Heel tap chair exercise ()Heel tap chair exercise () © Copyright

The quick-hit army workout

Pushed for time? That’s no excuse not to get a workout in. An intense 18 minutes is all you need, as Army fitness trainers Sergeant Gemma Spencer and Sergeant Nicholas Curtis prove in the Army's Locker magazine

Locker magazine

Despite all the technical advances in the modern world, no one’s yet invented an app that can add more time to the day (although Apple, reportedly, are working on one). Some days, squeezing in a workout is just another to-do item on an already overflowing list. Thankfully, the men and women of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps have some tricks up their sleeves when it comes to making the most of limited time.

This is an 18-minute workout – and all you’ll need is a common or garden chair. Health and safety note: please don’t try this with a sofa.

Sergeants Nicholas Curtis and Gemma Spencer of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps will have you fighting fit in  no time  ()



Do three circuits of all six exercises in the workout. Spend one minute on each one before moving straight on to the next one – no rest in between. If you can’t go for the full minute on any exercise, rest for the remainder of that minute before moving on to the next. (Keep track of the number of reps so you can try to beat it next time.)

Chair step-up exercise 


  1. Stand in front of the chair, feet together.
  2. Step up on to the chair, ensuring your heel is flat on the chair, your thigh parallel to the floor, your head straight and shoulders back.
  3. Once your foot makes contact with the chair, stand up to bring your other leg on to the chair.
  4. Keeping the weight on the starting leg, keep your chest forwards, shoulders back and extend the hips forwards. Then reverse the movement and repeat with alternate legs.

Triceps dips chair exercise

Chair triceps dip

  1. Rest your hands on the outside of the chair, body in a straight line, legs straight, resting on your heels, toes to the ceiling.
  2. Bend at the elbow until the tops of your arms are parallel with the floor.
  3. Extend the elbow to return to the top position, keeping your chest upright.

chair squat exercise 

Chair squat

  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, slightly pointed out, heels on the floor.
  2. Pull your shoulder blades down as if trying to poke the wall behind you.
  3. Take a deep breath into your abdomen, drawing your belly button towards your spine.
  4. Squat down, keeping your arms out in front to counterbalance.
  5. Tense your backside throughout and exhale when standing.
  6. Don’t bounce on the chair. Keep your head stationary.

Kneeling shoulder press chair exercise 

Kneeling shoulder press

  1. Ensure there’s enough room above your head.
  2. Start with the chair just above your head so your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
  3. Extend fully, locking out your elbows so your head comes between your arms.
  4. Lower under control to avoid hitting yourself in the head with the chair, keeping your shoulders active. 
Leg raises chair exercise ()


Split leg raise

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs over the chair, feet together, toes pointed. Raise your head slightly, arms by your sides, palms on the floor.
  2. Keep tension in your core and split your legs so they come down to a position either side of the chair at 10 and 2 o’clock.
  3. Without touching the floor, extend your hip, knee and ankle, then bring the feet back together in the middle above the chair.
Heel tap chair exercise ()


Heel tap

  1. Rest your heels on the backrest of the chair, calves on the seat of the chair. Lay flat on your back, neck relaxed, arms by your sides.
  2. To start, raise your head and chest off the floor, and raise your arms so they point towards your feet.
  3. Contract your abs and reach for your heels, keeping your back straight. Return under control and repeat.

Read the full Locker magazine here

Photos: John Aparicio



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