How many times do we let bad weather dictate our fitness routines? From outdoor runs to even mustering up the energy to head to a workout class, when the weather affects your mood, sometimes it’s hard to exit that front door. Luckily, there is one item in your home that comes in handy during days like this, and it can act as an all-in-one at home gym (a very simple gym, of course).
It’s your chair.
Here are my top five personal favorite fitness moves that can be done from literally anywhere you take a seat. Whether you’re home, at the office, an Airbnb, or even a park bench, these moves travel with you. The only problem is, now when it rains you won’t have any more excuses not to get moving.
The Tricep Dip
The move: Grip the seated edge of the chair at hip distance, fingers pointed at your feet, and have your legs hip-width apart. Keeping your gaze up, press into your palms to the chair lower yourself so that your elbows bend from a 45 to 90-degree angle. Slowly push yourself back up, without your butt ever touching the chair or the floor. Repeat as desired.
The modification: The further out you place your heels, the more you feel the effects. Knees bent at a 90-degree angle (knees are to never pass your ankles) will be easier than straight legs. Place one heel on the other to advance the movement even further, switch.
The mistake: Make sure to keep your shoulders down and back straight, not to lean forward, and keep that long line between your head and tail bone.
The Plank + Pushup
The move: Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the chair, elbows directly under your shoulders. Keep your head relaxed and look straight down, while bringing in your naval towards the spine so your back is flat (no butts in the air). You should be in a straight line from toes to top of the head, heels over balls of the feet. Stay in this position for plank, or lower yourself to a pushup.
The modification: To make it easier, rather than straight arms go onto your forearms and hold, foregoing the pushup. The add difficulty, reverse the move and put your feet on the chair, arms on the floor, into a plank or pushup.
The mistake: Make sure your core is not dipping or raising and head is straight.
The Bulgarian Split Squat
The move: Stand about two feet in front of the chair, feet hip-distance with shoulders back. Place one foot on the chair behind, maintaining hip distance for balance (find your sweet spot for this, it takes some time depending on comfort). The back foot is for balancing, as the target leg in this workout is the front leg. Keeping chest high, eyes up, bend the forward knee as the back knee naturally bends with it, keep the weight on the front leg. Lower until your front leg is parallel to the ground at a 90-degree angle. Press off the front foot, engaging the power through the glute and quad. Repeat and switch.
The modification: To make it easier, remove the chair and have your back foot on the floor. An advanced move of this is to move your front foot to the opposite shoulder in a cross like position. In this, your body is not aligned 180 but rather at a 45-degree stance.
The mistake: Make sure to keep the back leg slightly wider than your shoulder and your front toes stay on the ground.
The Leg Lift
The move: Sit at the edge of the chair with hands either grabbing the handles of the chair or the edge, next to your butt, at shoulder-width apart. Keep the arms steady and lean back at 45 degrees. Place your legs either straight or bent in front of you and lift or pull them in towards you.
The modification: To make this easier, sit more center into the chair and have your back closer to 90 degrees. For added difficulty, point your toes in a V like position and have your legs bend in and out.
The mistake: Make sure to keep your back straight, not to round out your shoulders or spine inward, and target the core.
The Glute Bridge
The move: Place heels on the chair, hip-width apart, bent at 90 degrees with your butt close to the chair’s edge, and have your back on the floor. Drive through your heels and press hips high so that a line is formed from your knees to your head, squeezing your butt and core. Keep knees in line with ankles. Hold, lower, repeat.
The modification: To make it easier, remove the chair and have your feet on the floor, where the tips of your fingers are roughly touching the back of your foot. For added difficulty, raise one leg up straight above and do one leg at a time.
The mistake: Make sure to keep your hips in that line when you raise them, do not hyperextend or let them sag.