How to workout at your desk


Sitting on a ball is mere child’s play…

Read any tabloid newspaper and you will “learn” of the terrible things that can happen if you have a desk job. Sitting will kill you. looking at a screen will make your eyes bleed…you get the idea.

Many of these are obviously scare stories, but the idea behind them is sound enough. You’re in an inactive job for much of the day, and that means you aren’t exercising, and exercise, is good for you.

Drinking a protein shake whilst on the job might be easy enough, but just how can you get a workout in whilst at your desk?

Leg raises

under desk hammock

Image source: Reddit
Not what we advise

This is perhaps the most obvious one, so let’s get it out of the way. You might have to be blessed with a bit of room under your desk, but this should be easy enough. Instead of letting your legs drop to the floor, keep them raised. Perhaps do it in sets of 6-8 reps. With a minute of thunderblast typing as the rest period.

After a while, add some weight. The easy way to do this is with a kettlebell. Then, simply add weight, vary the reps and sets and see what works for you.

If you can’t find a kettlebell, or can’t sneakily get it into the office, then use your suitcase, bag or handbag with something to add weight. You might have to explain why it weighs 10kg, but we’re sure you’ll manage.

Chair dips


Image source: The Mind Body Moderate
How’s this for a technical drawing?

Dips are good for core, work your arms and improve balance, and if your chair is sturdy enough (and it has arms) you can easily do them during work hours.

We’d recommend using a chair that isn’t on wheels, and not a chair that is wobbly in anyway. However, having said this, and if you like to live dangerously, then use a chair on wheels. This will make it harder to balance, meaning when you do get it right, the [positive effects will be greater. There is an injury risk of course, but the choice is up to you.

One other word of advice. Don’t try and be clever and do them during a conference calls. Proper breathing is very important with this exercise, and if you are spluttering whilst speaking to clients, you aren’t going to make a good impression.

Bicep curls and lateral raises


“I got biceps like these with SC’s special work programme”

If you can use a dumbbell, then this is ideal. If not, you might have to get creative, but the idea is still the same. If you are only using one hand to do something say click and scroll then why not bring in the other for a quick set of bicep curls. A large bottle of water could well do the trick.

Getting the form right in such an awkward position, whilst multitasking, is easier said then done. So you could go for some lateral raises, which in a seated position could be easier.

Lateral raises help to strengthen the deltoids, which in turn are a great way to get boulder shoulders.

Cycle under your desk


Image source: Sportsvibe
You don’t have to go that extreme…

For this, you will ideally need some equipment in the name of an under desk “bike” which is essentially a set of pedals. This will help you get some cardio in, and thought not everyone enjoys it, looking after your cardiovascular health is a good idea. Plus, it can help to burn some fat.

You could always increase resistance on the pedals (if they are that advanced) and therefore add more of a muscle building aspect to the exercise.

If you don’t have any pedals, then why not just do it in mid air? By keeping your legs in the air yourself (i.e. not rested on a device) you will also be adding another aspect to the exercise in that you are having to use your leg muscles just to maintain the “cycle”.

Hand grips

You’re thinking, or on the phone to someone you don’t want to speak to and have a spare hand. Well here we have the easiest, most inoffensive, but arguably, most effective at desk workout you can do.

Handgrips are simple little devices that you squeeze together, fighting against a set resistance. They are designed to build your forearms, and in doing so you’ll be benefiting your entire training regime.

It is said that you are “only as strong as your weakest link” and for many, forearms are that link. You may have increased the weight on your biceps and chest, but not on your grip. So use these in work, and add a big bar grip to your training, and see those weights increase.

Final word

The next time you see some scaremongering article in a tabloid, fear not my fitness friend. For with these simple exercises, and some sympathetic co-workers, you can stay in shape all day, every day.

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