A fun and simple exercise to improve strength and prevent falls

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. April 03, 2016

A fun and simple exercise to improve strength and prevent falls

I probably sit too much. Like right now as I’m on the computer again!

There’s even a book called Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, by Joan Vernikos, Quill Driver Books, 2001.

You may recall from one of our previous blogs that lack of exercise can lead to weak legs and this increases the chances of falling. So if your body is starting to feel “weak” and you are not happy with your physical condition, now may be a good time to start with this simple exercise that is offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/chair_rise_exercise-a.pdf.

We want you to do this first: Check with your doctor to be sure that you are physically able to perform this exercise and that the doctor recommends that you do this exercise. Thank you!


Chair Rise Exercise


What it does: Strengthens the muscles in your thighs & buttocks.

Goal: To do this exercise without using your hands as you become stronger.

How to do it:

  1. Sit toward the front of a sturdy chair with your knees bent & feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Rest your hands lightly on the seat on either side of you, keeping your back & neck straight & chest slightly forward.
  3. Breathe in slowly. Lean forward & feel your weight on the front of your feet.
  4. Breathe out & slowly stand up, using your hands as little as possible.
  5. Pause for a full breath in & out.
  6. Breathe in as you slowly sit down. Do not let yourself collapse back down into the chair. Rather, control your lowering as much as possible.
  7. Breathe out.

Repeat 10–15 times. If this number is too hard for you when you first start practicing this exercise, begin with fewer & work up to this number.

Rest for a minute & then do a final set of 10–15.

I like this exercise because it only requires a sturdy chair (on a slip-resistant floor) and your motivation.

For a full exercise program, check out our blog – What’s Your Excuse? For Not Exercising…

Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.


Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.