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Office fit: Desk-friendly exercises

Just because you spend most of your day at your desk, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit. We share some great desk-friendly exercises to get you in shape even if you can’t make it to the gym during your busy day.

woman working out at office

Fitting in workouts can seem next to impossible when you spend most of your day stuck at your desk. But even if you don’t have time to go all the way to the gym to get in a workout, it’s easy to carve out a few minutes to fit in these simple exercises that can be done right where you work.

Seated crunches

This exercise is great because it means you don’t have to lie down on the floor of your office to get in a good ab workout. Seat yourself at the edge of your chair with your arms at your sides. Bring your knees and feet together, and bend and lift them up to chest height. If this is too difficult, you can lean back slightly, making sure to keep your abs engaged and your upper body in line.

Tricep dips

The triceps tends to not get as much workout attention as the biceps, but they’re every bit as important. For this exercise, seat yourself at the edge of your chair with your arms at your sides. Extend your legs in front of you, keeping your feet on the floor. Bring your bum forward, off the chair, and lower your body so your arms form 90-degree angles. Lift yourself up, and repeat. If this is too challenging, simply bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, closer to the chair.

Leg raises

Leg raises are great because they strengthen many areas of your legs, and you can do them just about anywhere in the office. Begin by standing on your right leg, your left leg extended in front of you. Leave the heel flexed and lightly touching the floor. Keeping your hips in line and your abs engaged, lift your left leg as high as you can. Lower and repeat this action 20 times. Repeat, but extending your leg to the side and then again to the back. Switch and do the same with the other leg. To make it easier, hold on to the back of your chair for balance. To make it more challenging, stand on your own, and let your standing leg do the stabilizing.

Side crunches

Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly lower your right arm down your right leg, and let your body lower to the side with it. Repeat on the left side. For this exercise, it’s important to imagine your body is wedged between two walls — one behind you and one in front of you. So everything from your feet through your bum and up to your shoulders must move on a single, flat plane. To make the exercise harder, hold something weighted, such as a filled water bottle, in either hand.

All the little things

And of course, never forget that including small bursts of cardio or high-intensity strength training will add up quickly. So seize any chance you have to run up the stairs or to do a few standing lunges. Your body and mind will thank you for it in the long run.

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