Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Chair exercises are great for people who are recovering from an injury, overweight, arthritic, elderly, or just looking for a change of pace. You can do complete and enjoyable workouts in a chair. Lots of gyms offer chair aerobics and chair exercise classes. But you don’t have to go to the gym; here are some exercises you can try at home. If you find you like chair exercise you can expand on these for a variety of workouts.
For each exercise you will want to begin in this position: Sit up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Draw your shoulders up towards your ears and roll your shoulders back and down. You are ready to begin.
Exercise 1: Criss-Cross
•Place both hands behind your head with your elbows sticking out.
•Lift your left knee and twist left with your right elbow.
•Continue this back and forth motion 10 times.
Exercise 2: Leg Lift
•Place your hands under your seat.
•Lift your right leg straight up until it is level with the knee of the left leg.
•Switch sides for 15 repetitions.
Exercise 3: Knee Fold
•Open your feet hip width apart.
•Place both hands around your right kneecap.
•Lean forward and draw your chest towards your thigh.
•Hold for 5 breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
Exercise 4: Abdominal Lift
•Move to the edge of your chair and place your hands on the sides of the chair.
•Draw both knees up towards your chest and then return feet to floor.
•Repeat 12-15 times.
Exercise 5: Side Bend
•Take your left arm up and over your head to the right.
•Hold for 5 breaths then come back to center.
•Switch sides and repeat.
Exercise 6: Seated Twist
•Turn to the right, turning at your waist.
Take your left hand across and place it on the outside of your right thigh.
•Place your right hand in the middle behind you on the chair.
•Hold for 5 breaths. Return to center and repeat to other side.
Exercise 7: Hip Release
•Lift your right leg and place your foot on your left knee.
•Use your muscles to put mild pressure on the right knee pressing downward. If you don’t have the muscle strength then use your right hand.
•Pressing down on the leg should increase the stretch in the right thigh.
•Repeat to the left side and hold 5 breaths.
Exercise 8: Triceps Release
•Bring both arms over your head and place your hands in a prayer position.
•Slowly lower your hands (still in prayer position) behind your head and further down the upper back if possible.
•Hold for 5 breaths. Release and repeat for another 5 breaths.
There are numerous poses you can do in a chair. Using handheld dumbbells you can get a complete upper body workout. Also ankle weights will provide added resistance for leg lifts and other lower body poses.
Always check with a medical professional before you begin this or any exercise program. Be healthy, be happy!
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