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Core Without the Floor: 6 ways to strengthen your abs while sitting

When you’re working out, often the last thing you want to do is crunches. Getting down on the floor is a pain, but your core could really use the workout!

Melanie Douglass shares six moves you can do to strengthen your abs without getting down on the floor.


Strengthen Your Core Without Getting on the Floor

Core Breathing

No one even has to know you’re doing this exercise. It’s very subtle movement you can do when you’re driving, waiting in the carpool line, or at the PTA meeting. Follow these steps and hold each about 5 counts.

  1. Scoot back in your chair and bring your shoulders down and back.
  2. Pretend your hips are like a bucket of water. You are going to tilt the water toward the chair.
  3. Bring your belly button in and when you exhale, bring your rib cage down about 2 inches.

Chair Crunch

  1. Scoot forward and lean back. Keep your chest up and your shoulders back. Touch your shoulders to the top of the chair if you can.
  2. Walk your feet out a few small steps. Keep your arms down at your side.
  3. Bring your ribs to your hips to crunch up. You don’t need to go very far forward.
  4. Level up: put your hands behind your head as you crunch.

Chair Bicycle

  1. Lean back and bring your hands up behind your head.
  2. Just like when you do a bicycle on the floor, bring your knee up to your opposite elbow.
  3. Repeat by bringing your other knee to the opposite elbow.

Side Lean

  1. Sit up and keep your shoulders in line with your hips. Don’t hunch over!
  2. Grab the bottom of your chair. It’s best if there is something on the chair below it, like a bar, that you can grab when you lean.
  3. Bring your rib cage to your hip on one side. There is no forward movement.
  4. Lean as low as you can to feel a stretch, but not so low that there is pain.

V Sit

  1. Level one: Sit on the edge of your chair. Lean back and grab the bottom of the chair. Lift one leg up, alternating sides.
  2. Level two: Bring both legs up and hold.

Chair Plank

  1. Put your hands on the chair.
  2. Step out as far as you can.
  3. Bring your shoulders over your wrists and hold.
  4. Level two: drop to your elbows.