By Jenny Sugar (POPSUGAR)
Shout out to all the people who've been working from home for a full year! If your body aches from sitting so much, and your exercise routine could use a refresh, try this fun and unique Pilates workout that uses an office chair. It was created by ACE-certified trainer and advanced Pilates instructor Andrea Marcellus, and AND/life app creator, who told POPSUGAR that Pilates exercises are highly beneficial because they activate the core muscles, particularly the transverse abdominals, which wrap around you like a corset, keeping your spine in alignment.
Additionally, the deliberate connection of breath to focused movement is calming for your brain and central nervous system, Marcellus said. This helps reduce your body's chronic stress response, helping to train your brain not to over-respond to stress in the first place. Pilates not only strengthens your muscles, but promotes mental wellness as well.
The 11 exercises in this workout mimic the total-body light spring strength work on a Pilates reformer, but without the reformer! If you have a chair with wheels, that would be perfect, but if not, a regular chair will also work; you'll just need to modify some of the exercises using a small towel or sliders.
10-Minute Full-Body Pilates Chair Workout
Equipment needed: office chair with wheels, or a regular chair plus a small towel (if you're on smooth floor) or sliders or paper plates (if you're on carpet)
Directions:After warming up with a few minutes of jogging in place, jumping jacks, and arm circles, complete the below workout once. At the end of the workout, do this 10-minute stretching routine.
Shoulder bridge: 10 reps
Shoulder bridge with leg extension: 10 reps
Single leg hip lift: 5 reps
Hamstring curl: 10 reps
Skier in hip lift: 10 reps
Clamshell: 10 reps
In and out crunch: 10 reps
Teaser: 5 reps
Mermaid in and outs: 5 to 10 reps per side
Push-up: 10 reps
Plank hip extension: 10 reps per side
Keep reading for a detailed explanation of how to do each of these exercises.