We all know regular exercise is good for our body and mind, but feeling short of time can hold many of us back. The good news is that a regular workout of just five minutes can make a difference ― and once you get moving, you might even be tempted to try a longer stint.
Personal trainer Dom Thorpe has created a quick, full-body session to get you started. The entire routine can be completed from a chair, meaning you can easily incorporate it into your day, whether you’re having a quick break from work or you’re watching TV.
“Use the following seated exercises to give yourself a full-body workout, which can be done using a wheelchair, office chair or any other chair you can find,” Thorpe explained.
“If you don’t have dumbbells to hand, use cans of food or bottles of water which you can adjust accordingly to your needs,” Thorpe continued. ”Perform in a circuit format, carrying out each exercise for 30 seconds before moving onto the next. After completing all exercises, repeat the circuit one more time.”
Seated Ab Crunch
Stomach and hip flexors (works the rectus abdominus and iliopsoas)
Perch your bottom on the edge of the chair and lean back into the chair to support your upper body.
With your hands gripped firmly on the sides of the chair, raise both knees toward your chest and slowly return them to the starting position.
Perform with one leg at a time if two legs is too challenging.
Seated Back Extension
Works the lower back (erector spinae)
In a seated position, stabilize yourself by spreading your legs and putting the feet flat on the floor.
With the hands at your temples and your elbows spread wide, gently lower your upper body forward until you’re parallel to the ground, before returning up to a seated position in a controlled manner.
Try to contract your back muscles at the top and push your ribcage forward.
Seated Overhead Tricep Extension
Works the back of the arms (triceps)
Sit well back in your chair with your back fully supported. Hold one or two weights in your hands and start with your arms fully extended above your head.
Gently lower the weight behind your head stopping just before you make contact with the back of your neck.
Extend in a controlled fashion to return to the starting position.
Seated Single Arm Row
Works arms and back (biceps, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids and trapezius)
Using one elbow for support by resting it on your knee, hold a dumbbell in your other hand and perform a rowing motion in a controlled fashion.
Ensure that your elbow is fully extended at the bottom of the row and pull the weight tightly into your ribcage at the top of the movement.
Draw your shoulder back and bring your shoulder blades together. Repeat the set with the other arm.
Sit And Press
Works lower body, shoulders and back of the arms (quads, hamstrings, glutes, deltoids and triceps).
If required, simply perform the upper body portion of the movement from a seated position.
Sit with your bottom perched on the edge of the chair and your heels directly beneath your shoulders.
Using weights, hold them in a comfortable position at around shoulder height with your elbows directly beneath the weights.
Push upward into a standing position with your arms fully extended above your head, ensuring that the lower body movement happens simultaneously to the upper body movement.
Perform this movement in reverse to return to the starting position.
This post originally appeared in HuffPost UK for their Move series.