Let’s face it, when the mornings are cold and dark, the 5am gym routine very quickly becomes much less appealing than staying home … where it’s warm.
To help you stay safe, warm and healthy this winter, we’ve found some rather creative ways to get your daily workout in without having to leave the house or invest in a home gym setup. The only thing you need to do these easy exercises is a chair, so you can incorporate your daily workout into TV time or even get some exercise in while you’re at your desk.
Five ways to exercise using a chair:
1. Seated crunches – Start by sitting on the edge of a chair with your legs bent and feet planted firmly on the floor. Using the armrests for support, lean back and slowly pull your legs in towards your chest. Stretch your legs out straight in front of you into the air, and then return to the crunch-like position. Repeat 15 times.
Muscle groups exercised: Abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back muscles.
2. Russian twists – If you have an armchair and a few minutes to spare, you can perform Russian twists anytime. Simply sit on the edge of the seat, then lift and bend your legs, raising your knees as high as possible while keeping your spine straight. Slowly twist your legs to the left, hold it. And then twist your legs to the right and hold it. Repeat 15 times on each side – this number can increase as you get stronger.
Muscle groups exercised: Hip flexors, abdominal muscles and obliques.
3. Tricep dips – To start, position yourself just in front of a chair, facing away from the chair. Grip the edge of the chair behind you with your hands (as if you were sitting on an imaginary chair just in front of the real chair), and slowly lower your hips down towards the ground as low as you can go, keeping your back straight as you do so. Lift yourself back up and repeat 15 more times.
Muscle group exercised: Triceps.
4. Inclined plank – You can perform a basic plank on the ground or make it slightly easier by trying inclined planking. Standing in front of a chair and facing the chair, place your forearms flat on the seat and position your legs straight behind you with your toes holding you in position. Keep your body straight and hold for 30 seconds.
Muscle groups exercised: Abdominal muscles, obliques and shoulders.
5.Squats – This is by far the best way to get the correct form for your squat. With a chair positioned behind you and your feet positioned hip distance apart, keep your back straight and slowly lower your bum towards the chair – but don’t touch it. Hold it for a few seconds and then return to your starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Muscle groups exercised: Hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, lower back and quadriceps