Posted on: May 26, 2017 at 9:37 am
Last updated: November 22, 2020 at 10:29 pm

You might have about 45 seconds to yourself every day, and struggle to fit in a consistent and sustainable workout schedule because of it. Getting out to the gym takes too long and requires too much energy, while those questionable crunches you try doing in your seconds of spare time are boring and don’t seem to be working. It might be time for a change of pace, and chair exercises might be the accessible, fun way to get the abs you deserve.


How to Get Abs

how to get abs, chair workouts, chair exercises

5 Chair Exercises to Burn Away Belly Fat

To get good abs you need to a few different things including a variation of exercises not just crunches. Additionally, not only are crunches are repetitive, boring, and have been linked to spinal issues, but they only work out a specific set of muscles. This isn’t a holistic way to improve your body or your athleticism which requires various muscles to work in conjunction with each other. So, finding other alternatives like chair workouts offer new ways to make exercise fun again, keep injury away, and give you a more holistic plan to get a powerful core. [i]


1. Leg Raises

Leg Raises get your core involved while exercising other muscles like your quads. There is also a beginner variation if you need something a little easier.

The Exercise:

  • Sit at the edge of the chair, and lean back with your palms placed behind you
  • Bend your knees 90°,
  • Raise one or both legs, making them parallel to the floor.
  • Repeat 20 times, and alternate legs if you are lifting only one.

To make sure you’re getting all the benefits of the exercise and doing it correctly, watch this video:

2. Knee Pull-Ins

These are a bit more advanced, but if you go slow or reduce the incline they can be very doable even for beginners. Just keep pushing yourself and you’ll reach your fitness goals.

The Exercise:

  • Sit on the chair upright with feet in front of you
  • Hold the seat or armrests
  • Lean backwards
  • Pull legs into your chest
  • Change it up: Lean to one side and do the same motion
  • Do it until you feel the burn

Watch this quick summary of the exercise.


3. Reclining Curl

This exercise could be done on public transit or in a car if you were bold enough.

The Exercise:

  • Sit on the front of the chair
  • Lean back holding this position with your head just hovering over the back of the chair
  • Put your arms out in front

In this video, she leans back completely, but to work your abs harder try to hover as close to the chair without touching it.

4. Bored Ab Trick

If you work in a team atmosphere, go to a lot of meetings, and are embarrassed by working out in public. This exercise is a sneaky way to get started on those abs.

The Exercise:

  • Like you’re bored, put your right elbow on the desk, and your head on/next to your hand
  • Lift your right foot an inch or two and press down
  • Hold for 30 seconds then alternate

Watch these guys break it down.

5. Chair crunch

While this is like a crunch, it doesn’t require you to lie down and it can easily be done at work.

The Exercise:

  • Sitting upright, fold your arms across your chest and raise them so they’re perpendicular to your shoulders.
  • Then curl down towards the ground
  • Elbows towards your hips and hold for a couple seconds

Watch this video to make sure you’re getting all the steps down.


Not all humans are built the same so go at your own pace, and reduce and increase weight at your leisure. Also, chairs aren’t all built the same, make sure the chair you’re using is sturdy and lock the wheels if it has them, these workouts won’t fly under the radar if your coworkers hear a big crash or you have to take a day off to go to the doctor’s office. Also, if you work out responsibly and do these exercises consistently, you will charge to the stronger core you can’t crunch towards.

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

Related: Taking a hot bath might be more effective than 30 minutes of exercise

chair exercises

[i] Greenfield B. 10 Crunch-Free Ways To Get Stronger Abs. The Huffington Post. 2012. Available at: Accessed May 24, 2017.

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