All You Need Is a Chair for This 20-Minute Lower-Body Workout

Grab a chair and challenge your lower body in a whole new way.
Image Credit: diego_cervo/iStock/GettyImages

A chair might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of workout equipment, but rest assured, it can provide extra support and stability, as well as act as upping the difficulty of certain moves.

Whether your gym has yet to reopen or you just don't feel like leaving the house, now is the perfect time to get out a chair and give this lower-body workout a try. You'll hit each of the major muscles from glutes to quads and hamstrings to calves.

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

Try This 20-Minute Lower-Body Chair Workout

Do: each set of 3 exercises back-to-back for 3 rounds (2 chair exercises plus jumping jacks), then rest for one minute before moving to the next set of 3 exercises.

Move 1: Step-Up

Move 1: Step-Up
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Start by placing your entire right foot on the chair.
  2. Press through your right heel as you step up onto the chair, bringing your left foot to meet your right so you are standing on the chair.
  3. Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot, then the left so both feet are on the floor.

Move 2: Lying Hip Thruster

Move 2: Lying Hip Thruster
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Lay your upper body and glutes on the floor and place your heels on the chair.
  2. Use the force on your heels to push your glutes and lower back off the floor.
  3. Thrust upward just enough until your upper body and lower body are aligned.
  4. Lower down with control.

Move 3: Jumping Jacks

Move 3: Jumping Jacks
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Type Cardio
  1. Start by standing with your legs together and your hands at your side.
  2. Jump into the air, simultaneously separating your feet and lifting the arms up overhead.
  3. Without resting, jump again and return to the starting position.

Move 4: Body-Weight Squat

Move 4: Body-Weight Squat
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips back to lower your glutes toward the chair without actually sitting down.
  3. With the majority of your weight in your heels, press through your feet to return to standing.

Tip

Be sure to tighten your abdominals to help support your back and core.

Move 5: Glute Kickback

Move 5: Glute Kickback
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Holding onto the back of the chair, stand with your hips hinged slightly back.
  2. Slowly lift one leg, keeping your knee bent, until the sole of your foot faces the ceiling and your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Lower that leg and repeat.
  4. Do all your reps on one side before switching legs.

Move 6: Jumping Jacks

Move 6: Jumping Jacks
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Type Cardio
  1. Start by standing with your legs together and your hands at your side.
  2. Jump into the air, simultaneously separating your feet and lifting the arms up overhead.
  3. Without resting, jump again and return to the starting position.

Move: 7 Single-Leg Squat

Move: 7 Single-Leg Squat
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand tall with your core engaged.
  2. Extend one leg out in front of you, putting your weight in the heel of your other leg which will stay on the ground.
  3. Balancing on your grounded leg, bend your knee, hinge your hips back and sit down on the edge of the chair.
  4. Then stand back up.

Tip

With each rep, try to rely less and less on sitting your full weight into the chair at the bottom.

Move 8: Standing Hip Abduction

Move 8: Standing Hip Abduction
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Using a chair back for balance, stand tall and lift one leg off the floor as you balance on your other foot.
  2. Without bending your knee, raise the lifted leg out to the side of the body.
  3. Bring your leg back down and cross your foot in front of the standing leg as far as you can, keeping both legs straight.

Move 9: Jumping Jacks

Move 9: Jumping Jacks
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Type Cardio
  1. Start by standing with your legs together and your hands at your side.
  2. Jump into the air, simultaneously separating your feet and lifting the arms up overhead.
  3. Without resting, jump again and return to the starting position.

Move 10: Single-Leg Hip Bridge

Move 10: Single-Leg Hip Bridge
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Start by lying flat on your back.
  2. Place one heel on the chair and float the other above the chair.
  3. Press into your heel on the chair and drive up through your heel to raise hips to the chair’s height.
  4. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then lower back down and repeat.

Move 11: Wide Squat

Move 11: Wide Squat
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Region Lower Body
  1. Stand in front of a chair with your feet at an extra-wide stance (beyond hip-width).
  2. Bend your knees and lower your glutes toward the chair without actually sitting down.
  3. Keep your knees over your ankles and place your weight in your heels throughout the full range of motion.
  4. Press through your heels to return to standing.

Move 12: Jumping Jacks

Move 12: Jumping Jacks
Image Credit: SJ McShane/LIVESTRONG.com
Sets 3
Reps 15
Type Cardio
  1. Start by standing with your legs together and your hands at your side.
  2. Jump into the air, simultaneously separating your feet and lifting the arms up overhead.
  3. Without resting, jump again and return to the starting position.