Fat-Blasting Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

You may feel that you’re tied to your desk during the 9-to-5 workweek, but you have more exercise options than you think. Though you may not be getting the full aerobic workout that you’d get at the gym, you can still work to strengthen your muscles and increase your heart rate, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Combine these exercises with other active lifestyle choices like taking the stairs and going for a walk on your lunch break, and you may even find that with an increase in activity also comes an increase in your work productivity.

Here are fat-blasting exercises to try any time, anywhere.

1. 60 seconds of jumping jacks or simulated jumping rope

young man jump roping

Try jumping jacks for a few minutes to get your heart rate up. | iStock.com

It only takes a minute to get your heart rate raised and reap the benefits of this simple exercise, no equipment required. Healthy Living explains that jumping jacks get blood flowing to all major muscle groups while working your shoulders, abs, and legs and increasing your heart rate quickly. To start this exercise, take a look at your clock or set a stopwatch for at least one minute. Then, begin performing your jumping jacks, keeping your arms fully extended and making wider jumps to increase intensity.

2. Seated leg raises

a man sitting at his desk

You can exercise even from a seated position. | iStock.com

Believe it or not, you can do some of the best leg exercises without ever even moving from your seat. Leg raises have a wealth of benefits, and you can perform them right from your desk chair. To do this move, simply sit with good posture and raise your legs up and down, making sure to keep your legs pin-straight so you’re squeezing your butt and thighs tightly.

For an extra challenge, pulse your legs lightly at the end of your set, and perform between 10 and 20 reps per set before relaxing.

3. V-sit in your desk chair

Excited Woman Working At Desk In Design Studio

Try working your abs with this move. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Here’s another exercise that’s perfect if you find yourself glued to your chair all day.

To start this exercise, you need to sit with good posture and scoot to the front of your chair so that your butt is close to the edge. Then, lean back slightly so that your upper back is supported by the chair. From here, you will engage your abs by squeezing and contracting inward, slightly lifting the hips and engaging the butt as well. While you’re contracting, you can alternate a knee lift for a slight crunch, and then gently bring your leg back to the floor and relax the abs. Repeat this exercise for 10 reps on each side to reap the benefits.

4. Shadowboxing

a woman boxing

Shadowboxing is great for your arms. | iStock.com

This move is exactly as it sounds and requires no equipment — you throw punches in the air quickly at an imaginary opponent as if you were in a boxing ring, and the weight of your hands combined with how quickly you can thrust your arms forward and recover your punches will work muscle groups both large and small in your upper body. If you choose to do this exercise while standing, you can make it a full-body workout by lightly hopping on your toes and twisting your torso with your punches.

5. Desk push-ups

business man standing at his desk

Use your desk for push-ups. | iStock.com

While push-ups are easy and can be performed just about anywhere, doing them on the office floor may leave your hands feeling grimy after the fact. Instead, try performing push-ups at your desk. Time recommends starting with both hands on your desk and then moving your feet out behind you on the floor. Make sure your shoulders are above your wrists when you begin. From here, aim to complete sets of 10 to 20 push-ups at a time before walking your feet in and taking a rest before completing another set.