6 Exercises You Can Do While Sitting at Your Desk
If you’re trying to build muscle you can do more than just spend an hour at the gym. You can strengthen your muscles and improve your form with muscle building exercises like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses from the comfort of your desk chair. The key is isometrics. Isometrics is a type of training where there is no joint movement and the length of the muscle remains the same during contraction. These exercises don’t build muscle, but they help maintain muscle strength and can help you get that overhead press down perfectly. Intrigued? Discretely give these six exercises a try tomorrow at your desk, and reap the benefits. Not only will you improve your fitness, but it will help with that afternoon energy crash and keep you entertained when Facebook starts to bore you.
1. Abdominal crunches
Everyone wants a flatter stomach and better abs. As you deal with that long-winded customer over the phone, try these stationary abdominal crunches from the comfort of your chair. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles as you would during a regular floor crunch and hold the contraction for at least ten seconds. Perform three sets of three reps each.
2. Triceps pushdowns
When you’re arms are free from typing, answering phones, and clicking, take advantage of the time and perform these isometric triceps pushdowns. Roll your chair close to your desk and set your forearms on the top of the desk so that they make a 90-degree angle. Make a fist with your hand and turn your hand as though you are doing a hammer curl or twisting to open your palm. Then firmly push down toward the desk and raise your triceps while trying to keep your shoulders down. Hold for ten seconds, and repeat six times.
3. Bicep curls
A great time to work out your arms is while you have some on-screen reading to do, freeing your arms for some isometric bicep curls. While sitting at your desk, bend your elbows and place your forearms under the table with your palms facing up. Push up against the underside of the table with your arm muscles tightened as if you were going to lift up your desk. Hold the tension for ten seconds before slowing relaxing your muscles and repeating. Perform ten sets while focusing on maintaining normal breath and a straight back.
4. Calf lifts
Strong and toned calves are one of the first things the ladies will notice when spring arrives and your shorts come out of hiding. Get shapely calves by targeting the soleus muscles in the calf through isometric movement. Sit towards the edge of the seat with your feet flat on the floor while keeping your back straight. Raise your heals unilaterally off the ground while flexing your calves tightly. Ensure your toes remain on the floor and hold for ten seconds. Repeat this isometric calf lift three times.
5. Neck extensors
It’s not news that sitting at your desk for 40 or more hours a week is tough on your body. Often much of the stress and tension is stored in your neck. This isometric exercise targets the neck extensors that are located in the back of your neck to release strain and improve strength. Sit up tall in your chair, and raise your hands above your head. Bend your elbows, and interlace your fingers together before placing your hands on the back of your head. Push your head back into your hands, and push your hands forward against the movement. Hold this for five seconds and relax before repeating up to five times.
6. Leg extensions
Keep your thighs toned and tight with these isometric leg extensions. While sitting upright in your chair, rest your forearms on the arms of the chair and grip tightly. Slowly straighten one leg out in front of you and contract your quadriceps muscles. Hold here for about five seconds before lowering the foot down to the floor. Repeat this between 12 and 20 times before moving onto the other leg. For more thigh toning ideas that you can perform from the comfort of your desk at work, check out this article by FitDay.com.