8 Exercises to stay active (& Strong) at your Work Desk

If you can sit, you can get FIT!

You probably already know that being hunched over a key board and sitting for hours on end can lead to detrimental health related issues, such as: chronic neck and back pain, poor postural habits, and increased cortisol levels. That's not all - sitting in general for extended periods of time on the regular (at work or otherwise) can lead to depression, obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, excess body fat around the waistline, and even abnormal cholesterol levels. On the brighter side you can incorporate these somewhat subtle exercise moves into your workday while sending emails, while on a call, etc. - or, while watching t.v. to get your blood flowing, release tension, keep your body moving, and to actually get FIT while sitting!

Toe Taps - Sit on the edge of your seat with thighs, knees, and feet together. Engage your core, and keep knees slightly bent. Tap your toes to the left, then switch to the right - (think side to side like a skier), and repeat. Make sure thighs, knees, and feet stay together as your legs come through center switching from side to side. x20 reps. This will really work your obliques and outer thighs. A variation or an option to include = one leg toe taps. Start in the same position, then tap R foot to the right coming back to center, switch L and repeat.

Chair Pops - Or as I call them: butt squeezes! Option to sit all the way back in your chair or at the edge of your seat. Sit tall with your feet parallel and hip distance. Tighten your abdominals and begin by pulling your hip bones forward while engaging the glutes and pressing your feet firmly into the floor, hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat. It should feel like you are popping up and sitting taller. Start with x10. This is one of my favorite chair exercises. Who knew you could get a good butt workout while sitting on it.

Under the Desk Scissor Kicks - Sit tall, chest lifted, core engaged. Lift your legs about a foot off the floor, legs straight, toes pointed. Turn your toes out, heels in, then brings your legs to a slight V. Cross R over L, then L over R in a quick-ish fashion. Keep repeating. Try 3 sets of 15 reps. If you are feeling it - add in some flutter kicks when you are done. Same starting position minus the V - and kick kick kick.

Seated Torso Twist - Sit at the edge of your chair with feet directly under your knees hip distance apart. Elbows snug to the body at a 90 degree angle, hands in fists (optional). Embrace you core muscles then slowly begin to twist the upper body at the hips. Keeping your core tight, come through center and slowly rotate to the L. Feel free to speed this up a little taking it side to side in smaller rotations. This is good for the spine and stretching those back muscles. Try x10 reps - x20 if going at a faster pace.

Shoulder Shrugs - Use the shoulder tension that commonly builds up while hunched over a keyboard all day to benefit your muscles. Squeeze your shoulder blades together like you are trying to hold a golf ball in between them, then lift both shoulders up toward your ears at the same time. Keep tension as the shoulders reach their highest point. Hold 5 seconds then release. Repeat as needed or desired. Try at least 10 reps to really loosen things up. If you only get to 5 and in an extra rep next time.

Inner/Outer Thigh Squeeze - Under your desk bring your thighs, knees, and feet all the way together, then lift your heels high (optional). Engage your outer thighs, press your glutes down into the chair, and with resistance open your knees to a V. Squeeze the inner thigh muscles tight and draw legs back together. Act like you are using a thigh master, lol. Remember those? If your heels are lifted, press the balls of the feet firmly into the floor for optimal results. Do 3 sets of x10 reps. Your inner and outer thighs and glute medius will thank you.

Arm Circles - You may need to turn so you are facing the side of your desk for this one and work one arm at a time. Or feel free to take a stand and work both arms together. Starting with the R arm. Sit at the edge of your chair, feet firm on the floor. Take the R arm back, up, around, and down nice and slow x5 reps, then reverse. R arm goes forward, up, back around, and down x5 reps. Switch sides. If in a standing position, work both arms at the same time. When you finish your x5 reps, alternate one arm at a time x10. This is great to get the blood flowing and to stretch those arms.

Double Knee Pull - With your legs under your desk, keep feet hip distance, hands on top of your desk in line w/the shoulders, elbows bent. You can sit at the edge of your chair or all the way back, you choose. Firmly press your hands down onto the desk, squeeze your abs in tight, and pull both knees up to tap the under part of your desk. If your desk is too high to tap, pull your knees up as far as you can. The goal is to maintain your posture and sit as tall as possible while you pull the knees up. Start with x10, do 2 sets if you can. Try alternating one knee at a time if both knees poses too much of a challenge at first. This is a killer core workout.

The impact of movement can create profound benefits!

So go on... get the blood flowing, release tension, move your body, and get FIT while you Sit, at your Desk!




Bonus Moves -
1.) Upright Row: reach arms long in front at shoulder height, pull elbows back. Use resistance as you pull; use resistance as you press back to the starting point. Sit tall, keep shoulders down and back. 3 sets of x15. Great for the corners of the chest and the upper back.
2.) Sidebend Reach: hands on your shoulders or behind your head, elbows wide. Sit tall, abs in, press feet firm into floor. Reach R arm toward the floor as you 'sidebend'. Squeeze to lift back up. Switch L. Repeat x20 (10 each side). Core must be fired up the whole time. This is an oblique burner.
3.). go for a walk and get some fresh air on your break, or at lunch.










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