Featured in: Fitness & Weight Management  |  April 3, 2020

Exercises to Counteract Excessive Chair Time

By Christine Yu

Are you finding yourself feeling a little stiff from sitting so much?

One study found that Americans tend to sit for more than eight hours a day. And now that many of us are spending a lot more time at home, that tendency has become even more pronounced.

All that sitting down has led to a lot of tight hip flexors, rounded shoulders and weak core muscles.

To help you stay active, strength and nutrition coach Adam Rosante has developed the following three workouts to offset the effects that come from a lot of chair time.

The best part? They only take five minutes each (and should be done at least twice a week). All you need is a resistance band and a tennis or lacrosse ball.

 

Core

  1. Iso-Hold: Sit tall on the edge of a chair, feet on the floor. Draw your belly button in and up and engage your core. With elbows bent and arms to the side, bring your feet off the floor. Hold 1 minute. To modify, place your hands on the edge of your chair.
  2. Accordions: Sit on the edge of a chair and hold the chair with both hands. Lean back to a 45° angle and extend your legs to form a V. (Bend your knees if your hip flexors are tight.) Using your abs, bring your chest and knees together. Continue for one minute.
  3. Bicycles: Sit tall in a chair, fingertips behind your head. Bring your right elbow to meet your left knee. Return to start and repeat on the other side. Continue for one minute.
  4. Iso-Hold (repeated): Hold for one minute.
  5. Desk Climbers: Place your hands on the edge of a desk and step back to the top of a push-up. Alternate driving your knees forward.

 

Upper Body

  1. Incline Push-Ups: Place your hands on the edge of a desk and step back to the top of a push-up. Bend elbows, lower your chest and press up. Continue for 1 minute.
  2. Band Pull-Aparts: Hold one end of a resistance band in each hand, arms extended out and shoulder-width apart. Pull the band apart to the sides. Slowly return to center. Continue for 1 minute. Perform either standing or seated.
  3. Lateral Raises: Stand with both feet in the middle of a resistance band. Hold one end of the band in each hand, palms facing thighs. Raise arms to shoulder height and lower. Continue for 1 minute.
  4. Bent-over Fly: Stand with both feet in the middle of a resistance band. Cross the band and hold one end in each hand. Bend at the hips and lower your torso almost parallel to the floor. With arms straight, raise arms to shoulder height and slowly lower. Continue for 1 minute.
  5. Pec Stretch: Stand with your left side facing a wall. Place your hand on the wall at shoulder-height and slowly turn to the right. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side. Alternate sides for one minute.

 

Lower Body

  1. Ball Drives: Place a tennis or lacrosse ball on the edge of a desk. Rest your right hip bone on the ball. To position the ball on your hip flexor, roll it inside and down from the hip. Lean into the ball for five breaths. To deepen effect, slowly drive your right knee forward and extend straight five times. Switch sides and repeat. Continue alternating for one minute.
  2. Ankle-to-Knee: Sit tall on the edge of a chair, feet flat on the floor. Cross right ankle over left knee. Exhale and fold for five breaths. Repeat on other side. Continue alternating for one minute.
  3. Lunge Push: Step right foot back to a lunge, hands on the floor inside your left foot. Place your left hand on top of your left foot and press your elbow into your shin, driving the knee out to the side. Hold for one breath. Step back to a push-up position. Step right foot forward and repeat movement on this side. Continue alternating for one minute.
  4. Squat Twist: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands in prayer position at your chest. Lower into a squat. Place right fingers on the floor outside of your right foot. Lift left arm up, twisting to the left. Hold for one breath and return to start. Repeat on the other side. Continue for one minute. As needed, stand to rest.
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