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Chair Dips - The secret super workout you can do from your desk

Autonomous Autonomous | Sep 26, 2018
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It’s tough to balance a work schedule with the rest of our social and personal lives. To be honest, a lot of the time you end up sacrificing multiple things to stay on top of your work life. It’s important to prioritize work because of how influential it is to your income, your career, and your livelihood. That being said, there are a few things you shouldn’t sacrifice, like your fitness.

Working is a livelihood necessity. You need money to survive, so you need to work. It’s as simple as that. It can be difficult to prioritize things that take a major effort. Working out takes time, dedication, and care to be done right. It’s likely that you might want to go home after work and relax, and who can blame you? After a long day, it’s common to want to relax. If you spend all day at a desk, and then go home and sit or lie down, it can mean bad things for your body and well being. It’s common to look past your health in favor of taking some time to relax and be free of any sort of work or effort, but you may need to think about the bigger picture. You should be utilizing a little of your free time to make sure that you’re doing things to encourage wellness. If you know that you’re prone to be a little lazy, keep in mind the benefits of being well and healthy. It’s worth it in the end and in the long run, so make sure you’re prioritizing wellness. You’ll be glad you did. 

Prioritizing Wellness

It’s simple: if you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to work. Sure, it might not be the worst thing if you’re not working out. Maybe you eat really well and don’t have any extra weight to lose. That’s wonderful, but for some, staying active is why they’re able to continue to live a healthy life. Diet is only part of it, and if you’re ignoring the physical needs of your body like staying mobile and moving around, it’s going to catch up with you. It’s important to know what muscles are the most important if you spend a lot of time sitting, and after taking a look at those muscles, we’ll go ahead and talk about the workout that helps you keep all essential muscles in tone. The best part is you can do it right at your desk!

Muscles to Keep an Eye on When Working in the Office

There are a few body parts you should be used regularly throughout the day, and if you’re not up and about enough, it’s important to do things to help utilize them so they don’t deteriorate too quickly over the years. 

Triceps

Your triceps are also commonly known as your upper arms and are a major source of strength over the course of your lifetime. In order to lift things, even lighter items that don’t need a ton of power to be lifted, your triceps are a major muscle that helps with movement. Things like writing, picking things up, and even just waving to a friend utilize your triceps, and it’s crucial that these muscles stay in shape. The scary thing is that if not utilized, simple tasks become difficult to do.

If your triceps weaken, you’ll find that simple tasks become very hard. Something as simple as writing and typing for long periods of time can become difficult. Endurance is an important sign of strength and if your arms aren’t regularly utilized in small workouts, there’s a large chance that you won’t be able to do things that should be regularly done. Sometimes, the injuries you have at an older age are ones that you don’t see coming, and smaller exercises throughout your younger years can help avoid those problems that occur down the road. The easiest way to allow yourself to work out your triceps is to do a chair dip. A chair dip is a tricep dip where you lower yourself with your arms, which in turn also works out your legs. 

Legs

It might seem obvious, but if you’re off your feet, the muscles in your legs are simply growing weaker and weaker. If you don’t need to be on your feet much for your job, or if you spend a majority of your week at the desk sitting, your legs are paying the price. In a chair dip, your legs are elongated and stretched and actually utilized to be worked out as well as triceps. By stretching them out, you’re using their range of motion to hold your body up, and that’s a great way to find yourself working out your legs without doing more boring exercises. It’s a nice improvement over walking too. It’s great that you can do an arm exercise that also has benefits to your lower body. It doesn’t feel like a leg workout, but the benefits to your legs are a huge benefit to your overall wellness and well being. 

How to do a Chair Dip

When performing chair dips, it’s important to remember that you need a few things to prepare the workout. First, using a chair is an easy way to implement this workout into your office schedule. That being said, you can’t just use any chair. Your chair should be able to withstand your weight while doing the workout without rolling away. The last thing you need in a workout where you’re in a vulnerable position is to fall and have no way of breaking the impact. The chair rolls away, you end up seriously injured. That’s why the surface on which you do this workout is also important. If you’re on carpet, your chair may not slide as much as tile or hardwood flooring. If you are in one of those spaces, consider grabbing a large towel or blanket so your chair stays put. If you’re not using a chair with wheels, and your chair has a solid bottom, it’s likely you won’t have any issues with your chair rolling away, so if you’re stretched and have plenty of space you’re ready to start the chair dip exercise. 

chair dips exercises

You’ll start in a position with your hands shoulder width apart, which should feel natural and not forced, and from there you’ll find a position that feels comfortable. To perform the chair dip, you need to face away from the chair, so even if you feel a little awkward, it shouldn’t feel like you’re out of control or unable to hold yourself. Just find the right spot and work with it.
Next, pretend you were going to sit, but instead of putting all your body weight down, rest your butt lightly on the seat. This position allows you to perform the chair dip. This is the point that your chair might start to roll a bit if you’re not careful because you want to sit on the very edge of the seat to perform the chair dip. If properly prepared, you shouldn’t have any issues.
For the actual dip, you’ll be putting your arm in a 45-degree angle to prepare for the proper angle, and it’s crucial that you don’t begin to dip quite yet. Just lightly lower yourself and you should feel slight tension in the tricep area. If you feel something in your shoulders, you’re not doing it correctly. In that case, check your angle to make sure it’s roughly 45 degrees. 
Now, begin to slowly bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and start to lower yourself down using the chair as a piece to hold yourself up. You need to go slow and stay steady, or you could find yourself falling. It’s possible that you can do this exercise slowly and effectively, but if it’s rushed, you won’t get the full benefits of the workout.
Once you’ve lowered yourself completely to the extent your arms will allow, push yourself back up. Again, this should be done slowly to ensure that you’re not injuring yourself. The slower you go, the more of a burn you’ll feel, but it’s important to make sure you’re feeling the tension and not pain. There’s a difference, and it could be the difference between injury and a great workout. Repeat this for the next dip and you’ve completed the single chair dip.
Continue to do this 10 times for 3 sets, or 3 groups of 10. 

Avoiding Chair Dip Injuries

It’s key that you keep a few things in mind while performing your chair dips to make sure you don’t cause injury to yourself. First thing’s first, you need to make sure you’re hinging your body. Hinging is a position that allows your hips to set back and allow your torso to tilt over to an optimal 45-degree angle. This allows your muscles, specifically the triceps and legs, to do the work instead of your back or neck. You should NEVER feel the pain in your back or neck unless you’re doing exercises for those parts.
Next, make sure you elongate your body and stay “tall” throughout the entire workout. This allows you to have your torso in front and over your hands rather than in the back of them, where injuries occur. You can also avoid injury while “tall” by focusing on the lowering part of the dip, meaning the actual motion. Go slow while dipping to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself by focusing on what may feel right, and more importantly, what feels wrong.

Do not dip under 90 degrees. This is another way to experience an injury in a chair dip exercise. If you go too far deep on the dips, you won’t be placing the tension in your triceps or legs. Rather, you’ll be forced to use your neck or back, which are two areas most prone to injury in workouts. It’s also crucial not to overstretch before doing chair dips because of an excessive stretch, whether its too many stretches at one time or too many times throughout the day, can actually cause muscles to over-relax and go limp when you need them most. The last thing you want when you’re performing chair dips is to fall and hurt yourself in a position where you can’t really help yourself while falling. 

Lastly, do not flex your ankles while doing this exercise. Like your neck and back, it’s easy to hurt your ankles in an exercise that is not meant to utilize their abilities. If you rely on a muscle or part of your body that is not meant to be utilized during a workout, you are much more prone to injury. That can lead to long-term issues that may not recover, and force you to take even greater efforts to stay healthy and in good shape. Some injuries, no matter how much physical therapy and caution, cannot be cured and may plague you for life. Just be careful, this is not a tough exercise and can do wonders for your triceps and legs. 

Conclusion

The chair dip is meant to be an ultimate workout for your triceps and legs: two muscles that you need to keep active when working at a desk in an office for long periods of time. It may seem silly if other coworkers don’t work out at their desk, but pass this article along to them and maybe a few of them will join you. That would be a wonderful bonding opportunity for the office, and keep all of you in great physical condition!

By utilizing your triceps and legs in chair dips, you’re promising yourself that you care about your body, and doing these workouts use these muscles that are very crucial to your well-being. The most common issue in old age is soreness and arthritis that occurs because muscles were not properly used in younger age. If you’re middle-aged, it is not too late to make changes to help your body and self to be better. If you’re younger, you have even more opportunity to do things that can help keep you from excessive medical bills and pain. If you’re older, make sure to consult a doctor or professional before doing these exercises. Your triceps and legs may have other workouts that you can do to work them out, but it’d be hard to do something like this if you’re not equipped to do so. 

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