The Chair work­out

When you’re home with the kids or short on time, this is all the gym you need to get a rou­tine done.

Shape (Malaysia) - - Contents - By Lau­ren Mazzo

Be­hold the most ef­fi­cient work­out cir­cuit: no weights nec­es­sary, not much floor room to clear, zero need for any­thing else that can make ex­er­cise a non­starter. “By fac­ing the dif­fer­ent parts of the chair—back, sides, front, and seat—you es­sen­tially have five ex­er­cise sta­tions,” says trainer Sara Ha­ley, the cre­ator of the Ex­pect­ing More pre­na­tal fit­ness video pro­gram and a mom of three, who has made the com­mon chair her work­out go-to.

Plus, the chair func­tions as a spot­ter and an added chal­lenge for body-weight moves. “For ex­am­ple, most peo­ple don’t get their knees nearly high enough do­ing high knees, but if you turn them into toe taps on the chair seat, your heart, legs, and abs will work harder,” Ha­ley says. As for push-ups, the el­e­vated sur­face of­fers a mod­i­fi­ca­tion that—un­like push-ups done on your knees—still de­mands sta­bil­ity from your core (keep the chair pressed against a wall so it doesn’t slide). And do­ing leg lifts from a bent-over po­si­tion, with hands on the seat back in­stead of on all fours, makes the lifts higher and the bal­ance de­mand on your core greater.

Ha­ley’s got your moves at right for a solid, to­tal-body work­out. Go for three full cir­cuits, and you’re good to get on with your day.

1 Toe Tap Works: abs, quads, ham­strings, calves

Stand fac­ing the front of the chair and quickly al­ter­nate lift­ing your knees high to lightly tap the seat with your toes. Go for speed. Do 30 reps on each leg, pump­ing your arms.

2 Up and Over Works: back, abs, butt, ham­strings

Stand fac­ing the back of chair. Hold top with both hands, us­ing it as a barre. Walk feet back­ward un­til your back and ex­tended arms are par­al­lel to the floor to start (you’ll be look­ing at floor). Lift your right leg up be­hind you to hip level, then bring it out to side; next, lower to side to touch toes to floor. Re­v­erse mo­tion back to start. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; re­peat.

3 Pulse Squat Jump Works: butt, quads, ham­strings, calves

Stand with back fac­ing the seat of the chair. Take 2 steps away (so your booty just touches the seat if you try to sit). Lower into a squat and pulse 3 times, each time tap­ping butt to seat, then jump straight up. Do 20 reps.

4 Oblique Push-Up Works: shoul­ders, chest, tri­ceps, core, obliques

Fac­ing the chair, place your hands on the sides of the seat. Walk your feet back­ward un­til you’re in a plank, form­ing a straight line from head to an­kles to start. Keep­ing your el­bows close to your sides, lower your chest down to the chair. Press away from the seat to re­turn to plank, then draw your right knee to your right el­bow. Re­turn right foot to plank, then draw left knee to left el­bow. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

A chair can add chal­lenge to just about any body-weight move.

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