Blog Mental Health Yoga Chair Yoga Effective Chair Exercises for Stomach Toning

Effective Chair Exercises for Stomach Toning

Whether you’re trying to stay active while working at your desk or trying to increase your mobility due to injury or old age, chair exercises can help you accomplish your goals. They can even help you achieve a tighter, more toned midsection, while the increased activity will help you burn more calories, potentially leading to fat loss. If this sounds interesting to you, keep reading as we discuss the best chair exercises for stomach toning.

Can You Lose Belly Fat Doing Exercises on a Chair?

Doing chair exercises can help you burn calories, which can lead to less belly fat over time. When you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight, and chair exercises can be a great part of your program(6). While chair exercises for your stomach alone may not cause rapid weight loss, they can help you burn more calories throughout the day with minimal effort, and every calorie burned counts toward your goals.

How Can I Tone My Stomach While Sitting?

There are plenty of easy chair exercises for stomach toning you can try to see what feels comfortable. Some great chair exercises for stomach and waist toning include seated jacks, seated shoulder presses, and extended leg raises.

Beginner Chair Exercises for Stomach Toning

Leg Lift

Start with one leg and lift it until it is parallel to the floor before slowly putting it down and doing the same with the other leg. Do your best to control the lowering portion of this movement. 

chair exercises for stomach  

Chair Squat

This is an exercise that starts with you sitting on the edge of your seat. You will then focus your weight into your heels and slowly lift yourself with your legs to a standing position and back down again. Remember to slowly go back down into the chair rather than rapidly falling back to a seated position. 

See also
Chair Exercises For Legs

Glute  Squeeze

Squeeze your butt muscles together and hold it for a few seconds before releasing it.

Seated March

For the seated march, you lift one knee at a time as if marching while alternately raising your arms to the sky.

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Advanced Chair Exercises for Stomach Toning

Seated Jacks

Seated jacks are similar to regular jumping jacks, but without the jumping. This tends to be easier on the joints while still allowing your heart rate to increase. This increase in heart rate can be quite beneficial for both your brain and body (4).

  1.     Sit forward in your chair with your arms at your side, knees bent, and feet together.
  2.     Extend your legs into a V position, keeping your feet together as you raise your arms in a traditional jumping jack position before returning to the starting position.
  3.     If it’s too difficult, you can leave out the leg raises until you develop more stamina(1). You’ll still have the same set up as above, but instead of moving your legs, you’ll only move your arms in the jumping jack position. 
See also
7 Chair Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss

Seated Shoulder Press

The seated shoulder press is a great exercise that helps increase your upper mobility, which makes it easier to reach overhead items. You can also increase the weight over time for increased gains, and the motion will help burn calories, making it a great chair exercise for fat loss.

  1.     Sit in the chair with your back against its back for support.
  2.     Extend your arms out and ]to the side to form a T. From this position, you’ll then bend your elbows and point your fingers up toward the sky. This will form a goalpost with both arms. From there, you’ll push them over your head until they’re almost straight before bringing them back down again and repeating.
  3.     Small dumbbells are the easiest way to add weight, but you can also use cans, soda bottles, etc (1).

Seated Hip Stretch

The hips can be a problem area for many people, particularly as we start to get older. Seated hip stretches can help keep you flexible and may even reduce knee pain while helping you burn excess calories.

  1.     Sit comfortably in a chair with your back straight and raise one leg so the ankle is over the knee of the other leg.
  2.     Lean forward slightly until you feel your muscles start to stretch, holding it for a few seconds before releasing and doing the same with the other leg.
  3.     While the seated hip stretch is unlikely to get your blood pumping as much as the seated shoulder press or seated jacks, it will improve your range of motion and can make it easier to do new exercises that weren’t possible with limited flexibility (1).
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Chair Exercises For Weight Loss

Extended Leg Raises

Extended leg raises target your core, which means you’ll tighten your abs while burning calories, which makes it one of the best chair exercises for flat stomach toning.

  1.     Sit comfortably in your chair, gripping each side tightly with your hand, then lift one leg as high as you can, hold it for a few seconds, and let it back down slowly.
  2.     Repeat(1).

chair exercises for stomach  

What Burns Fat While Sitting?

When you’re sitting down, your body is still using quite a bit of energy as your heart beats, you digest food, and you breathe, etc. Fat burning and weight loss come when the body is in a calorie deficit. This means that you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning each day. When this happens, your body will need to use its fat in order to get energy. However, when you eat too much, your body will store away the excess calories as fat for when you need them. The amount of energy your body burns each day is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR), and it’s unique to every one of us (3).

Factors that can affect a person’s BMR include height, weight, age, and sex, with men typically burning more energy per day (3). There are ways to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which can give you an idea of the calories you burn while sitting still using online tools, such as the Harris-Benedict Equation and Mifflin St. Jeor Calculator (10). These formulas will tell you how many calories you need to eat each day in order to keep your vital organs functioning as they should. Remember, this calculation doesn’t account for any movement you do throughout the day. It’s strictly the amount of calories you need for your body to function as it should. So hitting this specific number daily is very important, even when you’re trying to lose weight. 

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Chair Yoga For Stress Relief

Read more: Transform Your Workspace With 10 Chair Exercises for Lower Back Pain

How to Cut Belly Fat Fast

Once you know how many calories you burn each day sitting still, you’ll be able to get a better idea of what you will need to consume in order to stay in a calorie deficit. Being in a calorie deficit can lead to weight loss. The larger the deficit, the faster the weight loss. So adding in exercise and extra movement throughout the day will help create a larger deficit. This will still allow you to hit your BMR calorie number so your body is properly fueled and weight loss is able to occur. However, it’s important to be realistic with your goal and not try to lose weight too quickly, as this often leads to failure or other health issues. Consistency is key when it comes to cutting belly fat (7).

Which Exercise Burns the Most Belly Fat?

When it comes to office chair exercises for stomach tightening, the exercises most likely to burn the most belly fat and overall calories are those that get your heart rate up for a longer period of time. Exercises such as seated jacks or seated leg raise could be more beneficial than the seated hip stretch due to the higher caloric burn that occurs. In addition, raising your heart rate by doing an aerobic activity can be a great way to burn calories quickly (2).

See also
The Ultimate Guide To Gentle Chair Yoga For Beginners And Seniors

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chair exercises for stomach  


  • Can you lose belly fat by just doing sit-ups?

Sit-ups can be a great option for losing belly fat as they target the rectus abdominis (abs), obliques, and hip flexors, so there’s plenty of opportunity for calorie burning. You can also increase the intensity by moving faster or adding alterations, such as twists and additional weight. When combined with a calorie deficit, sit-ups can help you burn calories, which will reduce the amount of fat you’re carrying around, including fat around the belly. However, it’s important to note that you can’t remove fat from a single area. Doing sit-ups will not burn belly fat any faster than an exercise that doesn’t target the stomach muscles (8).

  • Do chair exercises really work?

Chair exercises can provide a great way to burn off calories and stay active, particularly for people who are trapped at a desk job all day or suffering from mobility issues and old age. You can perform most of the exercises without any additional equipment and they’re easy to learn. They can help improve your posture, strengthen your shoulders, and increase your flexibility (5).

  • Can you get in shape with chair exercises?

Chair exercises can definitely put you on a path to getting in shape. With many different exercises being possible on a chair, you can work out almost your entire body if you’re so inclined. You can also add weights, bands, pulleys, and more to create additional training options that are as effective as any other(9).

The Bottom Line

Effective chair exercises for stomach toning include seated jacks, seated shoulder presses, and seated hip stretches. They can help increase strength and flexibility while putting your body into a fat-burning state, which can lead to weight loss. They’re easy to learn and most of them don’t require additional equipment, so you can get started right away.

Starting with a simple routine of a few exercises and adding to it as you feel comfortable can put you on the path to improving your overall health and fitness. However, you should always talk with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a difficult workout routine, especially if using weights, to ensure you don’t have any underlying health conditions that could make it dangerous.

You should also remember that exercise and food intake are the two major components for fat loss. These two need to be combined together to see the best results. In addition, fat loss cannot be targeted to a specific region of the body. While diet and exercise can lead to fat loss, it’s not possible to reduce a specific region of fat through exercise. Instead, your body will lose fat all over and not just in your stomach specifically. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 6 Chair Exercises for Seniors: Best Bets, Getting Started, and More ( (2023,
  2. 9 Best Exercises to Lose Weight: Cardio, Strength-Building, and Tips (,
  3. Basal metabolic rate: What it is, calculation, and more (, ) 
  4. Brain changes may explain why exercise relieves autism in mice (,
  5. Chair Exercises: What They are and Their Benefits (,
  6. Exercise to Lose Weight: How Much Is Needed? (, 
  7. How to Lose 20 Pounds as Fast as Possible (,
  8. How to Burn Belly Fat with Sit-Ups (,
  9. Mayo Clinic Minute: 5 exercises you can do without leaving your desk – Mayo Clinic News Network
  10. Resting Metabolic Rate: Basal Metabolic Rate Calculation from ACE (,