Chair Exercises for Work

By | November 20, 2012


Chair Exercises.

I came across this series of exercises that can be done while sitting down at work a little while ago, but I’ve been waiting until I had time to go through the exercises before putting it up.  The phrase ‘chained to a desk’ is a common one, but it fits a lot of people.

Sitting Exercises at Work.

For 90% or more of your working day you might be located within 2 metres of the same spot, and chances are you’ll be sitting for a lot of that time too!

Here then is a complete workout routine for the workplace, a workout for the entire body for those who sit down all day or who can’t afford to just ‘pop’ to the gym during their lunch hour.

*I’m going to assume you are sitting in a swivel computer chair – if this is the case, planting your feet firmly onto the ground (about 60 cm apart) is always the first step.

24 Sitting Exercises You Can Do At Work.

Right then, let’s go. I’m going to start at the top left and work left to right, then go down a level and work left to right again.

  1. Interlock fingers in front of you, palms facing inwards. Turn the palms down and then out so they are now facing away from you, and straighten the arms. Push forward with the arms and back with the back to feel the stretch. 5-10 seconds will do it.
  2. Hands behind the hand, palms on your skull. Push the elbows back (you’ll f eel this one!). Try not to arch the back too much. 5 -10 seconds.
  3. Make sure your chair is nice and steady, then lift one leg up to your chest and hold in place. One hand on the knee, one on the ankle. 10-15 seconds. From this position go straight into number 4…
  4. A nicely vigorous one this one. From the end position of 3, raise both arms to the sky and kick the leg you have just raised out in front of you. Lower the arms and the leg. Stretch the arms and the fingers out as you raise them to the sky, and point with your toes.  Pause for a second or two at the end of the stretch and repeat 2-3 times.
  5. Put both arms straight out in front of you, palms down. Now turn JUST your upper body. You will notice your arms take on different lengths as you turn. Only go as far as is comfortable. Pause for 4-5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.
  6. As 3 and 4, but using the other leg.
  7. As with one, but instead or turning your palms out and pushing forwards, turn your palms out and reach up to the sky. Be careful with this one, it will expose a lot of tightness in your muscles. 5-10 seconds.
  8. This is a nice one. Hold your elbows with your upper arm 45 degrees from your upper body. As you pull your right elbow to the left with your left hand, at the same time turn your head to the right. Pause for a few seconds, then turn the head back and return the arms to the centre. Repeat other side.
  9. Feet together or just slightly apart and just slide your hands down your legs til they get to your feet. Slow and steady, and pause at the bottom for 10-20 seconds. Remember to come up as slowly as you went down!
  10. Arms to the sky as in move 4, but from the raised position bend forwards from the waist. Keep your neck straight (i.e. don’t try and look up), and keep your arms back (letting them fall in on themselves will lessen the stretch). Pause a few seconds  come back up, then go back down 3 or 4 times before lowering the arms.
  11. A little trickier to explain this one. Plant your feet firmly onto the ground (about 60 cm apart). Raise one hand to the sky (straight up), put your other hand on the upper chest/shoulder of the side you have raised the arm, and turn your head to look to that side too (like you’re looking at your armpit).
  12. Imagine you’re sitting on the edge of a jetty on a nice warm summers day, idly kicking your legs backwards and forwards.  Now do it in your office!
  13. A nice gentle one now – make like a tree! Interlink fingers again, but this time just lift your arms above your head, palms facing down. Now lean a little to the left, then lean a little to the right, then repeat a few times. Pause at the furthest point for a couple of seconds.
  14. Turn your hands so the fingers are pointing to the back of your seat, and place your hands on the seat either side of you. If you can’t feel that stretch, try leaning back a little while keeping the palms flat on the seat. 10-15 seconds.
  15. Turn the head. Left, right, up, down, all around basically! 3-5 times in every direction.
  16. Flap your arms.  To the sky, then to the sides. Nice and controlled, stretch out through the fingertips. 5 high and 5 to the side should do nicely.  (See how simple working out at your desk can be!)
  17. Put the back of one hand against the small of your back, then lift your other arm out to the side then up overhead, leaning over in the same direction. Let the arm bend and fall around your head, then reverse and do the other side. 1 rep either side is enough for this one – it’s a powerful stretch.
  18. Nice easy one, you could do this when you’re on the phone or on the way back from the coffee machine (put the coffee down first). Stand up just next to your chair. Hold the back of the chair with one hand, put the other arm out to the side for balance, then swing your outside leg backwards and forwards a few times.  Then lift the knee up a few times. Then rotate the leg in the hip socket, clockwise a few times, then anti-clockwise a few times. Turn around and do it all again with the other leg. How many is a few? That’s up to you (give yourself a chance though, do at least 5!).
  19. You KNOW this one. Arms up over the head, hand around opposite elbow, pull first one way then the other (to the left and then to the right). Pause for a couple of seconds at the furthest point of every stretch. 5 or 6 each side will have you feeling it.
So, there it is. Chair exercises you can do anywhere and at (almost) anytime. Now have at it!



Author: Richie Neville

My name is Richie Neville and I am not now, nor have I ever been, a professional athlete. I do not approach my fitness training as one who has ever had the external support of coaches, nutritionists, therapists and trainers. I am just a normal guy who wants to stay as fit as I can for as long as I can. None of the exercises I promote are 'insane' or 'x' rated. Join me at Internal Force Fitness to find out more.

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