Generally, when we ask someone to pull up a chair we are asking them to join us for a meal, sit down for a chat, relax a bit, etc…
I’m not asking you to join me to break bread, shoot the breeze or take a load off. The goal is to do safe and effective weight training and exercise in the comforts of your home using, of all things, a chair. I will explain in more detail what equipment is suggested including the type of chair.
It’s important for you to know this style of exercise using a chair isn’t for everyone. Are you fit and active? Are you older, capable of going to the gym, or doing outdoor sports? Then this program may not fit your ideal training need.
What about an older friend or family member, have they indicated a need to be more active? If so, then I’m here for them. This chair exercise is aimed to start their fitness journey or goals. Especially if they have some health or physical limitations and the doctor tells them to begin exercising. By all means, always seek a physician’s approval before starting any exercise program.
I’m Older Too
For my older contemporaries out there, how are you feeling now that you’ve reached your 40’s, 50’s 60’s or more? Are you exercising regularly? Do you feel the need to workout?
Understandably we cannot deny getting older and perhaps feeling the effects of aging. When I was in my teens and twenties working out in a primitive style gym, no well-oiled machines at that time back in the 1980s, I never thought about getting older and feeling the effects of age.
In fact, I used to giggle, in my mind, at those old men working out, looking as if they were in pain. Even thinking, “that will never be me”. Well, now I’m the “old man”, or older man getting in the gym, feeling the aches and pains of my joints, sometimes.
Nowadays I chat with young people at the gym, asking if they’re using this machine or that weight, their reply “no sir” or “yes sir” is real proof yep “Eric, you’re older now”. Is it a bad thing? Not at all.
Since I started my weight training and exercising from junior high up to now, I’ve seen the changes to my body. I don’t lose weight as quickly, I don’t have the muscle mass and strength I once had, all proof that life has changed causing me to adapt to those changes. Accepting what my limitations are and yet keeping my goals to stay fit and be healthy.
In addition, I’m in my mid-fifties now, and working out for me has been a must since I was 12. Therefore I hope I can relate to many of you looking to get fit. I still feel the desire to hit the gym, exercising 5-6 days per week.
If a public gym isn’t for you (pandemic) or if you prefer working out at home this program is great. I designed this chair exercise routine to help older ones looking to be strong and get in shape during your latter years.
Now let’s get to the reason you’re reading this article, the chair exercises.
Have the Right Equipment
This fitness routine is focused on basic body movements. It’s designed to be simple, and safe. Working on body parts that help with daily activities.
I will outline and demonstrate through photos and instructions, exercises you can do 2 or 3 days per week all while using a chair. It is recommended you use an armless chair, one that is sturdy, but not from your best furniture, don’t want to wear out your nice stuff.
When should you exercise? Pick a time or times you feel most alert and physically ready to workout. Even if you don’t feel eager at that time, still get the workout in. Being consistent with the days and times you exercise is crucial, those workout times can and should be added to your daily schedule. It can also help you exercise regularly each day. Stay hydrated, water is the best. Wear stable but comfortable shoes. I recommend tennis shoes or sneakers.
Pull up a chair
The chair I’m using in the photos is a foldable one with a cushioned seat and back. I’m using it on the carpet which will prevent slipping and sliding. The weights I recommend are selectorized dumbbells such as sold by Bowflex (no affiliation). They start from 5lbs and go up to 52.5 lbs. I recommend selectorized because they are space-saving, with no need to have racks and rows of dumbbells. Unless you prefer such and have the space.
The exercises shown will be basic movements covering the main body parts, the order of exercises are highly recommended in order to achieve maximum performance from each movement. The main body parts from head to toe: Chest, Back, Abdominals, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Thighs, and calves.
Push-ups: (Two positions, choose best for you) 8-12 repetitions, 2-3 sets
On toes (firm grip on chair lower body as far as comfortable. If too hard use a wall and stand at an angle)
On knees (same as above except you’re supporting some of your weight on your knees)
Back Row: (One hand on chair, the opposite hand holds the weight and you pull from straight arm to bent elbow as shown 10-12 repetitions 2-3 sets
Abdominals: Chair Plank (As with the push-up, support your body weight on your toes and hands. Straight arms. Hold for no more than 30 secs.)
Shoulder Press: (Seated with flat back, resist resting against seat back and resist arching) 8-12 repetitions 2 sets
Biceps Curl: (Seated with flat back, resist leaning on back rest and arching) 10-12 repetitions 2-3 sets
Triceps Press: (grip 1 dumbbell with both hands or two dumbbells of equal weight held tightly together) Bend elbows until weight is behind head then straighten arms until weight is overhead. 10-12 reps/2-3 sets
Squats (Lightly sit down, don’t completely rest your bottom on the chair, then immediately stand up) 12-15 reps/2-3 sets
I’m Your Coach
There you have it, your own chair exercise routine to do 2-3 days per week. Fit it into your days as you would eating a meal and sleeping, as in, PRIORITIZE! Set it in your calendar and set an alarm reminder to do your workouts.
You can find select-a-weight dumbbells online or from some of your local sports stores. If you like this routine or have any suggestions or concerns email me personally at [email protected] or message me through Facebook ,Instagram or Trainerize and let me be your mentor, coach, and fitness guide. You are all valuable and appreciated. Take good care of your health.