Living-room chair workout

3 May 2017 by
First published: 10 May 2017

Get a sweat on without leaving your house with this living-room chair workout.

Resolutions are all well and good, but now we’re a third of the way through 2017, those thrice-weekly trips to the gym get harder and harder to squeeze in. Hectic work schedules, family commitments, a busy social life – there are a thousand excuses to skip the exercise. But if you can source a living room chair – any chair will do – you can keep fitness firmly on your radar.

Assuming that time is of the essence, the focus with this workout is firmly on breaking a sweat, and fast, with 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. Aim for three to five rounds in total. Elevation places greater strain on your core, so be sure to hold form. Any doubts, consult a fitness professional or if an exercise feels a bit too intense, simply reduce the time intervals.

Jumping single leg lunge

Placing your right foot onto the seat of your chair, jump the left foot forward, into a high lunge position. Hands on your hips, and shoulders squeezed together, maintain the balance as you drop the back knee steadily down to just above the floor, before driving back up to your standing position. Be sure to tense both thighs in this position for extra impact. Feel the thigh burn come on quickly! Repeat on the other leg.

Elevated press-up

Placing both feet on the seat behind you, come into a press-up position. The weight should be in your shoulders, your stomach should be tight and your back flat. Keep the elbows close to the body as you gently lower down, before exploding back up to a totally straight arm. If that feels like too much at this stage, try placing your hands upon the chair instead and work your way up to elevation.

Rocking chair jump squats

This might be one to perform without too many people around! From a seated position, raise your legs with a bended knee and try to touch each foot with the same side hand (i.e. left hand to your left foot). Once you’ve made contact, bring both feet to the floor, and in one smooth action, place the weight of your body forward into the feet, driving quickly up into a jumping squat. Try to minimise risk of injury by landing softly, then go straight into a squat and repeat the sequence. The higher you jump, and the higher you bring your feet when seated, the greater you’ll work your core.

Mountain climber

An exercise staple! Place both hands on the chair, shoulder-width apart. Keep the shoulders firmly in line with the hands for greatest impact. Bring the right knee across the body, lower back twisting slightly to allow greater range of motion. As the right knee drops back, the left should swiftly take its place, the legs alternating quickly back and forth. This should get your core revved up, ready for your last exercise. And remember elevation of the feet is an option if you’re feeling strong.


Dropping down onto the floor now, this is the home straight. From all fours, place the elbows onto the ground, in line with the shoulders. When you’ve got a strong starting position, take the knees off the floor, so that the only points of contact with the ground are your hands, elbows and both feet. A few pointers: you’re aiming to push the shoulder blades apart from one another, keep the gaze on the hands, maintain a flat back and keep the feet hip-width apart. This move will strengthen every part of you if you can keep your muscles contracted. A good tip here also is to maintain regular breathing, in for a count of two, out for two. You’ll need all the oxygen you can get by round five!

George Pearse is a senior personal trainer with boutique wellbeing firm