Chair Exercises from the waist up! and waist down! (while sitting down)

Alright, we have already done some chair exercises in “Our Feet!” and “Our Neck!“. If you haven’t seen those yet, check them out them come back here and continue!



sittingNow, adding to those, the following are going to further expand our workout to more parts of our bodies! And yes, you sit while getting your workout! Which makes it good for older people, the elderly, someone who is chair-bound for a short or long duration of time.

If you are bedridden, maybe alter the parts of these exercises that you are able to do and just concentrate on those.

If you are wheelchair bound, please, lock your wheels and heed caution, possibly have someone who can help you, mostly being of assistance if you may need any. If you may be partially paralyzed, maybe some of these exercise will be beneficial to you, and if so, having someone nearby to assist may be a good idea. The main thing to everyone is to BE SAFE! 


Question MarkFirst, make sure you are using a strong, stable chair with no wheels and no arm rests, and one where your feet fit firmly on the floor.

Oh yes, this is a good time to point out, did you follow the guideline in “First Things First!“? If not, please go read there now, then come back and continue! 🙂


expandAlright! Now, sit up straight in your chair, but do not lean back against the back of the chair (that’s cheating…lol and besides, lessens the exercise). Now, stretch your arms out to each side. No worries, they don’t have to be up high, just extend them out. Now, puff out your chest! Feel that stretching in your back? That’s good! Hold that for however long you can, try for 8-10 seconds. You don’t have to hold your breath, you can still breathe while holding it, really, trust me! 🙂 Now relax. Next, repeat! Expand those arms! Strive to do this about 5 times. Good job! That is good for your back! I’ve been doing this pretty much since grade school. Having a friend back then with scoliosis, made me very aware of my back posture.

Oops, sorry, that squirrel again. 😉


fly like an eagleAlright! Now that you are sitting up straight, drop your arms to each side and keeping them straight slowly raise them out to each side. Got it? Alright, count to 5 holding that pose, then slowly raise them up to the sky. Hold that pose for 5 seconds. Now, slowly lower your arms back down, stopping half way, count to 5, then all the way down to your sides. Now, repeat for 5 times if you can.  Did it?? Awesome!!

Now, loosen your arms and just let them flow! Go through the same motions as before, but let your arms flow freely, fluidly, no need to pause. Just up, down, up, down! Fly like an eagle! And you can stop and relax whenever you are ready. 🙂


self hugNow, give yourself a hug, you deserve it!! oh, while you are there, got each hand on the opposite shoulder, right? Hold that pose. Now, from the waist up, slowly twist to your right. Hold it there for a few seconds, then slowly twist back so you’re facing forward. Perfect. Now, do it again, twisting to your left, holding, then slowly go back forward. Repeat that to each side a few times. Then, if you would like, after that, extend your arms straight out, doing the same twisting motions, moving only from the waist up and repeat each side a few times. Fantastic!

Keeping yourself in the same pose, slowly lean to  your right, far as you comfortably can. (You will feel the stretching on your left side.) Bounce a little bounce 3 times, then slowly come back to an upright position. Now, slowly lean to your left, again, as far as you comfortably can. (You will feel the stretching on your right side.)Bounce a little 3 times, then slowly come back to an upright position. Repeat the process 3 more times, each side. Now, slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight (you can feel it in your lower back). Then slowly straighten back up.

Next, you may think to lean backwards. Instead, place your hands in your lap, then sit tall, pull your shoulders back and push out your chest!

Excellent! That should have loosened you up nicely! 🙂

Tie Your Shoes!

Tie your shoesAlright! Here’s a new one! It will help develop your stomach muscles, strengthen your back and also help you to tie your shoes!

Sit in your chair and place your feet firmly in front of you. Take a deep breath and slowly reach down towards your left foot and touch your toes. Hold that for 5 seconds. Now slowly raise up. Now, again, slowly reach down towards your right foot and touch your toes. Hold that for 5 seconds. Now slowly raise up.

Now, this time, lets add a little something to it! Lean over and slowly reach to your left foot and touch your toes. Hold that for 5 seconds. Now, move over to your right toes and touch THEM for 5 seconds. And slowly raise up.

Lets repeat this last one about 3 more times. More if you feel up to it! Lets do this!



Thumb's UpThat was a lot of work! Good job! Need a drink? Go ahead and take a drink of that water! Feel free to pause anytime when you feel the need, but, see if you can wait until between each exercises. And this is a good break point. 😉




legsLet’s get those legs working! Get that strong, stable chair. Arm rests may be ok for these (but no arm rests will be a stronger workout) but definitely no wheels. Ah, but if you are wheelchair bound and have no choice in the matter, be sure to lock those brakes in good and have a helper nearby for extra precaution. Now, lets get seated and situated. Got that bottle of water handy nearby? Good! 🙂 Now, let’s get going and strengthen those legs!



marchingSit up straight in your chair, don’t lean back against the back of your chair. Hold each side of the chair with your hands for stability and support. Now, keeping your knee bent, slowly lift your right knee (as if you’re marching sitting down). Lift it as high as you can. Hold it for a few seconds. Now, slowly lower your foot back to the floor. Try not to let it flop down, it’s good to keep control.

Alright, now let’s switch to your left leg, keeping your knee bent, slowly lift it as high as you can and when you get it there, hold it for a few seconds (5 seconds is always a good time to strive for), then slowly lower it back to the floor. Remember that control!

Now, repeat again with your right leg, then your left. Doing each one 5 times, if you can. If you can’t, no worries, do what you can. Maybe next time you can! 🙂


frilly leg liftsAlright, I believe we did these when doing out foot exercises, but we’re going to do them again now. Can’t ever do too many leg lifts. 🙂

This time though, we are definitely sitting up in our chair, keeping our back straight and no leaning back. Hold each side of your chair for support, if you need.

Now, slowly lift and straighten your right leg out in front of you. Hold it for the count of 5, then slowly lower it back to rest firmly on the floor.

Next, do the same thing with your left leg, slowly lifting and straightening it out in front of you, hold it for 5 seconds, then slowly lower it back to the floor.

Now, alternate your legs. Go back and repeat with your right, then your left. Try to do it at least 5 times each leg. If you can, go for 10 times.

This is very good to help strengthen your legs and help you learn control of them. The stronger you get, the better you will feel!!

You did FANTASTIC!! Now, relax!! 🙂



The Wright Stuff




Patty Mc


  1. I spend a lot of time in a chair at work. I was actually doing leg lifts earlier, but was wanting to learn some new chair exercises. This article is really helpful and has some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    • Awesome! I am so happy you found something you like! It wy pleasure to share and please, feel free to come back anytime! 🙂

  2. This is perfect for work, I try to get up and walk around as much as possible to keep my legs moving at work, but now in this new position at work (sitting most the time), it well sucks. In between appointments some days leaves no time to get up and walk around for 10 or 15 minutes like I use to or even take my classes on walks around the block, I can just sit in the chair across from my desk for a couple of minutes and do some of these exercises. Will read the standing the others at work and try them all. Thanks for the ideas.

    • I feel ya! Sometimes my legs get that “yancy” feeling, is what I call it. I’ve gotta do something. Do it: the sitting, standing, whatever you can. It really can be a relief!! And when you get done, blow! You’ve got it! I really do hope something here helps! 🙂

  3. Hi Patty

    Thank you very much for this information, as it is very important to keep moving, even if you are sitting down for long periods of time. Nothing worse if you get cramp after sitting for long periods of time.

    My question is that can this technique be adapted for this who are disabled and have to sit in the chair for long periods of time.


    • These exercises are IDEAL for those that are disabled. That’s actually why I have them grouped together the way that I have, to make it easier to find the exercises that someone could use. And a person can feel free to adapt the exercise so that it fits THEM. Thank you for recognizing this, Antonio! Because it is important for us to get exercise, even if it’s just to certain parts of our body. We need to use and take care of what we’ve got, to make us feel good! 🙂

      My pleasure and thank YOU,

  4. Hi Patty, I LOVE your article, I feel like it is written for me! I sit a lot for my work and feel the need to do some exercises in between. Of course I need to do some cardio as well, but these exercises are very easy to do and can be done at any time. I really like the way you explain the, as if you were sitting just next to us while we do the training. Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s the point, easy to do, anytime! And thank you! Actually, I felt like I WAS right there beside you, while I was writing! Thank you for your kind words and keep on keepin’ on! 🙂

  5. Wow. I didn’t realize how tight my body had become until I started moving it. Some of these were harder than I expected them to be but the stretching felt good!

    • Hi, Theresa! Welcome back! It’s amazing how something so simple can be a wakeup call as to how badly we need to do them, isn’t it! I’m glad to hear the stretching feels good! Keep up the good work and you’ll get those muscles and joints moving smoothly in no time! 🙂

  6. Hi, Patty,
    I love your website. This article is amazing and it comes across as so happy and chirpy. I am smiling now whilst I write my comment to you.
    Some of those exercises are really good. I have been trying them out. Sitting all day typing is no fun.

    I have put on quite a bit of weight and need to work out a bit more. This article has given me the boost I needed. I love how you give all the instructions. It’s like you are talking to me the flow of how you write is so easy to perceive.

    I will keep your website in my favourites tab for easy access. I love this article and I love the cute bottle of water at the end. I have never smiled whilst working out but I am with your article. I love it.

    Looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you.

    My kindest regards Debs ??

    • Hello, Debs and thank you!! It makes me happy that it makes you smile!! That is a good exercise, too, you know!! 😉 (hmm.. you just gave me a reminder for another article, thank you! ) 😀

      And you are so right!! If you have to sit all day at your desk or wherever, these are perfect to keep from getting stiff joints! Yay!

      I am happy that this gave you a boost! I can honestly tell you, when I’m writing, I FEEL as if I’m there with you and talking with you! And that makes ME excited!! 🙂

      And thank you for putting workoutsicando.com in your favorites!! Please, feel free to come back anytime! And keep your eye out, I will definitely be adding more exercises!!

      And you keep on smiling, you hear? That will make you feel better, both inside AND out!! 🙂


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