Chair Exercises for Abs

You can strengthen your abs while sitting in a chair at home or in your office, so there is no excuse not to get started slimming your stomach. Chair exercises might not seem as hard because you are not standing up or lifting all of your body weight as you do during a sit-up, but they still work. Make sure you sit away from a backrest, though, so your abs will be responsible for maintaining a straight spine and good posture.

Seated Ab Vacuum in a Chair

The ab vacuum is a simplistic abdominal exercise that can be performed anywhere. Sit on a chair, with your feet on the floor and your spine straight. Take a deep breath, then breathe out and simultaneously squeeze your abs inward as if trying to touch your belly button to your spine. The ab vacuum should be held for 10 to 20 seconds for each of the desired repetitions.

Seated Hay-Baler

The hay-baler exercise typically is done in a kneeling or standing position, making your abs work harder to stabilize your body, but it also can be done in a chair. The hay baler, and its cousin the wood chop, work all the muscles of your abs as you move a medicine ball or resistance band diagonally across your body. The hay baler is easier to do in a chair with a med ball. Hold a ball between both hands while sitting in a chair. Begin with the ball next to your left hip, with your arms straight. Then, raise the ball above your right shoulder. Return the ball next to your hip to do one rep on that side. Do the same thing on the other side by starting with the ball at your right hip and bringing it up to your left shoulder.

Chair-Seated Medicine Ball Trunk Rotation

Trunk rotations with a medicine ball train the front and sides of your abs. Other free weights, such as a dumbbell or weighted plate, can be substituted for a medicine ball. Sit up straight in a chair, and hold a weight between your hands and in front of your chest. The elbows can be bent or straight, though the farther away the weight is, the harder the exercise will be. You can get a harder ab workout by maintaining a straight spine but also leaning back to a 45-degree angle. A chair without a back or a stool is ideal, though you can sit sideways in a chair without arms. Start by turning your shoulders to the left, then return to face forward. Rotate in the other direction to finish one rep.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.