A Seated Workout
Strengthening and stretching exercises you can do in a limited space without equipment
There are many ways to use and stretch muscles. You can get a full body workout by doing these “commuting” exercises sitting on a bus, train, ferry, or plane. Please don’t do them when you’re driving.
Click on any image on the stretching and exercise pages to enlarge. Enlarged images are displayed in a photo gallery useful for viewing on phone or other mobile device that allows swiping.
Most of these exercises are isometric. That means that the muscle isn’t shortening or lengthening, but it’s still working because there is an equal and opposite force resisting motion. You’ll provide resistance to the working muscle by using your opposite arm or leg. In essence you’re getting TWICE the workout. Occasionally we present a non-isometric variation where movement WILL occur. You’ll need more room to do these and resistance will come either from gravity or from your body weight.
We’ve colored in the places where you’re likely to feel something happening, either working or stretching. RED indicates the muscle being targeted. PURPLE indicates the muscle being used secondarily to resist motion. Dotted lines or stripes in a muscle indicate stretch.
Strengthening exercises are generally done in 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise. Because you’re not lifting weights, we suggest you try to hold the working position with resistance for a count of 10 seconds. Breathe IN while you count and breathe OUT as you relax before repeating. You should take a few deep breaths between sets. For the stretches, breathe in as you get into the stretched position, then hold the stretch for 20 seconds while breathing out. If you’re doing the entire sequence, do the strengthening exercises first, and then the stretches.
Don’t mind the weird looks you’re getting from people around you. They’re jealous. Tell them where you found the website.
- Isometric = no change in length of muscle
- Count to 10 during each exercise.
- Remember to breathe during each exercise.
- Repeat each exercise 10 times. 10 times = 1 set.
- Do 3 sets of the whole routine = 30 of each exercise.
- Do each exercise on both right and left sides.
- Remember to stretch. Try to hold each stretch for 20 seconds.
Index of Exercises by Body Region
- Hand and Wrist
- Hip and Thigh
- Bending hip (strengthening)
- Lower limb combination (strengthening)
- Moving thigh to the back (strengthening)
- Moving thigh to the center (strengthening)
- Moving thigh to the side (strengthening)
- Stretching back of thigh (stretching)
- Strecthing front of thigh (stretching)
- Stretching inner thigh (stretching)
- Stretching outer thigh (stretching)
- Lowering (strengthening)
- Moving arms toward the center (strengthening)
- Raising arm to the front and back (strengthening)
- Raising arm to the side (strengthening)
- Raising the Shoulder (strengthening)
- Rotating Inward (strengthening)
- Rotating Outward (strengthening)
- Shoulder blade stabilization to ribs (strengthening)
- Shoulder blade stabilization to spine (strengthening)
- Stretching the back of the shoulder (stretching)