Known by many as the chair rise exercise the sit to stand improves your mobility and balance by strengthening your lower body.
It is also used by recovering patients to regain their lower body independence after either an injury, surgery or accident.
The exercise helps you to strengthen both your thigh and core muscles.
How to do the sit to stand:
Required equipment: A sturdy chair (a medicine ball is optional)
- Place your chair in front of you on a flat surface, sit down and move towards the front almost at the edge of the chair.
- Ensure that your knees are bent forming a ninety-degree angle with your calves and you’re your feet planted flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back and neck straight, place your hands on each side of the seat, with your chest slightly bent forward.
- Lean forward as you slightly move your weight to the toes of your feet, breathing in slowly as you do this.
- In a controlled manner, slowly stand up as you breathe out, avoiding using your hands to provide any support.
- As you stand upright hold this position as you fully breathe in and out once.
- Breathe in as you slowly sit back down controlling your weight so that you do not land back on the chair with force, but slowly and gradually sit down.
- Remember to engage your core and abdominal muscles to help you in lowering down your body as slow as you can.
- Finally, slowly exhale as you fully sit down.
- Repeat the motion ten times in a set of three, taking a thirty-second break in between each set.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Ensure to not hold your breath at any point in the exercise for this can cause unsafe blood pressure changes.
If the exercise poses a great challenge to you, engage your hands to help push you off the chair as you get up. Outstretch them to brace you as you sit down.
WHAT MUSCLES DO A SIT TO STAND WORK?
The exercise was mostly developed for recovering patients and seniors but it can also be used as a general workout.
It strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes as primary muscles and your abdominals and core as secondary muscles.
BENEFITS OF DOING A SIT TO STAND EXERCISE
STRENGTHENS YOUR BACK AND CORE
Repetition of the exercise primarily targets your lower abdominal and leg muscles. This both helps to increase their strength and definition.
This in turn helps to lower the risk of you getting back injuries for the lower back is also worked in the exercise.
Practicing the sit to stand exercise helps raise the flexibility of both your hips and abdomen, for it involves you constantly moving your joints in a fluid motion.
This helps improve your upright posture because the exercise strengthens your core muscles.
It also enables you to stretch your upper leg muscles to their max without feeling a strain on them while performing other exercises or day to day activities.
IMPROVES BALANCE AND STABILITY
As the exercise works your core as well as your lower body muscles, it makes it easier for your body to support your weight. Preventing you from tipping over when engaging in activities that challenge your balance.
BURNS CALORIES AND FATS
Though the exercise is not as cardiovascular intensive, constant repetition of the sit to stand exercise will cause your heart rate to rise to pump blood across your working muscles faster.
This causes your body to burn calories and break down fat to produce the required energy to carry out the exercise.
ALTERNATIVES TO DOING SIT TO STAND EXERCISE
Known to be a convenient body-weight exercise that mainly strengthens your glutes, core, hip extensors and hamstrings.
How to do a glute bridge:
Required equipment: none (a mat is optional)
- Lie flat face up on the floor, with your arms at the sides of your hip palms down. Outstretch your legs fully and do not arch your lower back.
- Bring up your legs bending your knees at ninety degrees, making sure that your feet are planted on the floor and shoulder-width apart.
- Activate your core and your glutes slowly lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Lifting them as high as they can go while keeping your back straight.
- Squeeze your core and glutes as tightly as you can once you reach the top and hold it for about three seconds.
- Keeping your core and glutes tensed slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
- Repeat this motion for tens reps in a set of two.
If you feel the workout mostly in your hamstrings instead of your glutes, move your feet closer to your glutes as you do the glute bridge.
STRAIGHT LEG RAISES
The exercise mainly strengthens the lower core, your abdominals and your legs restoring their full range of motion.
How to do a straight leg raise:
Required equipment: none (a mat is optional)
- Lie on the floor face up flat on the ground and your legs outstretched.
- Bend your left knee at a ninety-degree angle planting your foot firmly on the ground to give you a grip.
- Slowly inhale and lift your right leg in a controlled manner, ensuring to stabilize your right leg muscles by tensing up your quadriceps.
- Lift your right leg to about seven inches off the ground. Hold this position for about three seconds.
- Exhale, slowly lowering your leg back to the floor.
- Switch the position of your left and right leg so that now your right leg is bent and repeat the motion.
- Repeat the motion ten times each leg for two sets taking a one-minute break in-between each set.
SIT TO STAND EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID
RUSHING THROUGH THE EXERCISE
Cranking your legs at lightning speed to stand up as fast as you can, will cause you to ruin your proper form and lower the impact the exercise has on the targeted muscles.
Lessening the results and progress.
ARCHING YOUR BACK
Arching your back while doing a sit to stand exercise will lead to back injuries and pains, due to moving most of the load your core bared to your back, thus straining it.
The sit-to-stand exercise has been proven to be great for people trying to recover their range of motion and lower body independence.
Thus, the exercise is both great for recovery and generally strengthens your lower body and core, making it a great non-strenuous exercise to add to your workout routine.