The office life can quickly lead to a sedentary lifestyle that promotes obesity and a slew of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The average American work week seems to only extend in hours while also introducing many negative elements that will derail any fitness goals such as stress, inactivity, prolonged sitting, lack of natural sunlight, and unhealthy foods.
Mini office workouts, which can be as short as 5-10 and can be done almost anywhere, are a simple way to increase activity, combat weight gain and promote muscular strength and endurance.
Directions: Perform each exercise in a circuit format with minimal rest in between exercises. Aim to finish the entire circuit 2-3 times as fast as possible.
Warm Up: 3-minute brisk walk/jog around parking lot or office
15 Body Weight Squats
Stand in an open space in your office or cubicle. Place arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Set your hips back behind you and begin to flex at the knees descending into a squat position. Keep your spine neutral and head forward throughout the entire movements. Descend until you reach a full range of motion and the begin to ascend out of the squat by reversing the position until you are completely erect standing straight up.
15 Desk Pushups
Place your hands shoulder width apart on a sturdy desk with your hands directly under your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine and a plank position that is a 180-degree angle from head to ankles. Descend by flexing the elbows until your reach a full range of motion. Press through the desk and ascend until arms are fully extended.
15 Briefcase Row
Using a briefcase, laptop bag or purse; place one hand on a desk and flex your hips back so that your torso and spine come parallel to the floor. Using the free arm, grasp the handle on the bag and pull the bag to your ribs keeping your elbow close to the body. Complete the repetitions on one side then switch to the other.
Maintain an upright position with feet set at hip width apart. Choose one leg to step forward with. Plant the foot into the ground and descend by pressing the rear knee towards the floor for a full range of motion. Begin to ascend by pressing off the front foot and extending the hip and knee to the starting position. Switch sides.
15 Briefcase Curl and Press
Grasp your briefcase, laptop or purse by its edges. Start with your arms extended by your sides, with the bag in front of your at your waist. Begin the bicep curl by flexing your elbows through a full range of motion towards your face. Once your elbows are fully flexed, initiate the press by extending the arms up overhead until they are completely locked out in a fully extended position. Reverse the position and bring the bag back down to your waist in front of you.
15 Chair Dips
While seated on the edge your chair, place both hands by your side right next to your thighs and clasp the edge of the seat. Using your arms, push your butt up off the chair while maintaining a firm grip. With your arms fully extended and your butt off the chair, extend your legs directly in front of you so that your knees are no longer bent. This will be your starting position. Lower yourself by bending your elbows until your triceps and forearms are perpendicular to each other (90 degrees). Make sure your feet aren’t sliding and let your hips “hang.” Using your triceps, lift yourself back to the starting position.