Ever have an issue arise that sidelines your standing workouts? Whether adrenal fatigue, knee or hip issues, ankle or foot injuries–most of us have had something come up that messed up our well-planned workouts.
Chair workouts to the rescue! But can a seated workout really be that effective?
My own experience as well as that of many T-Tappers has been that chair workouts can be just as effective–even for the lower body!
That’s right! You can maintain and even lose inches off the lower body doing mostly seated workouts! But keeping the T-Tapp principles of alignment and muscle activation are key to getting results all over.
Let’s start with the stance–er–sittance? Alignment! 😉 You want a supportive chair, sit towards the edge, and if your feet can’t be flat on the floor, try a different chair or grab a book or box or low footstool so your feet can be flat. Sometimes just putting on my Skechers makes the difference of being able to keep my feet flat or not!
Lower body alignment is as follows:
- Knees straight out from hips
- Ankles directly under knees
- Feet flat on floor (or book, box or footstool)
- Feet straight forward (no ducks, not even when sitting!)
Once you have the lower body aligned, it’s time to work on upper body:
- Curl the core–pull that tummy UP and in (more on that in bit!)
- Ribs UP! Think of a string pulling your head nice and tall to the ceiling
- Shift back–don’t lean forward. Shift weight back onto sit-bones
- No turtles! It’s so common to jut our chin forward without realizing it. Center the ears over the shoulders. Weight shifted back should help this!
Curling the core–it’s not just tightening the glutes (buns) for all you’re worth! And while pushing the feet in can help, neither do you want to do all the work with your feet–or you will have sore knees!
Place one hand on your tummy, one on lower back. You won’t “tuck” much because, well, you are sitting in a chair and there’s not much room to tuck! Think to bring belly button up, then back to your spine. Keep hands there as you lift ribs so you don’t lean back or lose your tummy. This may be difficult because the fascia in the lower back and lower belly may be tight and need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Do your best and reset often!
Once you have your core activated and ribs up, shift weight of upper body back a bit onto the sit bones. You will feel your body “fall into alignment” and it will be a bit easier to keep that core activated along with the lats to help keep your ribs up! Get those ears centered over shoulders (if the shift back didn’t already do that) and now–BREATHE! BIG inhale–exhale BIGGER!
One last tip–while it is fine to push in with the toes, shift to push in with the foot weight more in the heels. Try both ways–feel the difference? Shifting to the heels helps activate more of thighs as well as across the knee in a way to help not make the knees sore and eliminate knee knocker pudge, especially when you also shift weight off of big toe. But push lightly–remember, your core is supposed to do the work, not your feet!
Go ahead and do a set of Butterflies, Tricep Curls–you can even do Jumping Jacks (or V’s and W’s) from Plies in a chair! To “kick out”, wiggle toes and shake out knees and hands and relax the intensity of your tuck a bit. Whew! I get warm just setting up!
Here’s a great series of moves to do in a chair– Get Fit and Fabulous in Fifteen Minutes!
Just remember your alignment tips above!
(And pssst! Heads up! I will be offering my Fabulous Form Tips in a few weeks as a Cyber Weekend special! I’m repackaging them into an e-course format to help reduce overwhelm so you can get fit and FABULOUS with tips like these! I’ll share more about that soon!)
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