Everyone’s house is a bit manic right now. We’re working at our dinner tables, we’ve just put up the Christmas tree, various Christmas gifts are strewn about needing wrapping, and there’s very little space to lay down your yoga mat or stretch out for a few press-ups. So, how can we make the most of this lack of space and still give our body the workout it needs?
Well, luckily enough, there are loads of exercises you can do while sitting at your desk, which will not only help you look in tip-top shape, but also keep you warm on these cold winter days! We’ve picked out five of the best.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
We’ve all had different issues working from home but when your neck, back and shoulders are under so much stress from staring at a screen, without the support of your trusty office chair (who knew we would miss those things) it is time to do something about it. Luckily, strengthening your back and shoulders can be done sitting down and it all helps your posture. The perfect combination.
To perform this exercise, you can pretend to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades, squeezing them together while pushing your chest forward. Squeeze for 10 seconds and then relax, before repeating the exercise. Ten repetitions in the morning and 10 in the afternoon should keep you loose and ready to go.
These five exercises we have chosen should help stretch and strengthen your entire body. Which is why now we have moved on to the classic and easy to follow chair squat. Okay, perhaps we have slightly bent the rules with this one as you will need to stand up to begin the exercise, but you can use your chair to make sure you are performing it in the most beneficial way.
Stand up with your legs straight, squat down, bending your knees until your bum touches the edge of your chair. Without sitting down, straighten your legs until you are back in a standing upright position. Ten of these, morning and afternoon, will get the blood pumping around your legs, and strengthen your legs and bum. Peachy.
This one is easy. Performed by body builders (and even they have to do it sitting down) you can tone your calves while firing out emails or answering calls. Simply sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Then push your heels off the ground with your toes, so you are on your tippy toes, before lowering back to the ground. You should feel your calves stretch as you perform this exercise.
Point your toes as you do this one, and if you want to make things a little harder, push down on your knees, or place some of those old workbooks on your thighs. The difficulty can be varied but you can perform this one just like Shakira. Wherever, whenever!
This one is another classic that you can easily perform sitting down! Everyone can do a bicep curl and what better way to keep your arms in shape than to do it during work hours. If you have dumbbells, use a lighter weight than normal when sitting down, but if you do not have access to dumbbells (they’ve become incredibly rare in 2020), you can use a whole host of things!
You can fill up a couple of water bottles, use shampoo and conditioner bottles or just grab a couple of bags of pasta from your cupboard! Remember, if you do more reps with a lower weight you will become more toned, if you use a higher weight and do less reps, you will build strength. Either way, it is all good!
Wrist Roll and Wrist Circles
Your wrist is the part of the body under the most stress in this day and age. With so many of us typing as a basic part of our job, often they can be left without support and feel strained come the end of a working day. To keep wrist fatigue at bay, perform wrist workouts twice a day.
To do a wrist roll, hold your own hands by interlocking your fingers and then roll your wrist around, kind of like you are kneading dough. To change the angle, you can also move your ‘wrist ball’ up and down. We heard plenty of cracks when performing this one! For wrist circles stretch out your arm until your elbow is locked, and point your fingers to the sky, you should feel the stretch. You can also use your desk to provide more resistance and change the way your fingers are facing for a full wrist workout.