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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk

29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk
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Putting in a full day at the office can make it hard to find the time to exercise. But most of us have a bit of a lag between tasks as we sit in front of our computers, and we can take advantage of a few minutes here and a few minutes there to get some physical activity in. You won’t get an extensive workout this way, but you can get enough exercise that missing a day or two of a more strenuous activity won’t make a difference. You can also avoid some of the ills that come from sitting at a desk for too long: sore wrists, loss of focus, stiffness, even repetitive motion injuries.

No one wants to do a mile run or anything else that will get their work clothes sweaty, but these simple exercises can keep your clothes neat and still get your heart rate up.

Feet and Legs

  1. Hip flexions. While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
    • Leg extensions. While sitting in your chair, extend your right leg until it is level with your hip. Hold as long as you are comfortable and then relax it. Alternate sides.
    • Plié squats. Point your toes outwards and take a wide stance. Slowly bend your knees in the direction of your toes. Once you can no longer see your toes, slowly stand up. While plié squats are more graceful than regular squats, give them a pass if your work attire includes a skirt.
      • Toe raises. Lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. While you can do this exercise standing, it works very well while seated.
      • Football foot drill. At practice, football players practice rapidly tapping their feet in place, simulating a run. Do the same thing while seated, for 30 seconds at a go.
        • Lunge. While walking, take the widest step you can and lunge forward.
        • Calf raises. Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels of the floor and slowly lower them.
          • Take the stairs. If you need a harder workout, try taking them two at a time — you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs more than you would otherwise.
          • Walk the hallway. Walk down the hallway as fast as you can without actually running.

          Hands and Arms

          1. Tricep dips. Put your arms behind your back, resting on your chair and slowly raise and lower your self.
            • Shoulder raises. Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders.
            • Wrist stretch. Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
            • Hand stretches. Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
            • Flapping wings. Stretch both of your arms up and back, as far as you can. Bring them forward until they meet and stretch your arms out in front of you. Repeat.
              • Water bottle weights. Use a full water bottle as weight to increase the difficulty of your work out. You can do front raises, overhead presses and bicep curls with a water bottle.
              • Shadow box. Stand up and take a couple of jabs at the air.
                • Arm pump. Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds.
                • Elevated pushups. Lean on a sturdy piece of furniture and slowly push your body off of it in a sort of standing push up.

                Torso

                • Abdominal stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair and stretch your arms out. While keeping your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles. Relax and repeat.
                  • Neck rotations. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.
                  • Back twist. Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
                  • Wall sits. Rest your back against a wall and move your feet away from the wall. The wall should be supporting the weight of your back and your knees should be bent. Hold the position as long as possible.
                    • Glute squeeze. Tense up the muscles of your rear end and hold for a count of 10.
                    • Curls. Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds.

                    Full Body

                    • Chair dips. Place the palms of your hands on your chair and your feet on the floor. Move your rear end off of the edge of your seat. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
                    • Chair squats. Lift your rear end off of your seat and hold for a few seconds.
                      • Low-impact jumping jacks. Raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side at the same time. Keep your right foot on the floor. Alternate sides for a full minute.
                        • Pretend jump rope. Hop either on both feet at once or alternating feet.
                        • Pretend jump rope, version 2. Move your arms as if you are turning a jump rope while tapping one foot in front of you. Alternate feet.

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                          Samantha Aloysius

                          Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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                          Published on July 30, 2021

                          7 Best Resistance Bands to Work Out at Home

                          7 Best Resistance Bands to Work Out at Home
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                          Looking for the ideal way to build up strength at home can be challenging, especially if you don’t have that much space to get workout equipment or build your own home gym. Besides using your own body weight, you can make use of a resistance band, a simple tool to help with your workout at home. These bands provide enough challenges where you can build your strength from various exercises. One of their main benefits is that they allow you to strengthen your natural body movement patterns.[1] They are also very small and won’t take up much space in your home.

                          Resistance bands are designed to simulate weight lifting. While these bands are very light, the various movements you’ll be doing will be met with resistance depending on the band that you got. For this list, I’ve picked out some of the best ones that you can use to build up your strength at home.

                          How We Picked the Best Resistance Bands

                          Before diving into the list, here are the criteria that we used to determine the best resistance bands available on the market:

                          • Type – Each type of band here is based on the popular options of bands. Things like loop bands, tube bands, circle bands, and figure-eight bands are popular options. Each type has its own perks depending on the exercise that you are doing or want to do.
                          • Weight range – Since you’re not using free weights, you’ll want the weight range to go from simple to challenging over time. Each of these packs will allow you to easily do this.
                          • Material – Because these products are bands, you’ll find most of them to be made of rubber or latex. These bands provide either one or the other material. For more elasticity in the bands, latex is the better option.

                          1. Best Overall: Fit Simplify Resistance Bands

                            For those looking for classic resistance band sets, this set has got you covered. It comes with five rubber resistance loops that are thick, durable, and won’t harm your skin. Each loop offers a resistance level between two and 30 pounds, making them ideal to scale up intensity levels during workouts.

                            These are the best overall because you can work from really low levels before building up in intensity. You also don’t have to worry about mixing up your loops either as they’re all color-coded and have their intensity levels marked.

                            Pick up Fit Simplify’s Resistance Bands here.

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                            2. Best Budget Resistance Bands: Insonder Bands Set

                              While resistance bands are generally cheap when compared to other workout equipment, some products can offer more value for the price you pay. Out of the many we looked at, the best budget-friendly ones are the bands from Insonder.

                              They offer a resistance level of 15 and going up to 40 pounds. They’re also made of latex so, unlike other brands, they’re stretchier and will last longer and provide additional comfort when you use them.

                              While the starting weight is ideal for those who are familiar with bands already, these are also great if you’ve got some experience with bands or you’re looking to challenge yourself.

                              Purchase Insonder’s Resistance Bands here.

                              3. Best Set: Kootek 18-Pack Resistance Bands Set

                                Most resistance band sets are very straightforward with what you get—five (or possibly more) of a certain style of resistance bands with varying degrees of intensity. However, some resistance band sets offer incredible value that extends beyond that.

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                                Consider the one from Kootek, which offers 18 bands. What’s amazing about this set is that they provide different combinations of bands. Through this set you’ll get:

                                • Five latex resistance loops (that offer between five and 40 pounds of resistance)
                                • Five resistance tubes (offering ten and 50 pounds of resistance)
                                • Two handles
                                • Two ankle straps
                                • A door anchor

                                It’s incredible value for the price if you don’t mind having all this equipment at home.

                                Purchase Kootek’s 18-Pack Resistance Bands here.

                                4. Best for Glutes: Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set

                                  Another classic resistance band brand is Peach Bands. This brand has always focused on lower-body workouts, and their bands haven’t changed since then. That said, these bands are made of latex, which promises to be lightweight, durable, and stretchy.

                                  These bands are also very beginner-friendly, starting with 10-pound options and going up to 35 pounds.

                                  Buy Peach Bands Resistance Bands here.

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                                  5. Best for Flexibility: TheraBand Resistance Band Set

                                    Traditional loop bands are ideal if you’re looking to build up strength as they tend to offer great resistance. That said, all that weight doesn’t necessarily make you use your full range of motion. This is a big problem if your goal is to improve your flexibility. Traditional bands can’t help in that area at all, but resistance straps can.

                                    TheraBand is one of the best brands we found that offer resistance straps to help with flexibility. Each strap is five feet long and five inches wide, allowing you to perform all kinds of exercises.

                                    Naturally, the weight range for these is limited to 4.3 and 6.7 pounds, but the focus is on stretching your muscles rather than building strength.

                                    Purchase TheraBand Resistance Bands here.

                                    6. Best Non-Slip: RenoJ Bands Set

                                      RenoJ’s Booty Band Resistance set offers three resistance loops ranging from two to seven pounds. While these bands are fewer in number and offer less weight range, the key selling point for these bands is that they’re not going to be slipping at all when you’re performing exercises.

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                                      The reason these won’t be slipping is that their material is made of fabric. The fabric allows you to grip easier, provides you further comfort, and is even more durable than latex. This is a big deal as people’s skin can get irritated by latex or have to deal with latex-type bands slipping and sliding while doing exercises. With these, you can have peace of mind that they’ll not be slipping off.

                                      Buy RenoJ Resistance Bands here.

                                      7. Most Durable: SPRI Braided Xertube Bands

                                        The final of the best resistance bands we’re offering is the SPRI Braided Xertube resistance bands. Their main selling point is the fact that these bands are the most durable out of all the options here.

                                        Tube bands are already quite durable on their own, but these bands are braided to provide further durability. They also offer great levels of resistance ranging between 12.5 and 62.5 pounds so you can easily find bands to suit your needs. The only catch is that each of the bands offered is sold separately.

                                        Buy SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Bands here.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        Depending on your exercising needs, you can find all kinds of resistance bands to fit your needs. If you’re new to resistance bands, try out some of the lower weighted bands and work your way upwards until you want to go for higher intensity. For those who are more experienced, dive into some of the higher-level ones and work through some quality bands that were built to last.

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                                        You can check out this guide for some resistance band exercises:

                                        Featured photo credit: Geert Pieters via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

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