Seated Chair Exercises for the Abdominals

There is no shortage of exercises and pieces of equipment to help strengthen your abdominals. While that might have a lot to do with looks, the American Council on Exercise points out that strong abs also play an important role in maximizing your sports performance and keeping your body healthy and functional. You don’t need any fancy equipment to do it either; you can exercise your abs from a stable, firm chair.


While you can work your abdominals with only body weight exercises, utilizing a medicine ball gives you even more exercise options and the added resistance helps you build increased abdominal strength. The American Council on Exercise notes that you can work your abdominals with seated medicine ball twists. Sit in your chair and hold your medicine ball in the center of your body, a little lower than your chest. Tighten your abdominals. From this position twist your upper body to the right while keeping your head and shoulders moving together. Move back to the starting position and then twist to your left side. Begin with 10 to 12 reps.

Knee Raises

A lot of abdominal exercises like crunches and sit-ups focus on lifting your upper body, but you can strengthen your abs by moving your lower body too. Seated knee raises provide on good chair exercise for you to do that focuses on training your abdominals through lower body movements. Sit at the edge of your chair with your hands next to your legs. Lean your upper body slightly back and then use your abs to lift your knees as high up towards your chest as you can. Lower your knees back down and then repeat the exercise. This can be a tough exercise so start off with eight to 10 reps and add more as you get stronger.

Chair Raise

In the chair raise you hold your body a few inches off of your seat using only your arms to support your body weight. From your seated position, move towards the end of your chair. Place your hands just outside your legs with your fingers wrapping under the chair’s front edge. You should be sitting with your knees and hips both bent at about 90-degree angles. The goal is to raise your glutes off the chair while using your abs to keep your knees at the same angle once as your feet come off the floor. Hold this position for as long as possible or until you reach 60 seconds.

About this Author

A health and fitness writer since 2008, Aaron Matthew specializes in writing about health, fitness and mental performance topics for various websites including LIVESTRONG. He holds a Master of Arts degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University.