While there are many machines at the gym that offer the ability to tone up while sitting down, we all could use some seated workouts that can keep us out of the gym if we just don’t have time to go. Perform repetitions slowly, really focusing on the muscle contraction, and maintaining the contraction while releasing the movement to get maximum muscle fatigue on each rep. All you’ll need is an exercise ball (optional), a bench or chair, and exercise tubing. These exercises offer total body toning without getting off your butt!
Using an exercise ball while sitting will help improve your posture, and increase the use of your core muscles, however, you can perform this exercise on a chair or bench. You can also use the ball to help work your abs while watching TV. Try sitting on the ball with your back straight, lift one knee, tightening abs as you lift. Repeat 15 times and switch knees for another 15 reps. Use the ball to perform crunches as well, and ramp up the difficulty and effectiveness of your crunch by about 30 percent, thanks to increased range of motion.
Keep kicking your abs in action by sitting on the edge of a chair, or bench (or the couch!). Raise knees up, lifting your feet off the floor. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and crunch your knees and upper body together. Maintain a straight back, and keep your abs tight for 20 reps.
Place your feet on two paper plates while seated. Work your inner and outer thighs by keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle, and sliding plates out to open legs (and back together to close legs). Completely squeeze your thighs together before opening for the second rep. Complete 20 reps.
With your feet on the plates, scoot your rear end to the edge of the chair. Pull your feet (on plates) toward you, squeezing as close as possible to contract hamstrings. Push your feet back forward, and repeat for 20 reps.
Arms and Shoulders
Sitting on your chair or bench, stand on the exercise tubing with your feet hip width apart. Keep elbows glued to sides and curl up slowly, contracting biceps as you go. When your palms reach your shoulders, turn your palms out and press up so your arms are straight above your head, palms facing forward. Bring your arms back down to the top of the curl, and straighten your arms back to starting position. Repeat curl and press for 20 reps.
While you are still on the bench or chair, keep your feet on the exercise tubing. Lean forward, forming a 45 degree angle between thighs and upper body, and cross the tubing in front of your knees. Hold handles in opposite hands, forming an X with the tubing. If there is too much slack, or not enough resistance, wrap the tubing around your feet before crossing in front of body, or grasp tubing further down, allowing handles to hang. Keep your elbows SLIGHTLY bent as you lift your arms up, forming a “T” with your body at shoulder height, palms facing out from body. Squeeze your shoulder blades as tight as you can when you lift, and slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 20 reps.
Try this routine 2 times a week, mixing in your cardio routine on other days. You’ll see results in no time!