In an ideal world, we'd all have hours every day to exercise in a beautiful, fully equipped gym. Unfortunately, however, that's not reality for those juggling hectic schedules (read: oh so many of us.)
Small spaces and zero equipment need not be reasons to skip exercising when you're willing to get creative and think outside the box. Whether it’s at your office, hotel room or tiny apartment, these challenging lower-body exercises can be done discreetly anywhere – all you need is a chair.
Side note: If you find yourself regularly unable to make it to the gym, there are a few practical items you may want to consider investing in to keep your workouts challenging and fresh. For those who travel often, I highly recommend purchasing a skipping rope and ab gliders. They are easy to pack, lightweight and make it convenient to get an excellent workout in on the road without a gym. For those who may find themselves working out in the office regularly, weight vests and adjustable dumbbells are excellent options to have on hand that require next to no storage room.
Ready? Let’s get started!
5 Exercise Moves You Can Do in the Most Unexpected Places
The following exercises all require 3 sets of 15 reps.
1. Single Leg Pistol Squat to Chair
Start in a seated position on a chair. Lift right leg up a few inches from the ground. Pushing through the left heel, stand up while breathing out, keeping the right leg off the ground. Slowly lower back down to seated position keeping the right leg lifted in the air. That's one rep.
2. Bulgarian Split Squat
Stand away from a chair and lift the right foot to rest toes on top of the chair. That's your starting position. With arms at your sides (with dumbbells, optional), lower your right (back) knee until it has almost reached the ground while breathing in. Stand back up to starting position, focusing on pushing through the heel of your left (front) foot while breathing out. That's one rep.
3. Forward to Reverse Lunges
Step forward with right foot and lower the left knee until it almost touches the ground and right thigh is almost parallel to the ground, breathing in. Pushing through the heel of your right foot (this is the working leg), lift the right leg up and back behind the body, similar to a forward lunge but passing the starting position and landing behind you. Lower until right knee almost touches the ground and left thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Pushing through the heel of the left foot (this is the working leg), step the right leg all the way from behind you to the front of you as if you are performing a reverse lunge but passing the starting position. That's one rep.
4. Single Leg Glute Bridge
Lie on the floor and rest the heel of the left foot on the seat of the chair. Extend the right leg so that the thigh is parallel to the left leg, straightening the knee. Lift your butt using your glutes until hips are in full extension. Lower to starting position. That's one rep.
5. Stationary Lunge
Stand with your feet next to each other. Take a large step forward with your left leg. This is your starting position. Lower until the right knee almost touches the ground and your left thigh is parallel to the floor ground, while breathing in. Pushing through the heel of your left foot, stand back up to the starting position. That’s one rep.