Seated Flexibility and Strength Workout

Grab a sturdy chair and take a seat for these simple stretches and low-impact exercises. You'll also need a 2- to 5-pound weight in each hand for the strength exercises, or you can use two full cans of food from your pantry.

IMPORTANT Consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise to discuss what may be right for you.
exercise tips

Follow these exercise tips before starting the seated workout:

  • Be sure to use a sturdy chair with a high back (no stools or folding chairs). Sit on the edge of the chair, and hold on to the side of the seat with one or both hands.
  • Keep your back straight. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed, dropped down, and away from your ears.
  • Keep your chin parallel with the floor. Tighten or flex your abdominal muscles during every exercise movement to protect your lower back.
  • If you’re stable and comfortable with the movements, feel free to move your arms to increase the intensity of your workout.

knee to chest

Flexibility Exercise: Knee to Chest


  1. Grasp the back of your right knee and raise it toward your torso.
  2. Maintain a tall and straight seated posture. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with your other leg.
sit and reach

Flexibility Exercise: Sit and Reach


  1. With knees together and your back tall and lifted, extend one arm straight up toward the ceiling.
  2. Stretch along your torso, reaching as high as possible with one hand.
  3. Look up at your hand for an added stretch through the neck and shoulders. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then switch to the other side. Grip the chair seat for balance, if necessary.

If you’d like a longer workout or to increase the intensity, continue with the following strength exercises.

bicep curls

Strength Exercise: Bicep Curls


  1. Hold one weight in each hand, elbows at your sides, and flex your arms toward your shoulders for a bicep curl. Keep your wrists straight.
  2. Slowly lower arms and repeat. Keep your elbows pointed toward the floor, and use your bicep muscles to control the movements. Count 1, 2 as you lift up; 2, 1 as you lower down. Do not grip the weights too tightly, and remember to breathe as you perform the exercises.

Do 15-20 repetitions.

kick and contract

Strength Exercise: Kick and Contract


  1. From the front edge of the chair, extend your legs from the hip joints. Try to sit tall with your torso lifted as you flex your thigh muscles. If possible, raise the knee of the extended leg higher than the knee of the bent leg.

Repeat with the opposite leg. Continue kicking, alternating legs, for 3-5 minutes.