Minimal Chair Workout & Stretch

If you have a desk job, are in school, have mobility issues, or want stationary, low impact exercises and stretches, this one is for YOU!!

These movements are minimal but extremely effective in strengthening and developing the smaller, lesser-used muscles. Activating these muscles is a great way to stay engaged and awake throughout the day. The stretches incorporated within this workout keep your body loose and mobile which will help prevent stiff and sore muscles, especially if you are bent over in a chair most of the day.  

Try starting your day with some of these movements or infusing them throughout the day. Set the number of repetitions for yourself beforehand depending on what will be most beneficial at the time and modify as necessary. I hope you find these exercises and stretches helpful!!


Align your posture by placing your legs at a 90 degree angle. Ensure that your hips, back, and neck are stacked on top of one another. Relax shoulders without forcing them down. Legs should be facing forward (parallel to one another)

Shoulder Raises

Raise your shoulders. Then, relax and drop them down. This should help release neck and shoulder tension. 

(last 3 are sped up)

Arm Stretches

Pull arm across chest for a deltoid stretch. Bend arm above head and gently push elbow backwards for a deltoid and tricep stretch.

Arch & Slouch

Slightly arch upper back while inhaling. Release breath and sink into a relaxed slouch. 

Upper Body Twists

Twist upper body side to side while keeping spine aligned and core engaged.


Slightly lift one knee at a time, without forcing your leg to raise. If your foot can only come barely off the ground, it is perfectly okay! Think of engaging your lower stomach muscles and isolating the leg you're working. 

Hip Openers

Slightly lift one knee at a time (similar to the marches above) and use rotators to place foot towards the outside of the chair. Lift to place back parallel

Chair Squats

With core and glutes engaged and arms straight out in front of you, slowly lift off the chair to standing position. Control back down to sitting position. [For an extra challenge, try pausing right before you touch the chair. ]

Calf Raises & Ankle Rolls

Lift one heel off the ground at a time while keeping foot and ankle aligned with lower leg to strengthen calf muscles

Alternate rolling ankles out-to-in and then, in-to-out to stretch out ankles.

Piriformis Stretch

Lift foot and place on opposite knee. Lightly press lifted knee towards the ground without putting too much pressure on your hip rotators. If this feels like enough, keep lightly pressing (or bouncing) knee while upright. If you'd like a deeper stretch, bend forward and relax neck.

This will stretch your piriformis, a muscle that begins in your lower spine and extends to your glutes. 

Overview & Screenshot

Minimal Chair Workout & Stretch

  1. Posture

  2. Shoulder Raises

  3. Arm Stretches

  4. Arch & Slouch

  5. Upper Body Twists

  6. Marches

  7. Hip Openers

  8. Chair Squats

  9. Calf Raises & Ankle Stretches

  10. Piriformis Stretch


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