A solid regime of chair exercises can help keep your back healthy. If you're stuck sitting for several hours a day at work or school, this takes a toll on your back - especially if the seating you're provided with isn't well designed. Some good exercises can help you counteract the effects of bad chair design and long periods of sitting by strengthening important core muscles and making sure your entire body gets some use on a regular basis throughout the day.
As you get older, chair exercises become even more important. As we age it's important we stay active in order to keep key muscles strong and lower the risk of falls and strains. We'll cover some exercises here that are ideal for older people.
There are also some exercises included here for younger people looking to save money on a gym membership by using a chair for home workouts. You'll be amazed by the array of muscles you can work with nothing but a chair and the force of gravity against your body weight.
If you have back trouble, you may dread seeing your office chair every day. If your boss refuses to spring for a more back friendly chair, you may be able to help yourself with some good exercises.
There are a range of injuries that often stem from poor posture in an office environment - the most common ones are back problems, neck problems and wrist injuries. To avoid these or reduce the pain felt from an existing injury, you can incorporate a daily routine of wrist and back stretches and strengthening exercises that you do once or multiple times throughout the day.
Office chair exercises can include things like extending your legs, flexing your hips, stretching out the lower back and doing 'mini squats' while seated in your chair. Obviously the kind of exercises you can get away with will depend how relaxed your work environment is. Find out about some specific office chair exercises you can start implementing today.
Yoga is a very popular method of working out the body and mind, but it doesn't have to mean twisting yourself into strange poses. Many people are intimidated by yoga when they see the extreme flexibility of advanced yogis, but you don't have to have a cheerleader's flexibility in order to enjoy yoga's biggest benefits. A basic yoga-based program can be put in place right in your office or bedroom - and you can sit through the whole thing.
Keep in mind that when you're starting out with chair yoga, you want to take things slow. Many new yoga practitioners become too eager, try to push their bodies too far and end up with an injury. If you have an existing injury, this is especially important - for rehabilitation, you will be doing different exercises from someone looking to gain more flexibility. Because many yoga exercises involve lots of spine extension and twists, you need to be very careful with these if you've already injured your spine or a back muscle in the past. If in doubt, consult your doctor before you start a chair yoga routine.
Swiss balls have become hugely popular all over the world in the last ten years or so for their ability to help strengthen core muscles. Even just sitting on an exercise ball rather than a chair as you work can make a huge difference, because in order to balance you're forced to engage core abdominal and spinal muscles that keep you sitting straight. Part of the reason so many people suffer back injuries these days is the fact that these important muscles waste away when we spend all day sitting on poorly designed chairs.
Many moves you can do with an exercise ball chair resemble chair yoga poses, but there plenty of unusual and innovative exercises designed specifically for the Swiss ball which can help relieve tension and pain throughout the body. Check out some of these exercise ball chair moves.
If you're planning on doing any exercises which involve pressing down on your chair (such as dips, or elevated press ups) you'll need to put some thought into the chair you're going to use. You may need to upgrade to something slightly more heavy duty, which can handle the extra pressure you'll be putting on it while exercising.
You might also want to think about extra items you'll need for some exercises, such as tricep extensions, where you'll be holding an object above your head. If you're simply looking to move your arms around a bit, a water bottle will do for this – but if you're interested in getting a real workout, you might want to get some light dumbbell weights to use in your workout.
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