Written by: Paul Hodges, Assistant GM @ O2 Fitness Cary
Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to get your workouts in, especially when you stay extra busy at work. But with just one object, you can transform a great workout right there at your office desk. What is this magnificent object you are referring to?
Why, a chair; yes a regular desk chair that has four stable legs and a firm seat. Everyone has one of these sitting around, so there is practically no excuse!
Integrating a chair in your exercises is a great way to get fit and tone, simply because you are emphasizing the actual workout of using your own body weight as the resistance. This type of exercise is called an "isometric" exercise, focusing on the duration instead of the intensity.
Isometric Exercises & Muscle Groups
Isometric exercises work by holding the contracted muscle for five to ten seconds, repeated three to five sets. These muscle groups include:
Place hands under the chair you are sitting on with your hands facing upward. Push palms against the bottom of the chair. Do this for five to seven seconds. This exercise can be repeated three to five times.
While sitting in a chair, place arms on the seat either next to you and grab the edge of the chair. Push down and hold the position for five to ten seconds. Repeat the chair exercise three to five times.
To work out the abdominal muscles, bend forward from the waist and touch the floor with your hands. Press your hands into the floors surface for five to ten seconds. Do this three to five times.
Place hands straight in front of chest with the palms together. Push palms toward each other so that tension is created. Hold this position for five to ten seconds. This can be repeated three to five times.
For those who are looking for an even greater strength training workout while sitting in a chair, integrate a resistance band, which will create more muscle toning and increase your metabolism. It is also an inexpensive piece of exercise equipment, while still giving you the benefits of using that marvelous chair!
Exercises You Can Do Without Resistance Bands
The following exercises can be done with resistance bands:
The Obliques (Love Handles)
Take a resistance band and place it under the right foot. Then take the ends of the band with hands and turn toward the left side. Pull the band as far as you can. Do this ten times and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
To give your shoulders a workout while sitting in chair, place the resistance band under your butt and hold the band in both hands. Lift the band as high as you can and then bring it down to your chair. Repeat this exercise ten times.
Sit facing the opposite end of the chair. Wrap the resistance band around the back of the chair and crisscross it in front of your chest. Pull the band as far back as it will go. This can be done ten times.