I know some of you are stuck at a desk during the day, often with your bums glued to the seat because your work demand is high. I know some of you may be an absolute Excel Champ by day and still work out in the evening but what about if we could add in a little extra cardio at your desk? What about if we could add in short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises and stretching in between those conference calls and improve your levels of fitness and heart health too? Whilst these desk exercises wont promise you six -pack abs or Olympic medals they might just improve your strength and burn a few calories too!
So here are your Desk-er-cise (see what I did there…) options:
1. The Twinkle Toe
Tap into your inner Fred Astaire by speedily tapping those toes on the floor under your desk. Or graduate to a harder (and less inconspicuous) move: Stand in front of a small bin and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in a quick motion.
2. The Stair Master
Want to avoid lift small talk in favour of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Accelerate on the straight legs and take two at a time every other flight for a real leg burn.
3. The Slog, Then Jog
Instead of slogging away for hours nonstop, take a mini break for a stationary jog. Pop up from your chair (admire the butt imprint left behind!) and jog in place. Willing to huff and puff a little more? Pick up those knees! Continue for one minute, return to spreadsheets, and repeat.
4. The Celebratory Split Squat Jumps
Win over a new client? Figure out how to un-jam the printer? Is it finally Friday?! Celebrate with the split squat jump. With feet hip-width apart, step the left leg back two feet and balance on the ball of the foot. Next, lower into a lunge, and then accelerate upwards in an explosion of celebration. While in the air, switch feet so that the left foot is planted firmly in front and the right leg is now behind. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.
5. The Mover and Shaker
There’s nothing wrong with a brief dance sesh. Release stress and spark some energy with a quick bout of seated dancing when no one is looking! Latest bonus track anyone?
6. The Wall (Street) Sit
Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds (or up to 12 hours, the world record!), For some extra burn, try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!
7. The Silent Seat Squeeze
Believe it or not, some deskercises can be kept under wraps, and this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the agenda wraps up or the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.
8. The Seated Leg Raiser
When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.
9. The Grim Reamer
Scope out the office for a ream of paper, or a sealed package of printing paper. While seated, place the stack in between the knees and press legs inward, engaging the inner thighs. Continue squeezing the paper ream in place for 30-60 seconds while sorting through the morning’s flood of emails. (Now that’s multitasking!)
10. The Stapler Curl
Trusty staplers are always guarded closely, especially the red ones. Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch. Don’t have a weighty stapler? Try using a filled water bottle!
10 Exercises you can add into your work day!! Tell me which ones you attempt and if you would like MORE!!