Get Fit Where You Sit with this 10-Minute Chair Workout


Look great, feel healthy and live happy with

Stuck at the office? You don’t have to give up on your workout. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your desk. In 10 minutes, you can fit in a total-body cardio and strength workout. Give it a try!

Do one set of each exercise back to back for 30 sec, with little to no rest in between the exercises. Do 2 rounds if you are a beginner, 3-4 if you are intermediate. Rest 30-60 sec between rounds. 

Warm up before and stretch after the workout. 

Single-Leg Squat

Works: quadriceps, glutes, abs

Single-Leg Squat 

  1. Standing with your back to a chair, extend your left leg in front of you and lift your heel just off the floor.
  2. Bend right knee and lower hips (as shown) until your butt hits the seat.
  3. Drive right heel into the floor, pushing yourself back up to standing.
  4. Do 30 sec with one leg and then change and do another 30 sec.

Crossover Step-Up

Works: quadriceps, glutes, abs, calfs

Crossover Step-Up

  1. Stand to the right side of a chair with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Cross right foot over and step up onto the seat of the chair (as shown).
  3. Drive right heel into the seat and lift yourself up into a one-legged balance with your left knee drawn in toward your chest.
  4. Extend left leg and slowly step down to the left side of the chair.
  5. Do 30 sec with one leg and then change and do another 30 sec.

Split Squat

Works: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes

Split Squat

  1. Stand 3–4 feet in front of a chair, facing away from it.
  2. Place the top of your right foot on the seat and extend your arms forward, palms pressed together.
  3. With most of your weight on your front leg, bend your front knee until left thigh is parallel to the floor and right knee is reaching toward the floor (as shown).
  4. Pause, then rise back up.
  5. Do 30 sec with one leg and then change and do another 30 sec.

Step-Up With Bicep Curl

Works: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, biceps

Step-Up With Bicep Curl

  1. Stand with left foot on a sturdy bench or step, a 5-pound weight in each hand.
  2. With weight on left foot, lift to standing on the step, right thigh raised so it’s parallel to floor; at the same time, curl weights up toward shoulders.
  3. Return to starting position. 
  4. Repeat with the other leg.

Note: You can replace dumbbells with anything heavy you have at hand.

Chair Push-up

Works: chest, shoulder, triceps, core

Raised-feet push-up

  1. Get into plank position with hands on the floor and feet elevated on a bench or low chair.
  2. Activate your core by pulling your belly button in toward your spine and squeezing your butt muscles.
  3. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body toward the floor, stopping when your elbows are at 90-degrees; press back up to starting position.

Important: Make sure your core stays engaged throughout the entire movement, and don’t let your lower back arch.

Tipping Split-Squat

Works: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs

Tipping Split-Squat

  1. Begin in split-squat position, but with arms down.
  2. Lean your torso forward until it is parallel to the floor, lifting right foot off of the chair so you’re balancing on your left foot.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds, then return right foot to the chair and rise back up. 
  4. Do 30 sec with one leg and then change and do another 30 sec.

Mountain Climbers

Works: core, legs, abs, arms

Mountain Climbers

  1. Get into plank position with your hands on a bench or low chair and feet on the floor.
  2. Keeping your abs tight and body aligned, bring your right knee in toward your chest, then straighten it again. 
  3. Do the same with the left leg.

Challenge: you can alternate legs faster but be careful and make sure the chair is set stable.

Side-Lunge Pulse

Works: legs, glutes

Side-Lunge PulseSide Lunge With Leg up

  1. Stand with inside of right foot on a chair and left foot on the floor beside it, about 2 feet away; legs extended. Clasp hands in front of chest. Bend left knee, pushing hips back.
  2. Rise up as you lift right leg to hip height, then pulse it down and up twice. Return to starting position and repeat.
  3. Do 30 sec, then switch sides to complete the set.

Push-Up Hydrant

Works: chest, biceps, triceps, legs

Push-Up HydrantPush up With Knee to Elbow

  1. Get in plank position with hands shoulder-width apart on a chair, and raise left leg to hip height behind you.
  2. Bend elbows straight back, lowering chest toward the chair, as you bring left knee toward left elbow.
  3. Push up and extend left leg to return to starting position.Do 30 sec then switch the legs.

Dip and Crunch

Work: triceps

Dip and CrunchChair Crunch

  1. Sit on a chair with knees bent and feet on the floor; place hands on edge beside hips with fingers pointing forward. Scoot butt forward so it’s just in front of the chair and lift toes. Bend elbows straight back, lowering butt toward the floor.
  2. Extend arms as you bring right knee toward chest. Lower right foot to starting position; repeat, this time lifting left knee.

Seated Knee Lifts With Chair

Works: core, abs

Seated Knee Lifts With Chair

  1. Sit on edge of chair, knees bent, feet flat. Grasp sides of chair, lean back slightly.
  2. Exhale: Pull knees toward chest as you crunch upper body forward using abs, not arms.
  3. Inhale: Lower feet almost to floor, but don’t let them touch until the end of the set.

Important: This movement should be slow and controlled. Don’t let the momentum of your legs do the work for you, and don’t let gravity snap your legs down as you return to the starting position.

Seated Crossover

Works: core, abs

Seated Crossover

  1. Sit on edge of chair, knees bent, feet flat.
  2. Bring your left elbow and your right knee toward each other. Return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat with the right elbow and left knee. Then alternate the moves for 30 sec.

Chair Stretches

  1. Chair Leg Extended Stretch
  2. Chair Upper Body Stretch
  3. Chair Lower Back Stretch