You only need a chair and these six exercises to build full-body strength

Weights aren't always necessary for developing strength and muscle

Woman doing bodyweight tricep dips using a chair
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to developing strength and muscle, we immediately think that we need to start lifting weights, whether that’s using a pair of dumbbells or an Olympic barbell. Well, we’re here to tell you, you don’t. With this six-move workout you can develop functional strength using just your bodyweight and a chair – no other home gym equipment needed.

Bodyweight workouts are a form of strength training and a great way to develop base strength for beginners. Not to mention they require no equipment, can be done anywhere and are easier on the joints. You can also build muscle using just bodyweight exercises, because your muscles are encountering resistance. However, the American Council on Exercise says that once certain bodyweight exercises become too easy you need to adopt more challenging movements, otherwise your muscles won't experience any mechanical tension and therefore won’t grow. 

All of these bodyweight exercises for this workout are performed using a chair, so go and grab one. You’ve got six exercises to get through that will work your glutes, core and upper body. You’ll perform each exercise for 45 seconds (do this  on both sides where applicable) with a 15 seconds rest in between each one. If you decide to do this routine as an entire workout, you’ll do three to four rounds. If you decide to do it as a ‘finisher’ at the end of a different workout, aim for one to two rounds. Make sure you watch the video above so you know how to perform each one. Here's your workout:

  • Plank crunch
  • Triceps dips 
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • SL good mornings 
  • Revers plank drives 
  • Elevated bear walks 

If you're just starting your fitness journey and are in need of some other bodyweight workouts, then we've got plenty here at T3 – from this four-move workout to strengthen your legs and glutes to this three-move bodyweight workout, which is brilliant for elevating your heart rate and burning lots of calories. Remember, when bodyweight exercises become too easy, then you need to increase the resistance your muscles encounters while working out. This could be introducing free weights, like dumbbells. If you fancy trying this, here's a four-move full-body dumbbell workout for you to give a go.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.