I put together a low impact, joint friendly workout to get you moving at home or at work. All you will need for this workout is a chair. You can also use a bench of anything that can provide elevation.
If you have back or hip pain, the chair will provide support for you. Feel free to adjust the exercises to your needs and fitness level.
Workout Breakdown: One round of the following exercises
Side leg raises: 15 Reps each side
Chair Squats: 10 Reps
Curtsy lunge:8 each side
Bulgarian lunge: 6-8 each side
Assisted pistol squat: 6-8 each side
Seated abs: 8 each side
Plank chair touches: 10 alternating
Lunge back and leg lift: 8 each side
Elevated plank leg reach outs: 10 each side
Calve raises: 20
Plank Hold: Failure
Side leg raises: (Hip abduction) Stand tall with your back straight. Move your body weight to one leg (standing) and lift the other leg to the side. Make sure the lifted glute is fully engage and you feel your side glute muscles. You can bend your knee slightly to keep you stable.
Chair Squats: Start by using a bench or a chair to get used to transferring your weight into your hamstrings and glutes (hip hinge). *This will fix squatting on your toes. Feel free to grab some weights in your hands
Note: your core should be engaged the whole time. This will help you stay balanced and protect your low back. To learn more about how to properly perform a squat. Checkout the link here:
Curtsy lunge: Engage your core and lunge back. Then, keep your front knee aligned with your ankle, step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross. Make sure your knee is not traveling beyond your foot and is not drifting inward. Keep a neutral spine and drop straight down. These two movements count as one rep.
Keypoints: Squeeze your glutes, engaged your core all throughout the exercise and keep your spine neutral.
Pushups: Get into a plank position with your core-glutes engaged, back straight and legs tall and tight. This is an elevated (easier) variation of the push up exercise. As you lower your body down, make sure you are not using your lower back to lift you back up. Your chest and triceps should be working here.
Bulgarian lunge: Place your back food on the chair/bench. Your front knee is aligned with your ankle. It is important to keep your core engaged to maintain balance.
Dips: Sit on the edge of the chair and place your hands behind your hips. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Walk your feet forward away from the chair. Lower your body down (not past 90 degrees). Lift your body back up to full extension of the arms.
Assisted pistol squat: A great glutes and legs strengthener. The assisted pistol squat can be performed by standing straight, with your core engaged. You will start to hip hinge just as you start going into a normal squat only thing time your leg will be extended. Squeeze the extended leg and keep your core engaged.
Seated abs: Sit on the chair/bench with your back straight (as illustrated). It is very important to initiate the exercise with your core fully engaged as this is a core exercise. Start by lifting one foot at a time and putting it back down. This is a great exercisse to target the deep abdominal muscles and it also increases stability.
Plank chair touches: Get in a plank position facing the chair or the wall. You will reach out to the chair or the wall with your hands – hold for 2 seconds. Alternate between left and right hands.
Lunge back and leg lift: Engage your core with your chest up and back straight and lunge back. Your front knee is aligned with your foot. Make sure your knee is not traveling beyond your foot and is not drifting inward. Keep a neutral spine and drop straight down. Now from this position you will lift your back foot backwards as you go up. Make sure you squeeze the glutes of the back leg.
Elevated plank leg reach outs: Get in an elevated plank position (as illustrated). Shift your left from center to the side and back to center. Alternate between right and left legs.
Calve raises: Stand straight with your core fully engage. Lift your heels off the floor, squeeze for 2 seconds (count to two) and back to starting position.
Plank Hold: Get into the plank position. Hold for as long as you can with good form. Click here to learn how to plank correctly.
I really enjoyed putting this workout together. It is really challenging, even with the chair. In fact, the chair takes the exercises to a whole new level. You are also more comfortable as you know you have some support.
Having chronic pain should not stop you from moving. There are endless ways to move your body without having to jump, run or lift heavy weight. While weights are important in gaining strength, our body weight is most of the time more than enough to challenge us and trigger change. This is what this website is about!
PS: don’t forget to grab your free back pain kit!