Improving Health


5 Muscle Strengthening Activities You Can do at Your Desk

Posted by Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT on March 15, 2016

5 Muscle Strengthening Activities You Can do at Your Desk | Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT | Improving Health blog by CareATC, Inc.The most common excuse for skipping exercise these days is “I just don’t have time...”

Long hours, endless to-do lists, and never-ending responsibilities come in between individuals and their workout every day. It is very important to prioritize exercise and find the necessary 30-60 minutes most days, but the reality is that certain days it is simply not possible.

On the days when your schedule is just too packed, do not just throw your hands in the air and give up. Instead, fit small workouts in during the day!

Take the stairs two at a time, walk around the building on your lunch break, and park far away from the office door to burn extra calories. In addition to taking those extra steps, do muscle strengthening exercises to work your arms, legs, and core – right at your desk!

1. Calf Raises

Waiting for a long document to print? Standing while talking on the phone? Make use of that time by getting in some calf raises!

Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart, press up onto the top of your toes, pause, and then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 15 reps, or until the printing is complete or phone call is over.

2. Leg Raises

Sitting at your desk while on a conference call or sifting through your morning emails? That is the perfect time to do some discrete leg raises under your desk!

Sit straight up in your chair and strengthen one leg at a time, holding it suspended in the air for 5-10 seconds. Alternate legs for 15 sets, then lift both legs at once, holding for 5-10 seconds for an additional 10 reps. To increase the intensity, slide your foot through your briefcase or purse handle and do the exercise using added weight.

3. Bicep Pulls

Give your fingers a break from typing and work your biceps. Clasp your hands together with one hand’s thumb pointing up to the ceiling and the other pointing down to the floor and pull.

You should feel your biceps working to resist the motion of both arms. Hold for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

4. Ab Twists

Most office chairs swivel from side to side, leaving employees who are children at heart burning with the desire to spin around and around. Use these chairs to engage in a workday ab workout.

Sit upright with your feet hovering over the floor. Hold onto the edge of the desk and use your core to turn the chair to the left, and then to the right. Move back and forth 10-15 times.

5. Tricep Dips

Tricep dips are not just for the gym bench. Sit on the edge of a stationary chair and place your hands on either side of you, gripping the edge of the chair.

Place your feet two steps away from the chair, straighten your arms and lift the body. Bend the arms to a 90 degree angle, dropping your body down, and then re-straighten the arms to raise yourself once again above the chair. Complete 10-15 reps.

Now that you know how, start your workday workouts today!

Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT

About The Author

Mairead Callahan, RDN, CPT

Mairead is a registered dietitian, media personality, and founder of the popular health and wellness blog "My Healthy Ending." She studied Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, completed her supervised practice at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Mairead’s philosophy is grounded in the power of whole foods, plant-based nutrition, and an active lifestyle.

Post Topics Fitness