No matter how much fun that swivel chair is at work, it may be what’s destroying any hope you had for a flat stomach. Slouching over a computer all day is bound to reverse all those crunches you’ve been doing every morning.
Well, as it turns out, your desk job doesn’t have to stand in the way of that perfect bikini bod this summer (or a fit body anytime). Her Campus spoke with fitness expert Keli Calabrese to find out what exercises you can do at work. Here are some of her top suggestions. The best part: you can do them without even leaving your chair!
*Do about 20 reps of each exercise.
An exercise band is the perfect workout item to keep at your desk, says Calabrese. It’s super portable, can be stowed away in a drawer for whenever you need it, comes in almost any color imaginable, and costs only about $4.00.
In this exercise, you should feel the triceps, shoulders, and your upper back working as you stretch the band.
Exercises where you sit up tall and use your upper body are great for when you’re “hinged forward at your desk all day,” says Calabrese.
Sit up tall in your chair. Holding the exercise band as resistance, take your arms out straight in front of you. Pull your arms out to the side. Bring arms back in front to repeat.
These are similar to a regular bicep curl with weights. At work though, you can get the same results using the exercise band – except you won’t have to haul around two ten- pound weights.
Sit on the edge of your seat, with your feet flat on the ground. Place the middle of the band under your feet. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Starting with your arms straight down, bend your elbows and pull your arms up towards your shoulders. Return to the starting position.
This exercise will work your shoulders, biceps, and upper back.
Sit up tall in your chair, back straight. Start with arms straight overhead, one end of the band in each hand. Bring arms down to the side, bending your elbows. Stop when elbows reach shoulder-height. Bring both arms back to starting position.
All you need for these exercises is a desk chair with wheels. If yours doesn’t have wheels, you can still do the incline bench or sit-squat exercises!
This one will work your arms, shoulders, and back.
Use either a desk or your chair as a fill-in incline bench. Stand close to the desk or chair, then take one big step back. Keep your feet planted, and lean forward so your palms land on the surface of the desk or chair. Bend your elbows as you would in a normal push-up. Then straighten arms, and repeat.
This exercise is similar to using an exercise ball. It works your core, legs, and back.
Sit up tall in your chair. Dig your heels into the floor and push the chair back. Roll the chair front and back, just using your feet.
Sit and Squat:
Looking for that perfect thigh-burning exercise for the office? This one’s it!
Start by simply sitting in your chair. Stand up, without moving the chair, then squat to sit back down. To make this a little harder and to really feel the burn, hold the squat (hovering just above the seat of the chair) for a few seconds.
As with any exercise routine, always take the time to stretch. Calabrese says these stretches are also perfect to get the kinks out of your neck after a long day, or as a quick break from your work.
Sit up in your chair. Rotate your upper body to the right, grabbing the back of the chair with your right hand. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to center, then switch sides.
Face straight ahead while sitting in a chair. Place left hand under the chair. Use the right hand to gently pull the neck towards your shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to center, then switch sides.
If you’re looking to get up out of your chair for a few minutes, and get your heart rate pumping a bit, Calabrese recommends these exercises:
- Jog around your desk a few times, then switch directions
- Do 20-30 jumping jacks
- Jump up and down on two feet
- Jog in place, bringing your knees up close to your chest each time
- Simulate a few boxing moves: punch, punch, jab, jab
Want the fastest way to add some fitness to your workday? Always take the stairs!
Keli Calabrese: fitness and exercise specialist