Moving from sitting to standing is a motion that most people already do throughout the day. However, when this motion is done mindfully, it can be a gentle–yet effective–exercise. This movement can strengthen your legs, lower back, and core. It can be especially helpful for older folks and people recovering from lower back and hip injuries. The best part is that this is an exercise you can do just about anywhere. You can also make this a more vigorous exercise by adding weights, increasing the number of repetitions, or sitting on a stability ball.
Method 1 Method 1 of 2:Performing the Basic Move
Sit down in a chair. Align your feet, knees, and hips so you’re sitting up tall with a small arch in your lower back. Put your hands behind your head and clasp them together, like you’re about to do sit-ups.
Stand without moving your feet. Engage your leg muscles and lift yourself in one fluid motion. Once you’ve risen to the point that your knees are straight but your back is still arched, lower yourself back down into your original position.
- Try not to move your feet at all throughout.
- Keep your knees aligned directly above your ankles when you are sitting, and do not allow them to extend beyond your mid-foot as you stand.
Do 3 sets of 10 reps each. Lift and lower yourself 10 times, then take a little break. Repeat until you’ve completed 3 sets. For best results, do this series of movements 5 days a week. It may take up to 6 weeks of consistent practice for you to notice results.
Method 2 Method 2 of 2:Doing Variations on the Exercise
Place a small object between your legs. If your knees tend to collapse inward when you stand, you may need to encourage your glutes to engage more. Doing the sit-to-stand exercise with a small object between your legs can help with this. If you have a small exercise ball, or even a kid’s bouncy ball, this is ideal, but almost any small object can work. Press the ball (or other object) between your legs, and squeeze your legs together to keep the object in place as you stand.
- You can try using a small pillow, yoga block, stuffed animal, or book.
Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will throw off your balance, making it a little harder for you to rise up into a full standing position. Using a stability ball helps to strengthen your legs more effectively, and to better tone your core.
Increase the number of reps. For faster results, you can gradually increase the number of reps you do in each set. Try doing 3 sets of 15. If you’d still like more intensity, you can do 3 sets of 20. You can also increase the number of times you do this exercise per week.
Use dumbbells to add extra resistance. Another way to make this workout a little more intense is to hold a dumbbell in each of your hands. Try starting with 3 pound (1.4 kg) weights. If that’s not enough, move up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg).
- If you can get through 15-20 reps without feeling worn out, move up to slightly larger weights.
- As you continue to work out, move your weights up in 2 pound (0.91 kg) increments approximately every 8 weeks.
Things You Need
- Small object
- Stability ball (optional)
- Dumbbells (optional)