How To Do The Chair Sit Up Properly

A chair sit up is structured in the same way that a standard sit up is. As such, it brings the same thing to the table.

However, it’s largely considered a low-impact variation of the standard sit up. To do the exercise


The first step is to find a stable sturdy chair without handles.

  • Sit upright on the chair with your back straight.
  • Place your arms on your thighs with your hands on the sides for support
  • Bend your knees and lift your legs so your knees are directly above your hips
  • Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
  • Slowly curl your knees toward your chest until you feel your tailbone lift slightly off the ground.
  • Hold the contraction for 2 seconds and return to the starting position

With these steps in mind, you should also keep the following in mind:

Lean your shoulders back. Press your shoulder blades down and remember to not sit on your tailbone.

You should always keep these tips in mind while performing chair sit up movements.



The rectus abdominis also referred to popularly as abs refer to muscles located between the ribs and pelvis.

When you actively target the rectus abdominis i.e., while doing the chair sit up, you shed the surrounding body fat.

At the same time, the effects of a well-worked rectus abdominis bring forward a ‘ribbed appearance’ on your stomach area.

This is the aesthetically desired effect of working the abs known as ‘six pack’. A ‘six pack’ is formed when you lean back and take away all forms of support.

As such, you force the abdominal muscle to funnel you up. This is inclusive of the full bodyweight that’s been directed towards that area on top of


The transverse abdominis works closely with the rectus abdominis. While the abs provide power, the transverse abdominis are what keep you balanced.

They are therefore what you engage before, during and after you make any core based movements.


When doing the chair sit up, you take away all forms of support throughout your movements. Therefore the role of regulating movement and providing support falls to different areas.

As mentioned before the role of support falls to the transverse abdominis among other areas.

The obliques however are key in one of the movements necessary to perform the chair sit up that is pushing the chest downwards.

Whilst doing the exercise it is vital to ensure that you don’t hasten your movements. This is where obliques come in.

The obliques are responsible for all downward chest movement. They are thus engaged when you push yourself down and regulate how fast or slow you move.


The chest accommodates much of the distributed upper body weight as you make your movements.

The chest and the rectus abdominis are thus the most engaged areas when doing the chair sit up.


The neck serves a regulatory purpose. Chair sit ups exert a high amount of pressure on the spine and back if left unregulated.

As such the neck performs the regulation role throughout the exercise. This is enforced whenever you place your neck in a neutral position.

A neutral neck position reduces the pressure on the spine and back. Therefore the neck is heavily worked while working out.



The chair sit up trains you on how to develop stability in a very unstable environment.

By virtue of taking away all forms of support, you’re forced to raise and lower yourself using various areas in the upper body.


The core does most of the heavy lifting while doing the chair sit up. This is because you use the core to lift yourself up throughout the exercise.

As such the more reps you do the stronger your core gets as a result of adaptation.


Good posture is a trickle-down benefit of a strong core. This is because it ensures proper alignment of the spine and surrounding areas i.e., hips.

Since a strong core is one of the major effects of doing the chair sit up, it gradually leads to good posture.



  • Begin in a kneeling position.
  • Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and pitch forward to place your hands and forearms on the floor.
  • Extend your legs behind you with toes tucked under to press into the plank.
  • Distribute the weight in your hands evenly by spreading your fingers apart, creating a stable base.
  • Make sure to keep your body in a straight line, keeping your abdominal muscles tight.


  • Position yourself in an upright roman chair. Be sure your back is upright and against the back of the chair.
  • Also, be sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders when placing them on the pad.
  • Begin the exercise by slowly raising your legs up until they are parallel to the ground, while keeping them as straight as possible.
  • Slowly lower legs back down to the starting position. Be sure you lower legs all the way back down before raising legs back up.


  • Perform spiderman push-up exercises by getting into a high plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to toe.
  • Bend your elbows to a 45-degree angle as you lower your chest toward your hands on the floor.
  • Lift your left leg, moving your knee toward your elbow.
  • Pause for a moment in this position before lowering your leg and lifting your body again.
  • Repeat this movement with your opposite leg on the next repetition.



How you position your neck while doing the chair sit up is vital. Wrong positioning means you exert excessive amounts of pressure on the back and spine.

As a result this could to spinal or back injuries


It is important to regulate your movements while doing the exercise.

This is because if you push yourself back and forward too fast you deny yourself the opportunity to experience proper strain.

As such you end up watering down how much more effective the exercise can bring about.


The chair sit up is a low-impact means of strengthening your core and achieving a highly craved effect of working out in the name of abs.

However, more important than that is a highly impactful exercise that can be done anywhere and is really easy to start.