Your at home workout station: five exercises, one chair

If you don’t have access to a gym, or exercise equipment at home, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out how to get an effective workout in your daily routine (there’s only so many walks and runs a person can do!).

A simple way to start implementing body weight exercises into your daily routine is by using a chair. Most chairs will do the job, just ensure it doesn’t have wheels because you need the chair to stay put when you use it. Here are five exercises to get your heart pumping just by using a chair:

1. Triceps dips: Start by sitting on the edge of the chair and place your palms on either side of your hips. Next shift your weight onto your palms, lifting your bottom forward and off the seat of the chair. Then, with bent knees and bent elbows, lower your upper body down towards the ground. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle. Push back up and straighten your arms, and repeat. Try doing this for three sets of 12 reps, keep it slow and steady.

2. Elevated plank: Start on your knees in front of the chair. Then place your forearms on the chair. Your hands can be palm to palm or fingers interlocked, whatever feels more comfortable. Next, raise your knees and extend your legs with your toes on the floor. Now contract your abdominal muscles. Ensure you maintain a straight line from your head to your toes, without lifting or sinking your hips. Hold the position for 45 seconds for three sets.

3. Elevated pushups: Begin in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Then, slowly place your feet up on to the middle of the chair’s seat. Now, keeping triceps close to the body, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor. Push up to the starting position, keeping your core tight and your back flat and straight. Pay attention to your hips and ensure they don’t lift or sink throughout the entire movement. When practicing this type of push up, it’s quality over quantity that matters. Do three sets of 10 reps.

4. Elevated glute bridges: lay on your back on the floor in front of the chair. Then rest the heel of both feet on the chair’s seat, with your knees bent. Activate your core and use your glutes to lift your bottom so that your hips are in full extension. Hold for 10 seconds before lowering. Repeat this movement 15 times for three sets.

5. Bulgarian split squat: Stand a couple feet in front of the chair with your back facing the seat. Extend your left leg back and rest the top of your foot on in the middle of the seat. Keep your back straight, shoulders back, chest up and hands on hips as you bend the right knee, bringing your thigh parallel to the floor. Ensure the right knee does not extend forward beyond the toes. Hold for 2-5 seconds and then straighten the front leg. Do 20 reps on this side before switching legs. Complete a total of three sets of 30 reps on each leg.

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