After many friends requesting a list of exercises that they can do at work, I've finally put together a list of simple yet effective exercises you can do at your desk. Apart from getting up and doing push-ups and triceps dips on your desk or holding a plank in the middle of the room (awkward) try incorporating these incognito exercises into your daily work life:
- Leg lifts: Sitting tall, extend one leg straight out in front of you. Keeping your leg straight, raise the entire leg up one inch off the seat and hold. From there flex your foot and gently take a small bend in the knee and press all the way out again engaging the top of your thigh. Try to do 30 "mini" presses on each leg.
- Oblique Twists: With a swiveling chair, hover both feet one inch off of the floor. Feel your waistline getting tighter as your keep your shoulders straight and twist through the waistline engaging the abdominals. Twist 20 times to the right and 20 times to the left keeping your upper body still.
- Kegels: Especially important for expecting moms like me, kegels will help to strengthen the pelvic floor and improve your posture, digestion, and even your love life. Again, make sure that you're seated tall then imagine you have to pee and you are holding it in as tight as you can. You should feel your tailbone drop and your lower abdominals engage. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat. You can do these all day long.
- Single Leg Squat/Balance: When getting up and down from your chair, try raising yourself up with just one leg. As you stand, remain standing on one leg and try to balance for about 10 seconds before moving on to your destination. Do the same thing when sitting . . . don't just plop down in your chair! Balance on one leg as you engage your lower body and control yourself to slowly sit back in your chair. Be sure to do both legs!
- Inner Thigh Squeeze: Remember the thigh master? Ah yes, this is what we are after. Good news, you don't have to have an actual Thigh Master to get the same workout. Using a pillow, a towel, a Pilates ball, a ream of paper, (heck, you don't even really need anything), walk your feet together underneath your desk. Press your knees together and squeeze your inner thighs as tight as you can for 30 seconds. If you're using an object, try to squeeze and release the object without letting it fall 30 times. Release for 10 seconds and repeat. Hello inner thighs!
- Hip and Lower Back Stretch: Sitting tall, with a flexed foot, bring your heel across the body to the top of the opposite thigh (Similar to how most guys cross their legs). Lean forward slightly to feel the stretch going into the outer thigh/booty and hip area. Switch legs and do the other side. For a deeper stretch, come up to your toes of your supporting leg.