4 Strengthening Exercises You Can Do While Sitting Down

We all know that it happens all-too-frequently. You’re working at your desk in the office or at home and you look up and several hours have gone by without you even getting out of your chair. While you can be applauded for your diligence, sitting in the same position for several hours is one of the worst things that you can do for your body and health. It can lead to minor issues like as leg and back cramps when you try to stand to more serious issues like edema in your legs, ankles, and feet to long-term heart and kidney problems.

If you find yourself having one of those days where the best you can do is get up to use the restroom or grab a snack out of the refrigerator, or if you have a long train ride to work, try these four strengthening exercises that you can do while sitting down. The best part of these strengthening exercises is that they require no equipment other than someplace for you to sit. While not as good as a quick workout that you can do on your feet in a minute or two, at least these exercises will get your muscles engaged and help get your blood flowing. These exercises are ideal for you to do if you’re on a phone call, although you might look funny to the other parties if you are on a video call.

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#1 – Single Leg Raise

Begin in an upright sitting position, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Place your hands at your sides and straighten one leg out in front. Tighten your leg muscles and lift your straight leg with your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Lower your leg back down to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Single Leg Raise

Start with one set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity is light.


#2 – Hamstring Peel Backs

Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Place your hands at your sides and extend one leg out in front. Engage your core, then slowly drag your heel back along the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

Hamstring Peel Backs

Start with one set of 5 repetitions on each side. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity is light.


#3 – Bicep Curl to Arm Raises

Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Curl your arms to bring your hands to shoulder level. Turn your palms away from your body, then extend your arms overhead. Lower your arms back down, and then extend them out at your sides with your palms facing down. Return to the starting position and repeat the sequence of movements.

Bicep Curl to Arm Raises

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity is light.


#4 – Air Punches

Begin in an upright sitting position with your feet flat on the floor and maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Lift your arms to chest-height, curling your hands into fists. Contract your abdominal area and punch forward with one hand. Retract your arm to return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side, alternating movements.

Air Punches

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. Perform this exercise in a smooth, controlled movement. The intensity is light.

If you want to increase the intensity level of the workout, there are a couple of things that you can do. One way to make the bicep curl to arm raises and air punches more difficult is by using dumbbells or kettlebells when doing the exercises. In addition, if you can do these exercises while sitting on a stability ball to help engage your core better. You can also increase the number of repetitions in the set. Instead of doing five repetitions, start by doing six or seven of them ― eventually working your way up to 10 reps for each one.

If you are busy, you can now improve your fitness without disrupting your schedule – you can work out where you are, even while you are working or watching TV. Check out the Safe & Strong Seated Workout – Bodyweight Edition program.