8 Ways to Get Stronger While You Work

It’s a well-known fact that sitting in front of the computer is generally not a great way to tone up. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give in to flab. There are a surprising number of exercises you can do while at work that will help make you get stronger during your workday. Whether we realize it or not, we all have time during our workday when we’re just waiting for something. Maybe the printer is being slow, our lunch is in the microwave, or we’re waiting for something to download. This is a great opportunity to do some strength exercises. Other exercises you can do in a standing position while reading through documents. Still others you can do while sitting at your desk! Take a few minutes each day to try these out:

1. Squats

Holding onto your desk or a table if you need to, do squats on one leg or both. Don’t let your knees go forward of your toes, and put your weight on your upper leg and buttocks. Put your arms out in front of you for balance if you’re not holding on.

2. Modified push-ups

First, make sure your desk is sturdy —if not, you’ll need to find a surface that will hold your weight. Put your hands flat on the desk (or table, or wall) and walk your feet out behind you. Slowly push your body up and down, maintaining a flat back, squeezing your glutes and sucking your stomach in.

3. Kick your own butt

Stand up straight, shifting your weight to one leg. With the other, kick back and try to kick your buttocks. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

4. Sitting leg lifts

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Sitting with your back straight at your desk, lift one leg at a time up horizontally to the floor. Hold for two seconds, then slowly lower the leg back down. Repeat on the other side, then keep going back and forth.

5. Arm strengthener

In a sturdy chair, put your hands firmly on the armrests and push down. Lift your body a couple of inches off the seat of the chair, hold, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

6. Desk pull-ups

As with push-ups, this will only work if you have a very sturdy desk. Get under the desk and, with head facing upward, grip the edge of the desk with both hands. Get into as straight a line as you can with your body, and pull slowly up and back down with controlled movements.

7. Back pull-ins

In a rolling chair, grip the corners of your desk in both hands. Lift feet slightly off the ground and tighten your back muscles. Keeping those muscles tight, slowly pull yourself in toward your desk, then push back out. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

8. Isometric exercises

Any part of your body can be strengthened without coworkers being the wiser by doing isometric exercises. Isometric exercises involve choosing one muscle at a time, squeezing that muscle as hard as you can for 10 seconds or so, then releasing. Repeat 10 times with each muscle you target. About the Author:Valerie Cecil writes for www.etraintoday.com.

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  1. Rose, 02 April, 2013

    Some great ideas here. I’d only ever thought of doing isometrics, but you’ve covered so many other possible things to do during my lunch break.

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