Nicole Winhoffer, a fitness artist who has worked with names such as Madonna, Rachel Weisz, and Stella McCartney, enjoys active stretches in the chair.
To do an active twist, sit with your back one inch away from the back of the chair and bring one arm to the opposite side of the chair. Grab onto the chair and begin to twist moving toward the arm, bringing your gaze behind you. Hold the twist for about three seconds, then release for three, about 10 times on each side, twice a day. Here are morning yoga stretches you can even do from your bed. A simple exercise, moving the ankles in a circular motion helps with movement in the ankle joints, contracting the lower leg muscles and pumping fluid out of the lower leg to keep these muscles more mobile, says Karena Wu, a physical therapist in New York.
These types of stretches help relieve the lactic acid build up that comes with more intense workouts, says Dr.
She recommends doing these stretching exercises to help build a foundation, and these should be done for about 30 seconds at a time, a few times a day. Winhoffer says one of the biggest issues of being stuck in a chair is the lower back pain that can be brought on from the confinement. Scooting toward the middle of the seat, bring your thighs partway off of the chair. Both hands should be placed behind you on the seat to open up your chest.
Keeping the knees bent and together, bring both feet off of the floor. Continue to push your hands into the chair and hold in your belly button. Winhoffer says to bring your knees up for three seconds, then to lower and rest for three seconds. Doing this times throughout the day helps to strengthen the core and bring awareness to the body. To advance the movement, straighten the leg instead of keeping it bent.
Wu also recommends stretching around the trunk of the body, including the abdominals and hips. Bringing one arm overhead at a time, bend toward the opposite side. After repeating each side times, bring both arms overhead, relaxing the shoulders, and bend straight back to work the abdominal region. To stretch the hips, sit upright and cross one leg over the other and pull the knee towards the opposite shoulder working the gluteus maximus. For a Figure 4 stretch, sit upright and place one ankle on top of the opposite knee.
Keep your back straight and begin to lean the trunk forward.
Wu says she sees patients struggle with knowing their limits. Be careful not to overstretch an area, as then you begin to force the tissue into a greater range without the true ability for it to get there, she says. In a sit-to-stand negative, begin to stand up at a normal pace from your chair; then slowly sit back down over a three- to five-second period.
Slide your bottom off the chair and hold yourself up with arms straight.
While keeping your back close to the chair, slowly bend at the elbows and go as low as you can. Return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise 20 times.
Place your forearms on the chair, hands touching each other. Extend your legs with your toes on the floor.
Contract your abdominal muscles. Make sure that you maintain a straight line from your head to toe without lifting or sinking your hips. Hold the position for 45 seconds. Sit on the edge of the chair, with legs bent at the knees 90 degrees and toes touching the floor. Hold the chair or the armrest with your hands for support. Lean back about 45 degrees—or as much as the chair allows. Pull your legs towards your chest.
Extend your legs straight out in the air. Pull your legs back again towards your chest, then drop your feet without them touching the floor. Sit on the edge of the chair, lift your legs, bend your legs at the knees and lean slightly back without rounding your spine.
Bend your arms so your elbows are level with the bottom of your ribcage. Pull your navel in and twist slowly to the left. Inhale and twist to the right. Repeat the exercise dynamically 30 times on each side.
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Sit on the edge of the chair, with legs bent at the knees 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Lean back, keeping your spine straight. Lift both legs up toward your chest, keeping your legs bent at the knees. Then lower your legs to the floor. Repeat the exercise 30 times. Sit on the chair with your back straight.
Stand in front of the chair with your legs shoulder-width apart. Squat down like you are sitting on the chair but without actually touching it. Maintain a proper position: Keep your hands together, arms bent at the elbows.