Try these 4 ‘Chairobics’ exercises you can do while seated

When I first tell people about Chairobics, a seated exercise class I teach, they immediately think it’s an easy workout. They ask, “You can’t really exercise from a chair, can you?” Why yes, you sure can, and we sweat, too.

I’ve taken traditional standing exercises, such as jumping jacks, and modified them to be done in a chair. My “jumping jack” starts seated at the edge of the chair with the feet and hands together. We “jump” the feet apart and spread the arms wide to make the “jack,” then jump back to the start.

Chairobics is my version of “Sit and Be Fit,” a popular TV show hosted by Mary Ann Wilson, RN. My class starts with a 10-minute warm-up that segues into a cardio session, all performed from a chair. We spend about 15 minutes using weights or exercise bands for strength training before we cool down and stretch.

During class, I often explain how to modify each exercise to make it easier or harder for the participant. There is always good conversation, fun music and a lot of laughter. By the end of the hour, everyone has a light sheen and a smile on their face.

The participants in my class vary in age and physical abilities. Some prefer seated exercise because of joint or back pain. Some have breathing issues and find this type of class to be just the right intensity. Some feel the class helps them stay limber.

Other conditions for which this class would be ideal include: trouble standing or walking for several minutes, inability to get up and down from the floor, poor endurance and/or those with knee, hip or back pain.

Interested in trying Chairobics for yourself? Join us from 10-11am every Friday — it’s $40 for four classes and you don’t need to be a patient. Call the MultiCare Center for Weight Loss and Wellness at 253-301-5280 to sign up. Give the exercises below a test run to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Register for Chairobics by calling 253-301-5280

Deltoid lift: Start with arms at your sides, holding weights if desired. Lift both arms up into a “T” to shoulder height, then lower back to starting position.

Chairobics - deltoid lift

Low row: Start with arms hanging by your sides, holding weights if desired, and lean slightly forward. Lift weights up to your hips with your elbows pointing straight back and pinch your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position.

Chairobics - low row

Pillow squeeze: Hold a pillow or rolled up towel between your knees. Press your knees together as hard as you can, then release.

Chairobics - pillow squeeze

Side bend: While holding a weight in one hand, rest your arm by your side. Bend yourself to the side holding the weight until you feel a slight pull on the opposite side. Repeat for desired repetitions, then switch sides.

Chairobics - side bend

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