sit.and.be.fit Mary Ann wilson, RN

Strengthen Your Abdominal Muscles In a Chair

By Mary Ann Wilson, RN

One of my favorite tricks is to practice abdominal strengthening exercises in a chair. While a firm belly may be aesthetically desirable, rather the role strong abdominal muscles play in back health is critical. We often forget that the abdominal and back muscles were designed to work together to provide a natural girdle. For that reason, it is important to have strong abdominal muscles to support the back. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the back muscles have to do all the work and can be strained.

Probably the easiest position to be in when you are strengthening the abdominal muscles is on the floor. Due to gravity, working on abdominal strengthening from the floor gives added resistance. However, the good news is, there are some great abdominal exercises that you can do right in the chair. I’d like to share them now. For the best results, use a straight back chair. 

Exercise to Strengthen the Transverse Muscle

Let’s start by working the transverse muscles, which runs across the front of the abdomen.

  1. Sit up tall and take a deep breath.
  2. Press the back into the chair and pull the tummy muscles in.
  3. Imagine that there is a string pulling the bellybutton to the spine.

Exercise to Strengthen the Oblique Muscles

In contrast to the transverse muscles which run horizontally across the abdomen, the oblique muscles run diagonally up and down the abdomen.

  1. You may want to start this exercise sitting in a chair with the legs crossed. Cross your left leg over the right.
  2. Lift the heel of the foot that is on the floor so that only the ball of the foot and toes are in touch with the floor. This is a good starting position for beginners because it brings the leg closer to the body.
  3. Place your hands behind your head. Breathe in. This will be your starting position.
  4. Bring your left elbow down to touch the outside of the left knee while breathing out.
  5. Return to your starting position. Breathe in.
  6. Bring your left elbow down to touch the middle of the left knee while breathing out.
  7. Return to your starting position. Breathe in.
  8. Bring your left elbow down to touch the inside of the left knee while breathing out.
  9. Return to your starting position. Breathe in.
  10. Repeat the above sequence using your right elbow to touch your left knee, but this time start by touching the inside of the knee first.
  11. Now cross your right leg over your left and repeat all of the above.

Another excellent way to strengthen your abdominal  muscles is to sit or stand up tall and simply tighten your abdominal muscles. Don’t forget to breathe as you hold the contraction.

Now that you know how to do these abdominal strengthening exercises in a chair. you can give your abs a workout anywhere! 

Related Blogs:

Abdominal Exercises with the Resistance Band 

Abdominal Exercises on the Floor

Recommended DVDs:

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