Instructions for a Chair Aerobics Routine

Instructions for a Chair Aerobics Routine

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Regular chair exercise can improve balance for walking.

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Once considered the exercise of choice for seniors, chair exercise is popular with individuals who have limited mobility, or those with rehabilitative and balance issues. Chair exercise offers will help build greater aerobic capacity, strength and endurance, and increased flexibility when performed regularly. Many fitness centers and community centers offer specialized chair classes to meet those with certain exercise needs. For most participants, chair aerobics offers a lower-impact alternative to the traditional standing or step aerobics.


The chair is your most important piece of equipment for this type of aerobics. Most, if not all, of your exercises will be done sitting or with the use of the chair. However, the type of chair you use will determine your ability to perform the exercises. Choose a chair without arms to give you a greater range of motion for your arms and legs. The chair should have a straight back and sturdy enough legs to hold your body weight. Make sure the chair is on a flat surface during exercise. Also, if you exercise within a group, be sure to have plenty of space between chairs to move your arms.


You can duplicate many of the same moves of standing aerobics with the use of a chair. There are moves to increase heart rate, build strength, and increase endurance and flexibility to give you a total-body workout. For the upper body, you can do biceps curls, triceps extensions, deltoid lifts, shoulder shrugs/rolls and even boxing punches. Lower-body exercises include leg lifts, abductor/adductor lifts, calf raises and marches. A routine of yoga or static stretching at the end of the workout will help to improve flexibility.


Music provides the rhythm for the chair aerobics routine. Choosing the right type of music can be important when starting a program. If orchestral music is what you prefer, use that during your exercise -- it's all about comfort within your workout. Keep a steady pace throughout your workout, with a goal of a period of increased heart rate for at least 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of your workout, you can use a slower tempo music to relax the body and prepare to stretch for the cool-down.


Check with your physician or health-care provider before starting any exercise program. Speak with your doctor to see how often you should perform a weekly chair exercise program. A weekly program will increase your fitness level and help to give you the strength to complete daily activities. A chair exercise group that meets a couple of times a week will provide accountability and encouragement to continue to exercise.