We know: It’s extra hard to get in shape when you’re crouched over your desk all day, sitting on your butt. And heading to your office’s snack drawer every other hour doesn’t help matters (we know we’re not the only ones).
Regardless, nobody wants to whip out a set of weights and sweat all over their co-workers. Since donning a sports bra and doing multiple sets of jumping jacks next to your desk are out of the question, try some of these more subtle desk workouts.
We have a feeling you’ll feel refreshed soon enough.
Stretch Your Wrists and Fingers
1. Make a fist and hold for 10 seconds, then release and stretch your fingers wide. Do this three times. Alternatively, gently squeeze a stress ball, holding and releasing for intervals of three seconds.
2. Touch the tip of your thumb to each of your other fingers, one after another, in rapid succession. Try doing as many reps as possible for 30 seconds.
3. Put your hands in “prayer” position at your heart, with your fingers and the palms of your hands completely touching. Drop your hands down, moving toward your belly button, until you feel a stretch and your wrists begin to separate. Hold here for 20 seconds.
4. Interlace your fingers, then press your hands down and toward your computer screen in a classic finger stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Then, repeat and change up the pinky finger that ends up in the top position so that you stretch both the right and left sides equally.
5. Hold your left arm out in front of you with your hand flexed in the universal “stop!” position. Use your right fingers to further stretch your left fingers back slightly in this position. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch arms and repeat.
Sculpt Your Arms
1. Interlace your fingers, then press your hands up and toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds, breathing normally.
2. “Raise the roof” for 30 seconds to increase blood flow to your arms.
3. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then back, then down. Repeat these circles five times. Reverse and lift your shoulders up, then forward, then down.
4. Using two full water bottles as “weights,” lift your arms with your palms facing your computer and your elbows bent to 90 degrees. Slowly move your elbows toward each other (the goal is for them to meet, but it’s OK if they don’t make it all the way!), then bring them back to the starting position and repeat this in-out motion for eight reps.
5. With the palms of your hand on the seat of a sturdy, non-rolling chair, place your feet on the floor, then move your rear end off your seat and lower it until it almost touches the floor as you bend your elbows. Keeping your feet firmly on the floor, straighten your elbows and bring your rear back to the seat to begin again. Do as many careful reps as you can in 30 seconds.
Tone Your Legs and Rear
1. If you’re seated next to a wall, try a wall sit. Keep your upper back and back of the head against the wall, then move your feet out until your knees are bent and your upper thighs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Hold for 25 seconds, then release.
2. Extend one leg underneath your desk until it’s parallel with the floor. Hold, then release down and repeat with the other leg. Do this for a total of eight times (four times on each leg).
3. “Run” in place under your desk for 30 seconds, moving your feet as fast as you can. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat once.
4. Tense up your gluteal muscles and hold for 3 seconds, then release and repeat. Do this 30 times.
5. Making sure your hips and shoulder are aligned and that you’re exhibiting excellent posture, slowly stand up and sit down 10 times. Try to rely on your legs, rear, and core, rather than on your arms or hands, to lift you.
Simple Breathing and Stretching Techniques
1. Drop your chin to your chest, then roll your head and neck slowly to the left shoulder and back to your chest. Do the same on the right side. Repeat 10 times.
2. Do a yoga-inspired “cat-cow” pose! With your hands resting on the tops of your thighs, shift your gaze up to the ceiling and ever-so-slightly arch your back and tailbone into a “stretching cat” pose. Move slowly! Then, just as carefully, release the chin and gaze down toward the chest and create a “C”-curve that directly opposes the cat stretch you just did. Repeat five times.
3. Try the 4-7-8 breathing method. Breathe in for a count of four, then hold for a count of seven, and breathe out for a count of eight. Do this three times (or for as long as you need to feel relaxed!).
xx, The FabFitFun Team