8 Seated Exercises for a Full-Body Workout - Buffalo Rehab Group
Image of blue Buffalo Rehab Logo
Start Treatment

8 Seated Exercises for a Full-Body Workout

May 2, 2024 | Fitness & Wellness

Struggling with balance can often feel like an insurmountable barrier to achieving your fitness goals.

Whether it’s navigating the gym floor or performing routine exercises, the fear of falling can overshadow even the most determined efforts. Yet, amidst these challenges, there exists a solution that prioritizes safety and delivers a comprehensive full-body workout — the seated exercise routine.

Regardless of whether your balance issues stem from aging, injury, or other factors, seated exercises offer a pathway to reclaiming your strength and confidence.

The Importance of Stability in Exercise

Before diving into the exercises, it’s essential to understand why stability is paramount, especially for those with balance issues.

When performing physical activities, stability acts as a foundation, allowing for controlled movements while minimizing the risk of falls or injury.

By exercising in a stable chair with a backrest, individuals can focus on engaging targeted muscles without worrying about maintaining balance, making the workout safer and more accessible.

Seated Exercises for a Full-Body Workout

Heel Raises
– Sit upright in a stable chair with your feet flat on the floor.
– Slowly raise your heels off the ground, lifting as high as comfortable. Hold for a few seconds.
– Lower your heels back down.
– Repeat for two sets of ten reps.

To increase difficulty, add hand weights, a soup can, or laundry detergent bottle on top of the thighs, focusing on engaging the calves.

Seated March
– Sit comfortably with your back against the chair.
– Lift one leg at a time, mimicking a marching motion.
– Engage your core to maintain stability.
– Perform two sets of ten reps for each leg.

For added challenge, use a resistance band around your thighs to increase resistance and engage the hips and core further. If you don’t have a band, you can hold a hand weight, soup can, or laundry detergent container on top of your thighs.

Seated Side Step
– Sit with feet hip-width apart and knees bent.
– Step one foot out to the side, then bring it back to center.
– Alternate sides, keeping movements controlled and deliberate.
– Aim for two sets of ten reps on each side.

To intensify the exercise, incorporate a resistance band to target the glutes and hips effectively.

Seated Side Crunch
– Sit upright, cross one leg over the other knee for stability.
– Place one hand behind your head and crunch sideways, aiming to touch your elbow to the opposite knee.
– Repeat on both sides for two sets of ten reps each.

For an added challenge, lift the top leg as you perform the crunch, engaging the obliques and enhancing balance.

Seated Forward Crunch
– Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor.
– Lean back slightly while engaging your core.
– Bring your chest towards your knees, keeping the movement controlled.
– Complete two sets of ten reps.

To increase difficulty, lift one leg at a time while performing the crunch, adding an extra challenge to the core muscles.

Seated Punches
– Hold weights in each hand (if comfortable), with elbows bent at 90 degrees.
– Punch upwards, then outwards, alternating arms with each punch.
– Maintain a steady pace and controlled movements.
– Perform two sets of ten reps for each arm.

This exercise targets the shoulders and can be intensified with heavier weights.

Cross Body Reach
– Sit tall with arms at your sides.
– Reach across your body, aiming to touch the opposite knee with your hand.
– Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
– Complete two sets of ten reps for each arm.

This exercise engages the core and arms, promoting stability and coordination.

Seated Scapular Retraction
– Sit with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
– Squeeze your shoulder blades together, focusing on the muscles between them.
– Hold for a few seconds, then release.
– Repeat for two sets of ten reps.

This exercise targets the upper back, promoting proper posture and strengthening muscles essential for stability.

Move & Feel Your Best

A seated full-body workout offers a multitude of benefits for individuals struggling with balance.

By focusing on seated exercises in a stable chair with a backrest, this routine provides a safe and effective way to strengthen muscles, improve stability, and enhance overall endurance.

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, managing age-related mobility issues, or simply looking to boost your fitness level, incorporating these exercises into your routine can help you achieve your goals while minimizing the risk of falls or injury!

Learn how to build strength safely.

Whether you’re struggling with building strength or regaining your balance, let our Occupational Therapists create a personalized plan to help you feel and move your best!

Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is needed to start, and with flexible appointments available, you can find a time that works with your schedule.

Click the button below to get started.