5 Exercises You Can Do With a Chair

By Ahmed Wafi

No time for the gym? No problem!

You’re back after a long day in the office and you’re exhausted.


You know you’ve got to start shedding the pounds so you can look your absolute best in time for the company dinner. Driving to the gym is not worth the traffic and running around your neighbourhood at night might be too risky.

Hmm. How about an indoor workout? #teamGRADUAN teamed up with Anytime Fitness to come up with FIVE exercises you can do with a chair – yes, just a chair!

One of the classic and most beloved exercises by all gym rats, squats are the most essential lower body workout and chairs can actually help you with them. So long as you don’t get carried away and take a seat! With the chair, perform the motions of a squat as you normally would. Return to the starting position as soon as your behind gently touches the chair. Ensure your knees do not go beyond your toes and your heels stay planted to the ground.
Main target muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes.

Step ups
Another lower body exercise, it’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. Seriously, it’s just putting one foot in front of the other. Step up on the seat of the chair and then step back down. Ensure your knee level does not go beyond your foot just like the squat and alternate the stepping foot to ensure both legs are equally toned. In order to activate the calves, step up using only the balls of your feet, not your heels, just as you would when you tip toe.
Main target muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and calves.

Decline push-ups
This variation of the push-up aims to strengthen the lower part of the chest while still building overall pectoral strength. Put both feet on the seat of the chair and assume the push-up position. Do a push-up as you normally would. You can do different variations too such as the wide grip, close grip or diamond push-up.
Main target muscles: chest and triceps

Tricep dips
Tone your arms with this simple exercise! Place both hands on each side of the chair and straighten your legs. Your butt should be away from the seat so it doesn’t get in the way of the workout. The weight of your body should be supported by both arms. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent to a 90-degree angle then push yourself back to the starting position. Main target muscles: triceps and shoulders.

Decline commandos
An exercise for the more advance fitness enthusiasts: Get both legs on the chair and assume a plank position. Slowly get off each elbow and onto the palm of your hand like you would a push-up. Get back on your elbows and repeat the motion.
Main target muscles: core, triceps, shoulders and chest.

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

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