Having a hard time getting your workouts in with the kids home and going on vacation? Here is a full body workout (legs, arms, glutes, core and more) that only requires a kitchen chair (or a coffee table, bench or tree stump – no excuses!). Place the chair with the back against a wall to prevent slipping. You can use a watch for your timer or the smartphone app, Gymboss works great!
In each exercise, make sure your core is strong, bellybutton pulling in towards your spine (very important for lower back safety). The exercises are grouped in 3 sets with 5 exercises in each. Complete a set, recover with some water and move on to the next set. Go through at least 2 times if your schedule allows!
1. Rainbow: Stand in front of the chair, begin with right toe pointing to the right side of the chair, using abs and squeezing the glutes in your left leg, lift the right leg over the chair, tap toe down on the left side then back to start. Repeat for 30 seconds then switch legs.
2. Tricep dips with crunch: Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands under your bum, knuckles up, fingers over the front edge of chair, legs straight out. As you lower (dip) your body down, crunch one knee in to chest, contracting abs. Alternate knees in, keep elbows close to ribs and bum very close to chair. Lift, lower and crunch for 45 seconds. Modify this move by bringing your feet closer to the chair or leaving out the crunch.
3. Plies: Turn chair around so you can use the back for balance. Start in 2nd position (feet wide, turned out at 45 degree angle, drop into a low squat, lift heels, abs in tight. SQUEEZING glutes, lift and lower for 45 seconds, after 45 seconds, hold in low squat, heels still raised, pulse knees back for another 30 seconds. To modify, shake legs out as needed, then come back to it.
4. Captain’s Chair: Sit in your chair, hands on the sides, palms down and fingers wrapped around side. Pull belly button in to meet the spine, squeeze thighs together, lift bum off the seat with arms, lifting knees to chest as you come up. Hold for ten counts, release and repeat 5 times. Modify by keeping one foot lightly on ground and you pull other knee in towards chest. Keep bellybutton in tight!
5. Side Plank with lower leg lift: Begin by lying down on right side, left foot on the seat of the chair, body extended in side plank position, tailbone tucked under, lift body up onto elbow and the side of your left foot. Hips off the ground. Lift and lower the right leg, tapping the underside of the chair. 45 seconds then switch sides.
1. Split Lunges: (aka Bulgarian Lunges) Stand in front of chair, your back to the seat. Place the toes of your left foot on top of chair, hop the right leg out so when you lower yourself into a lunge so your knee does not come past your toes of the standing leg. Keeping the weight in the heel of your standing leg, bend that standing leg, lowering your body until thigh is parallel with ground, chest stays up, then press up through your heel, squeezing your bum. 45 seconds on each leg.
2. Pushups w/ leg lift: Place your hands on the front of the chair, walk feet out to a plank position, lift one leg straight as you lower yourself down, return leg to floor as you straighten your arms, alternate legs on each pushup. Modify by performing pushup without leg lift, or hold plank and perform leg lifts without pushup. 45 seconds.
3. Hip lifts: lie down in front of the chair, place heels on the seat of your chair. Thighs and hips are at a 90 degree angle and calves and hamstrings are, too. With all your weight in your heels and shoulder blades, lift hips and squeeze glutes. Lift and lower quickly for 45 seconds, then hold in an up position and pulse and squeeze for 30 more seconds.
4. V-sit: Sit with bottom on edge of chair, spine straight, leaning back, bellybutton in, lift knees so body is in a V. Extend legs, then pull back to V. Arms are out straight for balance, or to modify, hands on the edge of chair. V position can be held for a modification. 45 seconds.
5. Spiderman Pushups: Begin in the incline pushup position from the arms exercise. As you lower your body, bring right knee out to right elbow, replace to starting position as you straighten arms, then left knee in on the next pushup, alternate for 45 seconds.
1. One leg squats: Stand in front of the chair as if you were about to have a seat. Hold one left foot up in the air, slowly lower yourself into the chair, barely let your bum touch, pulling in thru your bellybutton, power that standing leg to lift you back to starting position. To modify this, use the leg that is up as a kick stand, letting your heel touch down as needed until you get strong enough to do it fully on one leg. 30 seconds on each side.
2. Decline pushups: Place feet on the seat of the chair, walk hands out to perform pushups with belly button pulled in tight. Modify by holding plank without the pushup. If you have lower back problems, perform regular pushups on the ground or with hands on chair. 45 seconds.
3. One leg hip lifts: Same set up as the hip lifts, but point one toe straight up in the air and lift hips. 45 seconds on each leg.
4. Decline Cougar: Feet on chair like in the decline pushup position, tailbone under, contracting abs, bring knee into chest, alternate legs for 45 seconds.
5. Decline Plank leg lifts: Begin in the decline pushup position, bellybutton in tight, lift right leg straight up, squeeze glutes and do not let hips tilt. Repeat for 30 seconds then switch legs without coming down! Modification, hold decline plank or plank on the floor without leg lifts.
Certified Person Trainer
Owner/Instructor SouthPark Boot Camp