Sitting at a desk while working all day might be a great way to pay the bills, but it’s not great for your body. Men aren’t meant to sit all day and be inactive. Our bodies were designed to be active, which is why we get fat and out of shape when living a sedentary lifestyle. We all know that being a couch potato can lead to obesity and health issues. Well, being a desk potato can also lead to obesity and health issues if we don’t increase our level of physical activity.
If you sit at a desk all day, then check out these easy exercises to help you burn some calories, shed some weight and build some muscle.
Lower Body Exercises
Desk Squat – Stand up from your chair, position feet about shoulder width apart,and then squat as if you are going to sit back down in the chair, but do not. Pause for a second and then stand back upright.
Seated Leg Raise – Sit upright with good posture. Take your right leg and extend it straight, parallel with the floor, but don’t lock your knee. Keep the left foot on the floor and hold your right leg in the air before setting it back down. Alternate between legs.
Standing Leg Curl–Stand behind your chair. Place your hands firmly on your chair, feet about shoulder width apart. Then take your right leg and bend it as if you are trying to kick yourself in the butt. Pause at the top before returning foot to the ground. Alternate between legs.
Calf Raise – You can either do this in a seated position or standing behind your chair. Simply raise up onto your tippy toes and slowly return to the position of your feet being flat on the ground. Make sure to hold your squeeze at the top.
Trunk Twists – Sit upright with your hands holding the edge of your desk. Next, slowly rotate/turn your body to the right and then all the way back to the left. Keep your feet on the ground or slightly off the ground as you rotate. Make sure to keep yourself under control and perform this with a smooth motion.
Touch the Spine – Sit upright with good posture. Suck your stomach in and try to touch your spine. Take a deep breath, hold for a few seconds and then slowly exhale.
Leg Crunches – Make sure you have room between you and the desk. Bring legs off the ground, bend knees and slowly bring them to your abdomen. For increased difficulty, stick your legs straight out before returning them to the ground.
Upper Body Exercises
Shrugs – Let your arms hang down to your sides. Then raise your shoulders up to your ears and hold for a few seconds.
Flap the Wings – Seated or standing, let your arms hang to your sides. Then raise them up to shoulder level as if you are making a “T.” Pause for a moment and then return to your sides.
Chest Press – In a seated position, place your arms forward with your hands against your desk. Make sure you move the chair out enough to where your arms are almost fully extended. Push against the desk, or wall if possible, and hold that position. Flex those chest muscles and feel the burn.
Prayer Press – Take both of your hands and place them against each other as if you are going to pray. You can do this while seated in an upright position. Then push hard against your hands and feel the burn go all the way up your arms and into your chest, shoulders and back.
Triceps Dip – If you have a non-rolling chair or sturdy desk, sit at the edge and place your hands by the sides of your body on the desk or chair. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, then bend your arms until you reach a 90 degree angle as your body slowly dips down toward the ground. Make sure to pause for a second at the top and at the bottom of this motion.
Jog in Place – Get up from your chair. Move it out of the way and slowly jog in place. Do this at a pace that won’t cause too much stress on your joints and gets your heart rate up.
Imagine the Jump Rope – Most of us can’t bring a real jump rope into our office and jump rope for a few minutes as if we were Sly Stallone from the movie Rocky. But, we can pretend like we have a jump rope and perform the jump rope movement.
More Fitness Food for Thought
Most of these exercises can be done within your office or cubicle. To increase difficulty, build muscle and burn more fat, try adding some extra weight to the movements. For example, hold a ream of paper or staplers in your hands when doing upper body exercises.
Also, take the stairs when heading into work. Quit avoiding them like they’re your ex-Wife. Park further in the parking lot to make your walk into the office a bit further or go for a walk on your lunch break. The key is to get your heart rate up and get your bodies more active. And, always practice good posture when sitting at your desk.