When you are at home and you want to work out, you need not look any farther than your furniture. Chairs can give you an adequate workout. Exercises can use chairs to target your entire body. With some exercises, you will need more than one chair.
Push-ups are exercises that work your chest, arms and shoulders. Place your toes hip-width apart on the chair, and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Push your body up and raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Keep your core tight as you lower your body toward the floor. Stop when you feel a strong contraction in your chest, push back up and repeat.
Upright rows are performed with a chair that has an open backrest with a rail going across the top. This exercise works your shoulders and arms. Stand behind the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the top of the rail with your hands about 6 inches apart. Lift it straight up in front of your body. Stop when your palms reach the height of your upper chest, lower the chair back down slowly and repeat. Keep the chair close to your body the whole time.
Dips are performed with two chairs, and they target your triceps. Place the chairs face to face and slightly wider apart than the length of your legs. Prop your heels up on one chair and grab the sides of the other chair. Your palms should be on top and your fingers should be wrapped around the edges. Lower your butt by bending your elbows. Stop when your upper arms parallel the floor, push back up and repeat. You can also do this exercise with one chair for an easier variation. Place your feet or heels on the floor if you go this route.
Step-ups are exercises that work your butt and leg muscles. Stand behind the chair with your feet hip-width apart. Place your right foot on the chair, press your weight down and lift yourself off the floor. Lightly touch the chair with your left toe, lower your left foot back to the floor and repeat. Do a set and switch legs. Keep your back straight and core tight throughout the exercise.
Hip lifts work your hamstrings, lower back muscles and glutes. Lie on the ground with your heels on top of the chair and a slight bend in your knees. Press down into the chair to lift your hips off the floor. Stop when you form a straight line from your heels to your glutes and hold for a full second. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.
Leg pull-ins work your abdominal muscles. Sit near the front edge of the chair and grasp the sides behind your butt for stability. Extend your legs out straight in front of you and lean back slightly. Raise your legs off the floor and pull your knees into your chest as you lean forward. Extend your legs back out and repeat. Do not let your heels touch the floor when you extend your legs.
About this Author
Kevin Rail has worked in the fitness industry since 2001 and has been writing since 2004. He has professional experience as a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, motivational engineer and freelance fitness writer. He currently writes a monthly column for Ron Jones High-Performance Health. Rail has a bachelor’s degree in sports management: fitness and wellness from California University of Pennsylvania.