Seated Exercises for Abs, Legs, Arms | Full Length 20 Minute Chair Workout


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Whether you want to sneak in some extra exercise at the office from your desk chair or are dealing with an injury or limitation that requires you to remain seated, this routine can offer some seated alternatives to your favorite body weight exercises. We’ll build gentle strength and keep your heart rate slightly elevated by moving from one exercise to the next without rest.

If you are working with an injury or specific condition, be sure to get your doctor and/or physical therapists’ clearance first before trying this workout. This low impact, flowing workout fuses together elements of Pilates, yoga and dance to target key core muscles at a gentle cardio pace.

Level: Beginner

Equipment: A sturdy chair

Intensity: Low to Moderate, Low Impact

Burn calories while you sculpt the muscles in your arms, shoulders, upper back, abs, waist, back, hips, thighs, quadriceps, glutes, butt, calves, core and more with a variety of seated exercises like:

Warm Up
Neck Rolls
Spinal Articulation
Posture Exercises
Seated Bicycle Crunches
Chest Press
Inner Thigh Squeeze
Upper Back Y-T-I Exercise
Seated Deadlift Hinge
Thigh Press for Quadriceps
Triceps Press Ups
Triceps Chair Dips
Squat Squeeze
Glute Squeeze
Squat Stand Up
Squat Hover
Hip Stretch
Spine Stretch
Chest Stretch

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47 Responses

  1. Shannon Hall says:

    This is 4 yrs later but I just stumbled onto your videos! You were ahead of the game on seated exercizing! I have gotten fit, strong, and lost weight using this video alone! I also use your chair yoga to stretch a few times a week! I'm so grateful for your video and this is truly a total body workout!

  2. For the exercise where you bend your leg to an almost 1/2 lotus position what do you recommend as a substitute for those who can not bend there knee like that.

    I was 350lbs and am down to 160 lbs but I can not still bend my knees. I want to work on the next step to increase my exercise now that I can do that. I am also dsylexic so watching these at home is wonderful because I can run them repeatedly until my brain finally gets things like 'opposite'.

    Thanks for the good instructions. Suggestions really appreciated.

  3. I just tried this workout for the first time, almost by accident. I had just completed another one of your YouTube videos and this one started playing before I could stop casting to my TV. So, I tried it. I often use your videos with my Ladies' Bible Study group because we have a little workout session before each meeting, but several of the ladies have physical limitations which make it hard for them to do anything strenuous. As a result, we have fallen into a kind of rut where we are just doing stretching or yoga. While that's great, I would love to introduce something to help build them up, and this looks like the perfect solution. Hopefully, my internet connection will hold during our meeting tonight (it's kind of out in the country), and chair work will be our new thing. 🙂 I'm surprisingly sweaty! Thanks, Jessica!

  4. Jessica, I just love this. I did it on a stability ball. Great work out. No matter what condition you are in. Very flexible. Thank you.

  5. I'm trying this at school lol

  6. JC Lo says:

    HI Jessica, I just found your video's and I love them all! I really love the jams in the background. I would love to know who all of the artists are.. 😉

  7. Second time with a knee injury and using this workout—second time loving it! Thank you!

  8. Taby Sakura says:

    Thanks ..watching movies and workout …greattttttt😀😀😀

  9. SJ Himes says:

    Thank you for this video!!

  10. Matt Lesser says:

    Thank you so much for another seated workout! I'm recovering from surgery and it's all I can do for now. It would be wonderful if you could make more for variety and added motivation.

  11. Again, Jessica, you get us moving no matter how we need to move! I absolutely love it! This is perfect for letting my ankle heal up and I'm so happy to find it!

  12. love it! 1st.Day. You're great teacher

  13. Artsy Anne says:

    Jessica, thank you so much for creating chair workouts! I pulled a leg muscle and can’t do my typical standing workouts, but this workout really helps. Thanks again!

  14. I'm 36 weeks pregnant with severe SPD and am not able to lift weights anymore or even stand for more than a few minutes so this workout is a life-saver! Wish I had found it earlier. I've been dying to do some sort of workout.

  15. This is so great to add to my day! Easy abs, arms, and legs to do throughout the day!

  16. hb Smith says:

    You are awesome! Around 4 years ago I found your seated workout. Having had a bicycle accident, I needed something in order to stay fit without standing. Over the years, I have tried several of your workouts and I really enjoy ALL of them. I have seen improvement in my stamina and overall fitness in the last 4 years. Thank you so much.

  17. Rafiah F says:

    Thank you so much for this video. I'm suffering from a vestibular disorder and I am so happy I found this exercise. God bless you.

  18. This workout routine is amazing. It has helped a lot. I usually work out three times a week and the rest of the days my work schedule is different and I need to be in front of a computer with limited space and your routine is perfect for that. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  19. Really fantastic work out thank you. Would have preferred it to be without the music.

  20. Nice!!! Feels really good

  21. A wonderful chair fitness routine but I sure would prefer NO music. We each have different music styles and yours kept distracting me negatively. But your exercise routine, flow, attitude, etc. kept me going until the end. Will see if you have other chair videos without music.

  22. JA B says:

    Would Love MORE Chair Exercise Routines PLEASE!!! 20 minutes is great and then followed up by MORE CHAIR YOGA PLEASE!!!!!! Either or ….standing/sitting or more of BOTH Jessica…..PLEASE!!!! This was good however the side ex for obliques kind of hurt my back/spine. (I have Fibro and OsteoArthritis of my whole spine and many joints). I did what I could even with decreasing range but this was not an ex for me personally. PLEASE bring more CHAIR sitting/standing EXERcise videos AND same with YOGA for us who deal with Disabilities! Thank you SO Much!!! Jill Bradley, (almost 56 yrs), Woodway, TX.

  23. I couldn't believe I was actually breaking a sweat during this workout. I had to turn my office fan on and I keep it pretty cold in here anyway.

  24. Cupcom5 says:

    Did I really just see an add of Raven going back to Disney?

  25. Mum Zee says:

    I love you, Jessica Smith. You've probably saved my life.  Thanks so much for your great vids

  26. Ariane LG says:

    this workout is amazing for my arthritis! i will do it those days i don't feel like doing anything and my joints hurt 🙂 thanks jessica!

  27. Heena T says:

    Thank you so much I feel so much better with this first exercise god bless I am so grateful to you

  28. This was excellent! I stubbed my pinky toe yesterday so putting pressure on it won't be an option for a few days. This quick workout was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks Jessica!

  29. Great for a morning when you aren't feeling great but still want to do something. Thanks for having awesome videos as always!! 🙂

  30. Mia7189 says:

    Glad I found you, Jessica. Just started working out with this one this week. Loved it. Thank you.

  31. imaginnne13 says:

    Thank you for this workout! I am doing a presentation at a women's retreat and this gave me some great ideas for a good chair workout for them all! God Bless!

  32. This is quite the workout. It got my heart rate up in no time. It is perfect for people with injuries who can't handle more intense workouts. Thanks so much.

  33. Debbie Bo says:

    Do these exercised TONE your legs and arms?

  34. Mehrun Ramji says:

    Jessica I am so glad I came across your website.   I am a senior lady who loves to exercise.   I am so glad to find one of the best exercises for side crunches, arm and hips all this while sitting on a chair.    Thank you so much truly blessed.

  35. Thanks for this workout. This is my first time getting back into regular exercise after a bout of depression. However, there are a couple things I can't do that might be related to my size – such as pressing my elbows together. They um… don't fit around my boobs. 😛 Also, the first stage of that off-the-chair tricep exercise is hard for those whose hips come right to the edge of the chair. The second and third stages were much easier. Just FYI. Thanks again – I feel great!

  36. Deb Deelie says:

    I'm broke my ankle and can't do standing work-out yet. This is a great alternative! Thank you for creating this!

  37. Thank you so much! Did this on my lunch break at my desk. Nice break in the day 🙂

  38. Dee Spice says:

    Loved this work out. Excellent explanations and music fits perfectly 👍

  39. Great workout before work. Thank You Jessica and Peanut:)

  40. L Blue says:

    whats funny was i was doing this also with my dog but he's a pitbull so i have to move my chair everytime he tries to sit between my feet lol he takes up too much space

  41. Jo Harryman says:

    Wow! You are a great instructor. I enjoyed this work so much.

  42. Kasandra H says:

    This's a great ease back into exercise. Thank you ~~ Xxx

  43. SoHipsta says:

    Great workout – I wasn't able to do them all due to a knee injury but could do most of them. Thank you so much Jessica – I used to work out 2+ hours 4 days a week then grad school happened and I haven't worked out since August since my work provided a lot of exercise. I have been feeling my body weakening the past month or so, this is great.

  44. gulapfulful says:

    Solid,simple, clear instructions. And the intelligence to make mirror movements so it's easier to follow. THank you. there is a lot of rubbish around. Good to find somthing carefully considered with no pointless chatter, insteadind constant instruction.

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