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5 Exercises You Can Do In The Office

5 Exercises You Can Do In The Office

Sitting at a desk all day can be pretty draining, and research shows that prolonged sedentary time increases the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Unfortunately, as a writer I inevitably spend the better part of my days sitting, and while I try to fit in a workout as often as possible, the reality is that despite my best efforts, there are plenty of days where a visit to the gym, jog in the park or even quick high intensity workout just doesn’t happen.

The good news is that breaking up your office routine with light exercise every half hour or so can counteract the negative effects of sitting at a desk for hours on end. If you can’t remember to do this on your own, you could initially set a timer for every half hour to remind you to get up and move, but eventually it will become a habit.

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Of course, these simple exercises are no substitute for the type of workout that leaves you feeling like a sweaty mess, but they can help you stay alert throughout the day and may even prolong your lifespan.

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    1. Walking

    Walking will elevate your heart rate and improve your circulation, and it’s also the easiest way to exercise in the office without calling too much attention to yourself.

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    Try walking a few laps around the room the next time you have to make a phone call, and rather than emailing someone down the hall, you could get up and talk to them in person.

    1. Calf raises

    Calf raises can be done unobtrusively next to your desk, and will strengthen your calf muscles while also improving your balance.

    Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and press yourself up onto the tips of your toes. Hold the pose for a second, then lower yourself back down and repeat. You can even make the exercise more difficult by working one leg at a time.

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    1. Standing tricep extensions

    Tricep extensions will strengthen the muscles at the back of your upper arms, and although they’re usually done with a barbell or dumbbell, you can use anything from a large book to a water bottle.

    Start by holding your weight behind your head with both hands and extending your arms upward. Then slowly drop them back down behind your head and repeat.

    1. Chair squats

    Chair squats are great for your toning your legs and buttocks, but they’ll require a little more effort and you may attract a few stares from your coworkers while doing them.

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    To do these, stand in front of your chair with your feet hip-width apart and lower yourself down until your buttocks lightly touch the edge of the chair. Without sitting down, press yourself back up into a standing position and repeat.

    1. Lunges

    This is another exercise you can do while making a phone call, and although it’s not as discreet as walking, lunges will get your heart rate up while working your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

    Stand up straight with your shoulders back, chin up and core engaged. Step forward with one leg and lower yourself until your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Push yourself back into a standing position and lower yourself again, this time using the opposite leg. Repeat until both legs are burning.

    Featured photo credit: Photo by Benjamin Child via unsplash.com

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    Marianne Stenger

    Writer, Open Colleges

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    Published on June 7, 2019

    10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

    10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home

    Having a hard time going to the gym? Fear no more!

    In this article, we’ll be breaking down 10 in home lower body workouts anyone can try at home and their exercises. No gear needed for these workouts, just some space and a cup water waiting for your disposal.

    There’re 3 main parts in this article:

    If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just get into the first section 10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere right away.

    If you want more guidance on the basics, check out the second section Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

    And the last section is about what you should do before and after working out.

    10 Lower Body Workouts That Can Be Done Anywhere

    If you’re familiar with the basic lower body exercises, just read on this section.

    If you’d like to have more guidance on each exercise listed in these 10 workouts, take a look at the following part Lower Body Exercises Breakdown.

    1. The Starter Workout

    3 sets of 8-12 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 2 min rest in between each set)

    2. The 7 Minute Workout

    3 rounds of 30 seconds of each exercise:

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    • Walking Lunges
    • Quarter Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (1 min rest in between each round)

    3. The Unilateral Workout

    4 sets of 16 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunges
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Skater Squat
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge

    (30 sec to 1 min rest in between each set)

    4. The Endurance Workout

    2 sets of 20-50 reps of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Glute Bridge

    (1-2 min rest in between each set)

    5. The Back To Back Lower Body Workout

    5 rounds of 10 to 20 seconds of each exercise:

    • Skater Squat
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (30 min rest in between each round)

    6. Strength Lower Body Workout

    5 to 10 sets of 4 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Squat

    (30 sec to 2 mins of rest time in between set)

    7. Glute Burner Workout

    4 sets of 10-30 reps of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift
    • Single Leg Glute Bridge
    • Quarter Squat

    (1 min of rest time in between set)

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    8. The Advance Lower Body Workout

    3 rounds of 20 seconds of:

    • Squat
    • Walking Lunge
    • Skater Squat
    • Reverse Lunge
    • Glute Bridge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (2 mins of rest time in between set)

    9. The Quick Lower Body Workout

    2 sets of 10 reps of:

    • Reverse Lunge
    • Step Up
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    10. The 100 Repetition Challenge

    2 sets of 50 reps on each leg of:

    • Walking Lunge
    • Single Leg Deadlift

    (4 mins of rest time in between set)

    Lower Body Exercises Breakdown

    Here’s the breakdown of the lower body exercises[1] that you found in the workouts listed in the first section of this article.

    1. Squat

      A squat is a compound movement which entails the recruitment of a majority of your lower body (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, spinal erectors).

      How to squat:

      Feet shoulder width apart or a little wider. Toes pointed slightly out, arms out in front of you. Sit into your heels till you hit parallel with your butt and knee, drive through the heels, return to starting position and repeat.

      2. Walking Lunges

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        A lunge is a complex movement which recruits mainly the lower body.

        The walking lunges are a harder version of a split squat which is stationary and then adds the component of stepping and keeping balance which engages the gluteus medius as well as allowing a larger range of motion.

        3. Reverse Lunge

          A reverse lunge is very similar to the split squat but instead, after every rep, you are returning to the starting position and stepping back.

          By reverse stepping, you are allowing for a better emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteal muscles as opposed to the quadriceps muscles in a forward stepping lunge.

          4. Quarter Squat

            A quarter squat is the top ¼ movement of a squat. This will work mainly the gluteal muscles as it emphasizes the hip extension and not a lot of range of motion on the quadriceps muscles.

            5. Skater Squat

              A skater squat is a unilateral variation of the squat, this squat really engages the gluteus medius and hamstrings as it works unilateral stability and hip flexion which fires both the hamstrings and glutes.

              6. Step Up

                The Step Up is the greatest balance of getting the glutes and quadriceps muscles firing. Doing Step Ups will not only get the glutes going, but the quadriceps as well.

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                7. Glute Bridge

                  Glute Bridges are a great way to nearly isolate the glutes and build a great butt. This entire movement works through hip extension which the main movement of the gluteal muscles.

                  8. Single Leg Glute Bridge

                    Single leg glute bridge ensures that we are evenly building the glutes and not relying too heavily on our dominant leg and symmetrical butt. The step up can be done in a chair or a step in the stairs

                    9. Single Leg Deadlift

                      Single Leg RDL’s engage that entire booty and hamstrings, especially the gluteus medius due to its unilateral stability property. This is a great way to spice up some routine deadlifts.

                      Before & After Working Out

                      Before engaging in any physical activity, consult a doctor if you have not worked out in years. However, if you want to go at it without consulting a doctor, start slow and build your way up. Even though it’s home workout, use dynamic stretching or some light jogging[2] as a warm up before starting the lower body workouts.

                      Finally, at the end of the lower body workout, use static stretching to reduce injuries and to calm down your heart rate gradually.

                      Featured photo credit: Gesina Kunkel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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