No-Weights Workout – Two Folding Chairs

In PART ONE I showed you a workout for a single folding chair. This workout is using TWO folding chairs.

I am sharing this workout I designed and performed with 8 people. You can arrange a small group too or be a party of one but you need minimally two chairs. Place the chairs in a circle and perform a circuit moving clockwise from one set of chairs to another.

Most of this circuit workout, shot on location, can be seen in the No-Weights Workout . We used no equipment other than folding chairs that were publicly accessible.

Every exercise can be modified and scaled up or down.

    • Choose your repetitions: 6, 8, 12, 16 or burnout
    • Choose how aggressive you want to be. Do a Fast circuit with minimal rest or Perform one set at a time.
    • How many sets would you like? Beginners perform ONE. Intermediate perform THREE. Elite perform FIVE.
    • I advise you practice each exercise slowly before you begin a circuit.
    • Caution: You are going to have fun working out  here.

Two chair circuits

Upper Body

Push up – One hand on each chair. Lift your hips, and engage your core as you press straight up and down from your chest.
Muscles: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Hips, Core
Contraindications: Make sure you engage the pelvic floor. Do not push from your shoulders exclusively.

Dive bomb – This is essentially a push up diving down and up again.

        • Bend your arms and “dive” your nose forward toward the ground.
        • Then lift your head upward as you continue forward, straightening your arms.
        • Reverse this motion by pushing your body back and lifting your hips again.

You really want to articulate the movement and allow your spine to move fluidly.
Muscles: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Hips, Core
Contraindications: Just don’t fudge it up.

Dips – Kneel between the two chairs. Place one hand on each chair, lean forward, engage your core, tuck your knees and push down thus pressing your body upwards. You can do a variation of this for your core by placing your forearms down. See the video.

Standing forward raises with chair – Make sure your chair is secure and doesn’t close when lifted. Otherwise, you will pinch your fingers. Grab the chair from the frame not the seat and raise chair with straight arms. Keep your back straight and your chest up.
Muscles: Shoulders, Core
Contraindications: Hunching the shoulders. Heaving the chair/weight up and swaying back. Leaning too far forward.

Going for the dive bomb!

 

Lower Body/ Core

Chair Step ups – Center your foot in the middle of the chair and step up pushing off the heel of the front leg. See video.
Muscles: Hips & Buttocks, Legs
Contraindications: Rounding the back. Leaning the torso forward excessively. Shifting the your weight to one side

Chair step overs – Can be a great agility and cardio drill. See video.

Mountain climbers – Place one hands on each chair. Stagger your feet, one forward and one back. Press down and support your body weight with your chest and quickly cycle your feet forward and back.
Muscles: Shoulders. Triceps. Core, Legs, Heart
Contraindications: Jumping up and down. Displacing your weight into the chair thus pushing it forward.

Folding Chair “No-Crunch” Crunches – I have a policy of NO CRUNCHES. This is a modification of a pullover that will specifically target your core. Lay on the floor. Stabilize your core. Make sure you keep the arch of the lower back and cervical spine. You can keep your head on the floor or you can lift it up no more than one inch. Now reach back and securely grab your chair and raise it over your head in a controlled fashion.
Muscles: Abdominals, Serratus Anterior.
Contraindications: Avoid flattening your back or causing neck stress. Do not bend your elbows. Do not turn this into an arm exercise.

If you have a medical condition, if you are recovering from injury, or lacking body awareness, you may want a qualified coach or training partner nearby to cue you.  Or you can videotape your workout and examine your form afterward. 

 

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