Too much time spent sitting is seriously bad for you. But swapping a little time normally spent sat down for something more active can quickly make a big difference.

But we know that break ups are touch, so here are some exercises that let you start by actually using your chair for good. They can be done by anyone and everyone, and all from the comfort of your front room – so no excuses!

 

Abdominal curls

  • Lie on your back with your heels resting on the chair and knees bent so that they are in line with your hips
  • Touch your fingers to your temples and push your elbows as wide as possible
  • Squeeze your stomach muscles and ribcage down to slowly curl your body forwards
  • Throughout the movement, keep your elbows pushed out wide and chest high
  • From the top of the curl, keep your stomach muscles engaged as you slowly ease back onto the floor
  • To make this exercise more difficult, perform with your heels hovering just above the chair
  • Repeat 10 times per set, repeating for 3 sets altogether

 

Mountain climbers

  • Face the chair and place both hands on it in line with your shoulders
  • Keep your chest directly over your hands and step your feet back to create a straight diagonal line through your feet, hips, shoulders and head
  • Bend your right leg to bring your knee towards your right elbow
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on your left leg
  • Throughout the movement, you should keep your hips and shoulders still and not allow the body to roll or lean to one side
  • Repeat 10 times on each leg per set, repeating for 3 sets altogether

 

Chair push-up

  • Kneel facing your chair and place both hands on the front edge
  • Lean forward to create a straight diagonal line with your body through your knees, hips and head
  • Soften your elbows to lower your chest until just above the chair, then push away by straightening your arms
  • Throughout the push-up, try to hold your body straight, keeping your shoulders and hips in line with each other the whole time
  • To make this exercise more difficult, perform on your toes rather than your knees, with your legs straight
  • Repeat 10 times per set, repeating for 3 sets altogether

 

Reverse crunches

  • Sit on the front edge of your chair with your back straight
  • Place your hands on either side of you and hold the front of the chair
  • Keeping your spine long, lean backwards until you can feel your stomach muscles working
  • Raise your legs until they are straight out in front of you
  • From this position, bend your knees and flex your feet
  • Push your legs out until straight again
  • Repeat 10 times before lowering the legs
  • Repeat the whole sequence 3 times

 

Roll back

  • Sit on the front edge of your chair with your back straight; your feet should be hip-width apart and rest flat on the floor, and your thighs parallel with the floor
  • Sit with your chest high and shoulders rolled back, then reach your arms forward in line with your chest
  • Slowly roll your hips back and lean the upper body backwards. Only go back so far so that you can feel the stomach muscles working, but no strain on the lower back, and your feet should stay flat on the floor
  • From this position, keep your body still and shoulders rolled back and down as you raise your arms
  • Lower your hands back down to chest height, keeping your stomach muscles engaged and body leant back
  • Repeat 10 arm raises then sit forward
  • Repeat the whole sequence 3 times

 

Sit-to-Stand

  • Sit on the front edge of your chair with your back straight. Your feet should be hip-width apart and rest flat on the floor, and your thighs parallel with the floor
  • Without using your hands, push through your legs to stand up straight
  • Push your hips back to return to the start position, keeping your feet flat on the floor the whole time
  • Your movements should be controlled – do not fall back into your chair
  • Repeat as many times as you can in 60 seconds

 

Split squat

  • Stand facing away from your chair and take a small step forward
  • Lift your left foot behind you to rest your toes on the chair, keeping your right foot flat on the floor
  • Bend your right knee as much as you can, keeping your body lifted (your left knee will also lower towards the floor)
  • Push through your right leg to stand up straight again – you should avoid pushing through the top of your left foot
  • Repeat 10 times, followed by 10 times on your left leg (this is a single set)
  • Repeat for 3 sets altogether

 

Static squat

  • Sit on the front edge of your chair with your back straight. Your feet should be hip-width apart and rest flat on the floor, and your thighs parallel with the floor
  • Without using your hands, push through your legs to stand up straight
  • Keeping both feet flat on the floor, slowly push your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself down and backwards
  • Hover an inch or two above your chair (or as low as you can go without losing control) and hold for 30 seconds
  • Return to standing and repeat 3 times

 

Single leg sit-up

  • Stand facing your chair. Put your right foot flat on the chair, making sure your heel isn’t hanging off the back
  • Push through your right leg to stand up straight and place both feet flat on the chair
  • Keeping your right foot firmly planted, step your left foot back down to the floor
  • Repeat 10 times, followed by 10 times on your left leg

 

Tricep dips

  • Sit on the front edge of your chair with your back straight. Your feet should be hip-width apart and rest flat on the floor, and your thighs parallel with the floor
  • Place your hands on either side of you and hold the front of your chair
  • Roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears, then raise your hips off the chair by pushing your arms straight
  • Keep your shoulders down as you soften your elbows to lower your hips towards the floor
  • When your hips are hovering above the floor, squeeze through your triceps to straighten your arms and lift your hips back up to return to starting position
  • To make this exercise more difficult, try extending your legs straight out in front of you
  • Repeat 10 times per set, repeating for 3 sets altogether