5 Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk
Stuck all day at your desk and worried you might not have time to work out today? Don’t stress about missing your exercise time. To catch up on cardio, park your car far from the door and take some delight in getting the extra steps to get into your workplace. I’m also a big proponent of taking the stairs, not the elevator and whenever possible, walking and talking with your team members instead of sitting in offices to keep your body moving on days when there is not time to hit the gym.
And when you are literally stuck at your desk, here are some strength exercises that can get your muscles moving without lifting a weight or leaving the room.
- Chair Squats: You knew I was going to say that, right?! Once of the best glute strengthening exercises is a traditional air squat. This is the same motion you perform when you sit down at your desk each day. To make exercise out of it, make sure your chest is lifted, your feet are lined up underneath your knees with weight in your heels. With your shoulder squeezed back and down, press through your heels and stand up with your hips pushing forward in line with shoulders, knees and toes. Chest up. To increase your heart rate, do 20 fast chair squats. Not enough, try 50 speed squats! Still not enough, add a jump to the move for a squat jump – just make sure you are landing on a soft bend knee to absorb the impact.
- Table Push Backs: Stand up face empty space on your desk. Place your hands under your shoulders and walk your feet back so your body line is inverted with head higher than feet. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the crook of your elbow and then press back into original position. Need more challenge? Place your feet on your office chair and your hands on the floor and perform some inverted push-ups! How many can you do before you are unable to complete another rep? Work to failure on this one and try to get more reps each time you try it.
- Single leg Squats: Place your hands or a single hand on your desk. Lift your chest high and up but hinge at the hip so your nose is slightly forward of your knees. Slide one leg behind you and keep that leg straight. Bend your front leg to a 90 degree knee bend and then straighten the leg but pressing your weight into the heel of that foot. The back leg stays straight and just takes a ride. Switch legs after 10 reps. To add difficulty, try the exercise without hands on the desk. Still not hard enough? Add a plyo jump to the single leg squat!
- Binder Tricep Extensions: Grab something from your office that is between 5-10 pounds (more if you are stronger!). Many of us have loaded 3-ring binders on shelves, books, or even your laptop (don’t drop that!). Stand up and grab the binder on either side. Push the binder above your head with straight arms with the binder spine pointed the same direction as the back of your head. Make sure your thumbs are pointed behind you. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees keeping your biceps hugged to your ears. Straighten your arms to original position. Try four sets of 10 reps and experiment with different binder weights or objects that can challenge you with resistance.
- Diagonal Lunges: Stand up in front of your desk. Lift one knee in front of your body and step that leg out to the side, bending the knee and leaning your weight into that leg. The opposite leg straightens out and the butt pushes behind the body while the chest remains lifted. Then press through your heel, squeeze your core and lift that knee back in front of your body. Try 10 steps to one side before switching to the other side. Need more? Dynamically drive out of the bottom of the lunge and control the finish of the move by squeezing your abdominals. To do this, you will accelerate the “up” motion of the move and slow down the downward motion of the exercise.
The experts at Ochsner Fitness Center can help you reach your goals.