What are seated exercises?

Seated exercises are a form of physical activity that can be done while sitting down. They are designed to help people with mobility issues or require a more gentle workout. Seated exercises also benefit those recovering from an injury, surgery, or illness. These exercises can improve strength, flexibility, and balance without putting too much strain on the body.

Physical therapists and other healthcare professionals often incorporate seated exercises into their treatment plans for patients with limited mobility. These exercises can be done in various settings, such as at home, in a chair yoga class, or at a physical therapy session.

Examples of seated exercises

Here are some examples of seated exercises that can be done in a chair:

  • Seated shoulder presses: Sit on a sturdy chair with legs straight and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core muscles and keep your shoulder blades back. Start with arms forward at shoulder width, then push upwards until arms are straight. Lower slowly and repeat.
  • One leg raise: While seated, extend the left leg straight, keeping toes pointed, and slowly raise it to strengthen the lower body. Alternate with the opposite leg to promote balance.
  • Leg extension: From a seated position with knees bent, extend the left leg until it is straight and hold before lowering it back down. Repeat with the right leg to work on your quadriceps and core stability.
  • Arm lifts: With your arms straight at your sides and palms facing forward, lift your left arm to shoulder height and hold, then lower slowly. This exercise helps strengthen the chest muscles and upper arms.
  • Seated marches: Sitting with shoulders back, lift your left foot with the knee bent in a marching motion to start this chair exercise. Alternate with the right foot, resembling a seated march, to activate the core and enhance leg motion.
  • Opposite arm and leg lift: Raise your left arm forward at shoulder height while extending your right leg out straight. Alternate with the opposite arm and leg to engage the upper and lower body in a coordinated effort.
  • Toe taps: While seated, start with both feet flat for this seated workout. Slowly bend the left foot to tap your toes while keeping the right foot still. Alternate tapping each foot to engage calf muscles and improve lower leg dexterity.
  • Chair leg tap: Securely sitting on the edge of the chair, slowly bend forward to tap the chair legs, one at a time, with your hands. This action helps work the lower back and hamstrings while maintaining balance.
  • Arm circles: Sit with your feet flat and core engaged for this chair workout. With arms straight out to your sides at shoulder level, slowly rotate your arms in small circles to work the shoulder blades and upper arms.

These seated and balance exercises for seniors and younger people alike offer a low-impact chair workout option to enhance strength, balance, and flexibility from a seated position. To learn more seated workouts for our patients, download our Seated Exercises PDF template.

How does this Seated Exercises PDF work?

This Seated Exercises PDF is designed to provide a variety of exercises that can be done while seated, making it accessible and beneficial for individuals with limited mobility. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Access the template

Get a copy of the Seated Exercises PDF using this page's link or the Carepatron app. You can also get it from our resources library.

Step 2: Print or use the digital format

Give your patient the option to use either the printed or digital format, whichever is more convenient. If using the digital format, they can view it on their device and follow along.

Step 3: Start with a warm-up

It's important to always start with a warm-up before beginning any exercise routine. This helps prepare the body and reduces the risk of injury. The Seated Exercises PDF includes a warm-up section with gentle stretches to get the body moving.

Step 4: Choose exercises based on ability

Encourage your patient to start with exercises suitable for their current level of mobility and gradually work up to more challenging ones. The Seated Exercises PDF provides a range of options that can be modified depending on individual abilities.

Step 5: Focus on proper form and breathing

Remind your patient to pay attention to their posture and form while doing the exercises. It's essential to maintain good alignment to avoid strain or injury. Also, encourage them to take deep breaths throughout the routine for added relaxation and stress relief.

Step 6: Cool down with stretches

After completing the exercises, ensure your patient takes the time to cool down and stretch their muscles. This helps prevent lightheadedness or muscle soreness.

Step 7: Modify as needed

Everyone is different, so modify the exercises according to your patient's needs and abilities. Encourage them to listen to their body and take breaks when necessary.

Seated Exercises PDF example

We have created a sample worksheet to illustrate how to use the template's additional notes section when jotting down details for your patient. This sample is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for proper medical advice.

Download this free Seated Exercises PDF example here:

Seated Exercises PDF example

Benefits of seated exercises

Seated exercises have numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved strength and muscle tone: Seated exercises can help improve muscle strength and tone, especially in the core, arms, and legs. They use body weight as resistance to build muscles.
  • Increased flexibility: Regular seated exercises can improve joint flexibility and range of motion. This is particularly beneficial for older adults or those with chronic conditions that affect mobility.
  • Enhanced balance and coordination: Seated exercises can help improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Low impact: These types of exercises are low impact, meaning they put less strain on joints and muscles than other forms of physical activity. This makes it ideal for those with joint pain or arthritis.
  • Stress reduction: Engaging in seated exercises can also positively impact mental health. Focusing on movement and breath can help reduce stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of calmness and well-being.

When should you recommend seated exercises?

These exercises are suitable for various patients and situations, such as the following:

For patients with limited mobility:

Seated exercises are ideal for patients with limited mobility due to age, injury, or chronic conditions. They provide a way to stay active and maintain muscle strength without putting too much strain on the body.

For post-surgery recovery:

Seated exercises are an excellent option for patients recovering from surgery with limited mobility during their healing process. These exercises can help maintain muscle function and prevent stiffness.

When standing exercises are not an option:

In some cases, patients may have conditions that make it difficult or unsafe to do standing exercises. Seated exercises provide a way to stay active without putting stress on the body.

During long periods of sitting:

For patients who spend a lot of time sitting, whether at work or during travel, incorporating some seated exercises into their routine can help prevent stiffness and improve blood circulation.

For mental well-being:

Physical activity has been linked to improved mental health. Seated exercises provide a low-impact form of movement that can contribute to overall well-being and reduce stress and anxiety.

For increasing physical activity:

For patients who lead sedentary lifestyles, starting with seated exercises can significantly increase physical activity levels and improve overall health gradually. These exercises are a manageable and low-impact option for those who may not have the stamina or mobility for more intense activities.

Tips for patients doing chair workouts

As a healthcare professional, educating your patients on proper form and safety precautions when doing seated exercises is essential. Some tips to keep in mind include:

  • Ensure the chair is sturdy and stable before beginning chair workouts to prevent falls or injuries.
  • Advise your patients to start each seated exercise by sitting upright with feet shoulder-width apart to maintain balance and promote proper posture.
  • Recommend controlling movements during chair exercises; for example, slowly bend the left knee, then carefully extend it back to the starting position.
  • Include a variety of arm exercises in the exercise program, which can be done using light weights or resistance bands to increase upper body strength without adding too much strain.
  • Emphasize the importance of gently returning to the starting position after each repetition to prevent muscle strain and ensure the full benefit of the seated exercise.

Seated Exercises PDF & Example | Free PDF DownloadWhy use Carepatron as your fitness and physical therapy software?

Ready to elevate your fitness or physical therapy business? Join the Carepatron community today, where managing your practice becomes as simple and efficient as the health outcomes you strive to achieve for your clients.

Our all-in-one software solution offers the perfect combination of cutting-edge technology and personalized support to help you streamline your operations and provide exceptional care to your clients.

We offer features like automated scheduling, electronic medical records, telehealth capabilities, and billing and invoicing tools to help you save time and focus on what matters most – your clients.

Trusted by thousands of fitness and physical therapy professionals worldwide, Carepatron is the go-to choice for growing their business and improving patient outcomes.

Join us and discover why Carepatron is the top choice for fitness and physical therapy practice management software.

physical therapy emr
Are chair workouts effective for maintaining fitness?
Are chair workouts effective for maintaining fitness?

Commonly asked questions

Are chair workouts effective for maintaining fitness?

Yes, chair workouts can be incredibly effective, especially for those with limited mobility or who prefer a low-impact exercise program. They can help maintain and improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

What is the correct starting position for chair exercises?

The correct starting position typically involves sitting with a straight back, feet flat on the floor, and feet shoulder-width apart. This stable base ensures safety and allows you to perform exercises with the proper form.

Can seated exercise benefit those who are not seniors?

Absolutely! While seated exercises are especially beneficial for seniors, they are also great for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting, those with physical limitations, or even as a break from office work to maintain circulation and muscle tone.

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work