Working Out with a Chair

Don't be fooled by the chair, this isn't a relaxing workout.  I designed this for the Nothin' Dragon Boat Club's dry land training.  This is an ideal workout for a beginner fitness level.  You will need the following equipment:

  • a chair
  • 5, 8, 10 or 12 lbs dumbbells

How to do the workout:

Complete exercise 1 a), 1 b), 1 c), and 1 d) leaving only 15 to 30 seconds to transition between moves.  Give yourself 60 to 90 seconds rest and repeat the first circuit again.  Then, move on to circuit 2 and circuit 3 following the same pattern.  Note: Exercise D is a cardio interval with a goal to elevate your heart rate, so push this move as fast as you can.


CIRCUIT 1

1 A) Goblet Squat with Chair - 8 full squats, 8 lower-half pulses repeated 3 times / 0 to 12 lbs

Stand with back facing chair, feet apart the width of the chair legs, and heels an inch or two from the legs.  Hold a dumbbell with 2 hands close against your chest. Lower down into a squat, with your bum reaching for the chair keeping your upper body tall and looking straight ahead.  Rise back up to complete one repetition.  Do 8 repetitions, followed by 8 pulses where you stay low almost touching the chair making small up/down movements.  Repeat this pattern 3 times.

1 B) Single Arm Reverse Fly with Chair - 12 repetitions per side / 5 to 8 lbs

Bend at waist keeping legs straight, knees unlocked, placing one hand on the seat of the chair, the other holding a dumbbell.  Raise your arm up and out to the side, leading with the back of your hand and keeping the arm straight with elbow unlocked.  Lower to complete one repetition.  

1 C) Squat with Front Raises - 12 to 15 repetitions / 5 to 8 lbs

Set up the squat using the chair as with the Chair Squat above.  With a dumbbell in each hand, bend arms at sides 90º.  As you lower into the squat, raise arms up to shoulder height keeping elbows bent.  Lower arms as you rise back up in the squat to complete one repetition.

1 D) Mountain Climbers using Chair - 20 seconds work : 10 seconds rest, repeat 4 times

With hand on the seat of the chair, and shoulders overtop of hands, begin running in place keeping body in a straight line from head to feet.


CIRCUIT 2

2 A) Straight Leg Kicks - 15 repetitions x 8 pulses at the top, per leg

Bend at waist and place hands on the seat of the chair.  Place your right leg out behind you so your toes are gently touch the ground.  Lift right leg up and down for 8 repetitions, then hold leg parallel to ground and complete 8 small pulsing movement.  Repeat this pattern for a total of 3 times, then switch legs.  On the next set, start with left leg first.

2 B) Incline Chest Press using Chair - 15 repetitions / 5 to 12 lbs

Sit on the edge of the chair and carefully lean back so shoulders and base of neck are support by the back of the chair, keeping you back straight.  With a dumbbell in each hand, straight arms out in front of your chest.  Draw elbows back to sides, bending to 90º.  Press arms back out to complete one repetition.

2 C) Chair Lunge with Single Arm Bicep Curl - 12 to 15 repetitions / 5 to 12 lbs

Stand with left side of body beside the back of the chair, left foot forward and dumbbell in right hand palm facing forward and left hand on chair for support.  Lower into lunge while simultaneously bending at elbow and lifting dumbbell to shoulder hand, keeping your upper arm pressed against the side of your body.  As you rise back up, lower the forearm down to complete one repetition.

2 D) Shark Hands Alternating Leg Kicks - 20 seconds work : 10 seconds rest, repeat 4 times

Place one hand on top of the other and arms straight above head.  As quickly as you can, lift right leg and simultaneously lower hands to right foot.  Return to start, and repeat on left side.  Use your core to lift legs.


CIRCUIT 3

3 A) Chair Plank - hold for up to 1 minute

Place forward arms or hands on the seat of the chair, and create a straight line from head to feet.  Hold plank.

3 B) Seating Alternating Leg Toe Tap - 12 to 15 repetitions

Sit on the edge of the chair, and lean back so shoulders and base of neck are supported by the back of the chair.  Bend knees 90º and left legs so your body forms a V and back is straight.  Slowly lower and raise right leg then left leg to complete 1 repetition.

3 C) Side Crunch to Leg Kick Back - 12 repetitions per side / 5 to 8 lbs

Stand with left side of body beside the back of the chair, and left hand on chair for support.  With a dumbbell in your right hand, raise up straight up overhead.  Lower arm down the side of your body bending elbow and simultaneously lift knee out to side until your knee and elbow come together.  Return to start to complete one repetition.

3 D) Hip Rotations - 20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest, repeat 4 times

Circle hips one direction.  To start, make a box shape with hips - push hips front right, back right, back left, front left.  Continue until you can transition from box to circle motion.  Switch directions each 20 second interval.