This Airport Chair Workout Will Make You Look Like an Idiot Before Getting You Arrested

Shape magazine wants you to be a terrible airline passenger. They aren’t asking you to take off your socks and clip your toenails while resting your feet on the arm rest of the passenger in front of you. Instead they want you to take up a ton of space in the gate area and stand on the airport’s chairs.

It’s the gate area chair workout.

You could chug a latte while waiting at your gate or you could bang out this quick no-equipment Tabata workout right where you’re sitting for an energy, endorphin, and metabolism boost.

…Late for your flight? Great-the run to your gate is your warm-up. Guaranteed you’ll still have enough time to do a few rounds of these moves, and likely finish the entire workout, considering it’s only four minutes long.

Aside from making a fool of yourself in front of other passengers, creating excess wear and tear on gate furniture, and attracting attention from airport police — where exactly are you supposed to find empty airport chairs to do this exercise on?

Your best bet may be American Airlines Terminal 8 at New York JFK

Trying to turn the gate area into your home, your home gym, or your living room is bound to attract (the wrong kind of) attention.

Spotted, Delta Terminal @MSP from r/TwinCities

This genius using a hammock during a layover from mildlyinteresting

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary, Im super sorry to say this… honestly, Im not trying to be a troll or a hater or superior in any way.

    Ive seen you in photos, and in a hotel years ago, you’re way way dangerously overweight. You’re a father now I think.

    You write often about cookies, greasy burgers, fries and other extremely unhealthy food. Consider doing some exercise… and not throwing shade at those trying to stay fit. People die very young from being out of shape. Like 40. Dead, done.

    PS we never spoke… but you seemed a very nice person from overhearing you and it was a long time ago plus I love your politics. Also Im not a super fit person but try to work in the right direction. Yeah you’ll think Im a troll hater… but Im not. I hope you hear me but IM guessing not. Bring on the flames… I won’t read them by the way !

  2. @Andy – Insert offensive commentary then say you won’t read responses. Childish. As to your super weird topic, maybe you’ve seen Gary more recently than I have, but he’s looked about the same for years. He also knows his health better than you or I do. Either way, it’s none of our business.

  3. @Andy you saw me years ago and..? I work out regularly. I eat all sorts of foods, high and low calorie. I weigh less than you’d probably imagine, I’m just not a super handsome guy sad to say. Thanks for your ‘concern’.

    As for whether you’re a ‘troll/hater’ or not I’d point to some of your other comments.

    In any case I’m totally in favor of exercise, just not in the middle of the departure lounge.

  4. No skin in the game here, but I think this is kind of a weird take. A quick exercise in the airport is the equivalent to setting up your own airport campsite, and likely to draw police interest?

    Besides the possibly inappropriate shoes on the seat (which happens frequently anyhow when people sleep over multiple seats), what’s the harm? What’s next, flexing my legs/quick stretch on a long flight is going to embarrass me in front of other passengers?

  5. “Besides the possibly inappropriate shoes on the seat ”

    “Besides the inappropriate stuff, what’s wrong?”

  6. Not very practical advice from ‘Shape’.
    Before boarding the plane, people try to minimize sweat, not maximize it.
    Stretches are fine, but in your dress clothes, more than 30 seconds of stretching will create a spectacle.
    And generally, I am not wearing my workout clothes to and from the airport.
    I get enough of a workout from the time I park until I get to pick up my rental car at my destination. I mean, seriously, unless the flight is delayed, there are only a few spare minutes to catch my breath.
    My cellphone fitness app confirms my theory: I am adding thousands of steps to my daily routine if I have a connecting flight.
    The article is still relevant. A chunk of the US population is rapidly aging: 10’s of millions of people that were healthy a decade or two ago are entering a critical age range for health. Luckily, most in this age group gave up smoking and started healthy habits like consuming water two decades ago. But there are 10’s of millions that have not.

  7. I’m not really offended by someone doing a few stretching exercises in the terminal. I’ve felt like I need it after long flights. The biggest problem I see is what Gary already pointed out. Where do find the room to do that without being an obstruction to others who just want to sit down and rest (along with their luggage)?
    The next problem I see is with those Shape exercises in particular. Shoes on or off, it’s rude to put your feet on a public seat. And, finally, as others have pointed out, strenuous exercises leave one sweaty. What a terrible state to put yourself in (and others who have to sit next to you) right before getting on a plane.

    (Also: who the hell works out in jeans??)

  8. I’m fit, and workout pretty regularly. I’m 44 years old, and still can easily bench over 400lbs. With that said: This is stupid advice. Your body actually does benefit greatly from rest periods. Aside from all the other valid points regarding manners and cleanliness involved – Purely from a performance aspect, your body don’t need this. You won’t see professional athletes doing this in an airport, and it’s for a reason. Just rest… and if you really need to do something, do what I do – Walk around.

    And If your hotel don’t have a gym – You can easily bang out a couple hundred pushups and do other exercises in your room. That I do. Also: The Hammock idea is fucking brilliant…..

  9. I’m happy to make it in and out of airports without dropping dead. I have no intention of tempting fate by engaging in this lunacy.

  10. I didn’t comment on the hammock thing a while back but it rears its head again, so…
    It appears that the gray hammock is relying on a small recessed area known as a control joint. These are meant for stability of the surface of the column an NOT meant to carry any weight. Using this method to support a hammock will likely result in damage to airport property (the face of the column) and to the tailbone/back of the narcissistic hammock dweller when said control joint fails.

    Thus, airport personnel are correct to intervene, if only to protect themselves from hammock-related lawsuits.

  11. SHAPE magazine? Never heard of it. Anyway, why bother doing pushups on a terminal chair when you could be bending elbows at a nearby bar.

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