, put your knees together. Put your right hand on the outside of your left knee and twist your torso to the left, and then turn your head. Hold for a moment and then go to the other side while switching hands and the direction of your head.
The goal: Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds.

Woman stretches her hips and glutes during chair workout

• Seated Hip/Glute Stretch, Left Then Right
In a seated position, place your left foot on your right knee. With your hands on your crossed leg, slowly lean forward until you feel your muscles stretch. Then switch leg positions.
The goal: Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds.

Woman does quad/hip flexor

• Quad/Hip Flexor, Left Then Right
Sit on the edge of the chair with your right foot forward. Place your left foot behind you and hold it with your left hand. Use your right hand for balance and stability. Then switch positions.
The goal: Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds.

Woman does neck stretch during chair workout
• Neck Stretch, Left Then Right
From a seated position with your back straight, lean your head toward the right. Use your right hand to slowly stretch your neck to the right while holding your left arm at an angle from your body. Then switch positions.
The goal: Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds.

 

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goldsgym

goldsgym

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