How To Do A Plank To Chair Squat

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates Plank to Chair Squat

The Plank to Chair Squat is one of the best bodyweight exercises around because it works multiple muscle groups at a time. It effectively works the core, glutes and legs and requires no extra equipment except your own bodyweight, so you can do it anywhere! Learning how to do a plank to chair squat will teach you an easy way to work the total body no matter where you are and can also help balance out your preexisting workout routines! Even better, the Plank to Chair Squat is a low-impact version of a traditional burpee, so if you can’t jump this move is for you!

You’ve probably heard about planking being a great core exercise, but do you wonder why? It’s because you are using all of your ab and back muscles to keep a nice long spine during the plank. This is a “jackpot” exercise to add to your arsenal because you should also be squeezing your glutes while you plank and are doing an isometric hold with your chest, arms and shoulders. Here are some quick tips to perfect your plank: place wrists shoulder-length apart, maintain a neutral neck and long spine, squeeze your glutes and engage your abs and quads.

We like to combine planks with chair squats—a move we borrowed from yoga—because in chair squat you are definitely activating your lower body, but with your arms extended overhead, you’re also activating all of your back extensors as well! Here are some quick tips to perfect your chair squat: place your feet hip-width apart, maintain a straight back, keep your knees over your ankles and deposit your weight in your heels.

This exercise has many functional benefits that will positively affect your everyday life. It will help: improve your posture so that you sit and stand straighter, flatten and tone your abs, increase your power and stability and reduce lower back pain. Again—the perfect total body exercise! Read the directions below to get started!

1) Start in a plank position with arms and legs long, hands shoulder distance apart.

2) Walk or jump both feet outside your hands coming into a low squat like your sitting back into a chair pressing your weight back onto your heels. Reach arms above the head and keeping the back straight and chest lifted. Bring hands to floor to return to start.

Targets: glutes, core, shoulders


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