Some days it is impossible to get that workout in in the morning or after work when we are facing work deadlines. Americans have desk jobs that require sitting at the computer for hours on end. It is not helpful when our employers don’t have a company gym onsite. We don’t advocate substitution of “office workouts” for your normal routine on a regular basis, but they can be helpful to keep us moving throughout the day instead of allowing our bodies to go stagnant. Here are a few to keep the blood moving through your veins and muscles challenged, with some workouts at work.
Office chair squats: With your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, stand in front of your office chair. If your chair is on wheels, take extra caution or use a standard chair. (Make sure that as you squat, your knees should not push forward past the front of your toes and your back should remain straight. When you do this, your butt pushes back and gives you the best squat form.) Lower down slowly, but do not quite sit on the chair, keep your back straight and eyes forward and hold for a few seconds, then slowly return to standing. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
Inner Thigh Adduction: Use a rolled towel or sweater to squeeze between your thighs during this exercise. Keeping your abs tucked, squeeze the towel as hard as you can for a few seconds. Try to work your way up to 10 or 20 seconds. Release, then repeat again 3 sets of 20 reps.
Leg Extensions: If you have some ankle weights, this exercise is even better! Sit straight in your chair, toward but not on the front edge of the chair, resting hands on the arm rests or chair sides. Flex your quads as you extend your leg straight out in front of you. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and then curl back down to starting position. Repeat 15-20 times before alternating to the other leg. Remind yourself to do this one throughout your day.
Office Chair Ab workout: Make sure this is done on a wheel-less chair. Sit up straight in the chair with your shoulders back. While sitting on the chair front edge, place your hands on the arm rests. Keeping your back straight, lift your knees up to your chest and then slowly back down. Repeat 15-20 times for 3 sets. Not allowing your toes to touch the ground in between each rep will provide a greater challenge. You can vary this to challenge your obliques by rotating your knees to the side on the way up and down.
Desk pushups: Stand up and position yourself a few feet from the front edge of your desk with your feet together. With your palms about a shoulder width away, keep your back and legs in a straight line and lower yourself to the front edge of the desk. Push back to start position for as many reps as possible, aiming for 15 reps. Do 3-4 sets
Desk triceps dips: Similar to pushups, face away from the desk with palms down, keeping your feet together. Bend your elbows and bring buttocks forward so you can dip straight down along the front of the desk. Dip until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Push back up to start position. Both the dip down and push back up should be slow for optimum results.
If you have a private office, rather than a cubical, most of the above exercises are easy to fit into your day here and there. Here is another total workout that can be done at your office. Also, consider replacing your office chair with an exercise ball and incorporate those exercises into your day.