Sometimes when you’re working 9-5, going to the gym just doesn’t feel enough. We’re sure Dolly Parton would agree. It can feel like too much time is spent at your desk, not getting the exercise you’re craving. That’s why we’ve come up with some easy fitness tips that can be done in your office or even sat at your desk.
The following fitness tips can be done without any equipment:
1. Mobility exercises
- Ankle rotations
Rotate your ankles in both directions for ten seconds. Do five sets of rotations in each direction. This exercise strengthens your ankles and can reduce the likelihood of sprains.
- Waist rotations
Rotate as far as possible to the left and hold for five seconds, then repeat on the right. Grab the back of your chair if you need extra support. Complete five sets of five seconds on each side. This not only improves your core and your back’s flexibility, but it’s good for your posture.
- Shoulder rolls
Rotate shoulders forwards making big circles with them for about 30 seconds and then rotate them backwards, all while keeping your back straight. This exercise is perfect for loosening up the shoulder muscles.
2. Stretching exercises
Stretch your glutes by resting your ankle on your opposite knee for 10 seconds, then swap legs. If you can’t feel the stretch, try leaning forward towards your ankle
- Shoulder stretch
Stretch the muscles in your right arm by reaching as far to the left as you can while supporting it in the dip of your left elbow and then hold it there for five seconds. Repeat eight times for each arm.
- Triceps stretch
While sitting at your desk, stretch your right arm to the ceiling, then bend to bring the right palm toward the centre of your back. Use your left hand to gently push your elbow your right arm downwards. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times on each side.
- Hamstring stretches
While sitting, straighten one leg out and rest your heel on the floor. Sit up straight and gently lean forwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times for each leg.
- Calf stretches
Sit up straight with both legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Straighten your right leg, resting your heel on the floor. Flex your foot by trying to bring your toes toward your shin. You can also reach forward and gently pull your foot towards you.
- Neck stretch
Keep your head looking ahead and your back straight. Slowly tilt your head to the right until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck and shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds, and then slowly tilt your head straight again. Repeat on your left side.
3. Toning exercises
- Desk push ups
Stand up and keep your feet together. Place your palms on the edge of your desk, in line with your shoulders. Lower yourself to the edge of the desk and push back your original position. Try challenge yourself to do one more each day.
You can do this wonderfully secretive exercise without anyone noticing – as long as you’re sitting down. Clench your glute muscles for fifteen seconds, and repeat eight times.
- Triceps dips
Grip onto the edge of the chair and slowly slide your bottom off. Hold yourself up with arms straight. Staying close to the chair, slowly bend at the elbows and lower yourself as far as possible. Return to your original position and repeat 20 times.
- Calf raises
Lift your legs up onto your tiptoes while remaining seated. Hold for ten seconds, return to your original position and repeat eight times.
Stand in front of the chair with your legs in line with your hips. Squat down as if you were sitting on the chair but don’t touch it. Keep your back straight, knees level with your feet and your hands together, arms bent. Straighten your legs to return to your original position and repeat 15 to 20 times.
4. Core exercises
- Pelvic floor
If you don’t know where your pelvic floor muscles are, tense the muscles you would use if you were trying to stop yourself from going to the toilet. To strengthen your pelvic floor, squeeze the muscles 10-15 times in a row. You can do this sitting or standing. This can help incontinence in later life, as well as reducing the chance of a prolapse. It will also improve things in the bedroom! Winner winner!
- Chair plank
Get yourself in prime planking position: forearms resting on your chair, hands touching each other. Stretch your legs out with your toes on the floor. Tense your abdominal muscles. Be careful not to lift or sink your hips. Hold the position for 45 seconds.
- Side dips
Stand up straight with your feet together in line with your hips. Keep your shoulders down and your chest up. Rest your hands by your side. Tense your abdominals and breathe in. Bend at your waist, reaching down with your right hand as far as you can. Without stopping, repeat the movement on the other side. Keep alternating for 15-20 reps on each side.
Yoga is a popular relaxation technique and is perfect for keeping fit whilst staying calm. There are many yoga exercises which you can do at your desk. Check out this website for some ideas!
Even if those fitness tips needed no equipment, here are some ideas for office appropriate gear if you want to the extra mile:
6. Resistance Bands
There are many benefits to using resistance bands: they are cheap and cheerful, ever so versatile, they can spice up the most mundane exercise, and they’re terribly discreet for working out at work!
7. Physio balls
A great alternative to sitting on your average desk chair, exercise balls improve your core strength, better your posture and help burn calories! While sitting down! Brilliant! Studies show that sitting on an exercise ball also incites you to stretch more. Remember to stand up now and again though!
8. Weighted bangles
Yes, the same weighted bangles you saw in those eighties work out videos. These wearable weights have made a massive comeback and workers across the globe are now wearing them at their desks for an easy workout! Why not give it a try?