When you’re not as mobile as you used to be, it’s easy to feel demotivated and overlook the opportunities for exercise. But it’s important to keep using your muscles and there’s lots you can do even when you’re sitting down. We’ve picked out nine easy exercises for limited mobility for you to try at home. All but one of these exercises can be done fully seated – why not give them a go now?

TIP: Try to use a chair that lets your knees create a right angle between your upper and lower leg.

  1. Sit to stand

Good for: basic strength and balance

  • Sit up straight towards the front of the chair
  • Position your feet flat on the floor, with your knees directly above your ankles
  • Stand up, keeping your head up and your back straight
  • Repeat 10 times
  1. Seated row

Good for: upper back and chest muscles

  • Sit to the front of a chair to give yourself space to move backwards
  • Put your arms out straight in front of you, elbows bent and thumbs up
  • Pull your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Repeat 8-10 times

You can hold handweights or small objects to increase the difficulty of this exercise.

  1. Seated abdominal press

Good for: core strength to maintain balance and mobility

  • Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor
  • Place your hands on your knees, locking your elbows so your arms are straight
  • Press your palms down on your knees, engaging your tummy muscles
  • Hold the position for 3-5 seconds
  • Release and repeat
  1. Upper body clamshell

Good for: shoulder stability and flexibility; back, chest and arms.

  • Sit upright in a chair, feet flat on the floor
  • Put your arms straight out to the side so you make T shape
  • Keeping your arms straight, bring them together so your hands meet
  • Return to a T shape, bringing your shoulder blades together
  • Repeat 8-10 times

Using handweights will make this exercise a little harder if you want a challenge!

  1. Side Bends

Good for: core strength

  • Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor
  • Put one hand behind your head
  • Stretch the other arm out to the side
  • Keeping your chest up and your head facing forward, reach down to the floor
  • Use your oblique abdominal muscles to return to an upright position
  • Repeat 5 times each side
  1. Lower-back rotation stretch

Good for: relieving tension and morning stiffness

  • Sit upright on a chair with feet flat on the floor
  • Twist your upper body so your shoulders turn to the left – hold the chair or your thigh for support if you need to – this will increase the stretch
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Turn back to the front
  • Repeat on the right side
  1. Water-bottle thigh workout

Good for: thigh muscles, balance and strength

  • Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor, knees over ankles
  • Make sure your feet are about 10 cm apart
  • Place a plastic water bottle between your knees
  • Squeeze the water bottle about 30 times
  1. Knee lifts

Good for: strengthening tummy muscles, hip flexion and quads, which will help sitting and standing

  • Sitting on a chair, lift your right knee up towards your chest
  • Lower it slowly until your foot is resting on the floor
  • Repeat with the left leg
  • Complete 8-10 repetitions, alternating your legs
  1. Knee extensions

Good for: lots of different leg muscles

  • Sit up straight, positioned towards the front of the chair with knees bent
  • Hold the sides of your chair
  • Stretch your right leg out, with the knee slightly bent and toes pointing up
  • Lower the leg to the floor
  • Repeat 8-10 times
  • Change to left and repeat

Are you feeling more energised now? Share a picture to show us how you did!

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