Surprise! Seated Workouts Actually Work
By Sandy Schroeder
Of course we all sit way too much, but there may be a few things that we can do about it. WellAndGood.com believes there is and recently outlined some chair exercises that may help to fill the exercise gap. All you need is a chair and a timer.
I was skeptical at first, but I have to admit these exercises are well worth trying. Used on a regular basis, they can be a useful backup when you are caught in deadline snarls or other time-consuming efforts that involve a lot of sitting.
See what you think.
These isometric exercises target individual muscle groups, squeezing for 20 seconds and resting for 10 more seconds. As you focus on one area your mind is stimulated too. See if it works for you on the job and at home. Time yourself as you go and try for eight repetitions.
Arm muscle push - Bend the right arm to a 90-degree angle. Take the right hand with the left hand and push them together. While your right arm muscle is stopping your arm from dropping your left arm is trying to push the right arm down. Switch sides and repeat.
Thigh squeeze - Sit on a chair. Make a fist and put it between your knees, squeezing together tightly and holding. Repeat eight times.
Leg shaper - Sit on a chair with legs stretched out, both feet in front of knees. Dig heels into the floor and pull feet toward the chair contracting quads, glutes and hamstrings. Repeat eight times.
Palms squeeze - Put your palms together with your elbows flaring out. Press the palms together as hard as you can and keep your shoulders level.
Lung vacuum - Sit straight with hands on hips. Let all of the air out of the lungs. Then expand the chest and pull the stomach in. Try to touch your belly button to your backbone. Squeeze, hold and repeat.
Counter plank - Use your desk or an office counter to do a forward plank. Lower yourself to the counter and push up and back. Repeat eight times.
One-legged stand - Use a wall or cabinet to steady yourself. Balance on one leg as you lift the other leg and hold. Lower, switch sides and repeat.
Side-to-side twist - Grip elbows with hands and slowly turn to the right with head turning to the left. Switch and repeat.
If these seated exercises work for you, keep looking for more. These movements can help you break away from fixed positions. They may also inspire you to consider an adjustable work station for sitting or standing, or pedal machines that fit under the desk.
Whatever you do, keep moving whenever you can, seated, standing, walking, biking and doing household tasks. Your body will reward you with more strength and better health.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Schaumburg, Ill.