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February 2017 Newsletter

How to correctly get up from a chair without
placing extra stress on your back? Just watch!

In order to be able to stand up from a chair without placing extra stress on your back, you need strong abdominal, gluteal (buttocks) and leg muscles, particularly the quadriceps (muscles in the front part of your thighs). As we age, the simple process of getting out of a chair that we took for granted when we were younger gets more difficult. We start compensating for muscles that have lost strength by using our backs to lift us out of our chairs instead of the muscles we should be using.

Watch our video...

Simple Exercises to Build Strength

Here are some simple exercises you can do at home in your favorite chair to regain your strength and stop straining your back.

Bend and Reach
Your abdominals are what help pull your hips upward and stabilize your back while you get up out of a chair to a standing position. Here is a simple exercise to help strengthen your abdominal muscles.

  1. Scoot forward on the chair and extend your legs in front of you.
  2. Lift your arms over your head and bend at the waist.
  3. Lean forward to touch your toes.
  4. Use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself straight in the chair while keeping your arms straight over your head.

If you are unable to reach your toes while bending over, you can start off by touching your shins, then your ankles and work your way to your toes as you get stronger and are able to stretch farther.

Chair Exercise for Leg and Gluteal Muscles
This simple chair exercise can help strengthen your leg and gluteal muscles.

  1. While seated, set your feet hip-width apart on the floor and hold your back straight.
  2. Press down with your heels while tightening your leg and gluteal muscles.
  3. Hold for three seconds and release.
  4. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Leg Extensions
This chair exercise will help you strengthen your quadriceps.

  1. Extend your legs until they are straight out in front of you.
  2. Slowly lower your legs.
  3. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Once you are able to do this exercise for 10 to 12 repetitions on a regular basis, you can build more strength by adding ankle weights.

Chair Squats
Chair squats will also help your muscles to help you correctly get out of a chair. When you're first starting you, you can have someone hold your hands for balance, while performing this exercise and build up to where you can do these squats with your hands in front of you or crossed over your chest.

  1. Put several pillows in a chair.
  2. Stand with your back directly in front of the chair.
  3. Bend your knees and lower your body until your buttocks touch the pillows, then slowly stand back up.
  4. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Once you are able to safely handle 10 to 12 repetitions, remove a pillow. This forces you to squat lower. Remove a pillow as you get stronger until there are no more pillows and you are doing chair squats directly on the chair.

Are you having difficulty getting out of a chair? Give us a call - (303) 691-3733. We'll be happy to help you regain strength in the muscles needed to correctly get out of your chair without straining your back!

Deb Lutsk, Admin. Assistant
Alan Mazur, PT, DPT, Man. Therapist, ATC
Stefan van Duursen, PT, MS, Cert.MDT, Cert. Man. Therapist, FAAOMPT

Colorado Spine Therapy

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