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5 Simple But Effective Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

​Modern life often means busy schedules and it can be difficult to fit a workout into your day. If you’re struggling for time, there are short workouts which you can do at your desk without equipment.

Using your body weight to perform strength-training movements are commonly known as Calisthenics exercises and they can be just as effective as exercising with weights.

An intense burst of exercise during your lunch break can help to increase your heart rate and push you through that mid-afternoon slump.

A 2018 study from the Journal of American Heart Association found that short bursts of 10 minute ‘moderate to vigorous’ exercise can be just as beneficial for your health as a full workout.

Lunges

How to do it

Stand tall and take a big step forward. Bend your front knee while keeping it in line with your toes and then step back to the starting position. This is one rep.

Muscle groups worked

  • Core

  • Quads

  • Hamstrings

How long to do it for

Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg. Take a short break between reps.

Get your colleagues involved

Why not get your colleagues involved and do walking lunges back and forth across the car park during your lunch break?

Walking lunges are a variation of a static lunge. Instead of returning your leg back to the starting position, use your other leg to lunge forward so you are in a walking/lunge motion.

Wall Sit

How to do it

Stand with your back against a wall and slide down until your hips and knees are bent at about 90 degrees. This is one rep.

Muscle groups worked

  • Core

  • Quads

  • Hamstrings

How long to do it for

Aim to stay in the sitting position for 30 seconds. Do this 5 times with a short break in between.

Get your colleagues involved

Why not challenge your colleagues to see how long you can remain in the sitting position?

(With any physical challenge, know your limits and stop if it becomes physically painful.)

Tricep Dips

How to do it

Stand with a chair (not a swivel chair) behind you and place your palms flat on the chair of the seat.

Keep your feet on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Keeping your arms straight, lower yourself down and back up to the starting position. This is one rep.

Muscle groups worked

  • Triceps

  • Chest

How long to do it for

Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps. Take a short break between reps.

Get your colleagues involved

Why not start a relay with your colleagues? If you perform 10 reps, during your break period your colleague can perform their 10 reps.

Alternate until you have both completed 3 sets.

Plank

How to do it

Begin in the plank position - this is face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Your elbows should be under your shoulders with your forearms facing forward. Keep your body straight and engage your abdominal muscles.

Muscle groups worked

  • Core

  • Shoulders

How long to do it for

Aim to hold it for 10 seconds, repeating it 10 times with a short break between reps.

Get your colleagues involved

If you can hold it for longer than 10 seconds, why not challenge your colleagues to see how long you can hold a plank for? Stopwatches at the ready!

Squats

How to do it

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start to sit back - your bottom should move backwards (Don’t just bend your knees).

Lower yourself down until you are in a sitting position and then return to the starting position. This is one rep. ​

Muscle groups worked

  • Quads

  • Glutes

  • Hamstrings

  • Core

How long to do it for

Aim for 3 sets of 15 reps. Take a short break between reps.

Get your colleagues involved

Why not start a relay with your colleagues? If you perform 15 reps, during your break period your colleague can perform their 15 reps.

Alternate until you have both completed 3 sets.

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