Sitting is bad for you, that much we KNOW to be true.
It is all well and good to talk about taking 'walking meetings' and buying stand up desks, but in reality, those plans aren't so easy for most of us to implement. But being stuck in a chair all day doesn't mean you can't get a little exercise done at the same time.
Prevention turned to fitness trainers Jimmy Minardi and Jessica Bellofatto for moves you can do from your seat. It may not be the same as having a serious sweat session at the gym but it can't hurt! Here's what they came up with:
Benefits: Works shoulders and triceps How to do it: Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms by your sides, palms on the edge of the seat, fingers over the edge. Shift your body weight forward and lower down off the chair. Hold your body suspended for 5 counts and then push up back onto the seat. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.
Benefits: Works shoulders, improves posture How to do it: Raise your arms straight out to your sides like in a T and press your shoulder blades together. Extend arms with palms down, thumbs facing forward, and do 20 forward circles with your arms. Flip your palms up, thumbs facing behind you, and do 20 backward circles with your arms. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
Benefits: Works hips and thighs How to do it: Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms by your sides. Extend your right leg out straight and flex your foot so that just the right heel is on the floor (keeping your foot flexed engages the muscles in the shins and ankle). Lift your leg up as high as you can without rounding your back. Hold for 3 counts then lower. Repeat with the other leg. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Warrior 2 With Chair
Benefits: Works thighs and core How to do it: Bend your front leg to a 90-degree angle and lunge horizontally over the chair, allowing the back of the front thigh to rest fully on the chair. If the chair is too low for the back of your thigh to rest on it, place a few folded towels or blankets on the chair seat to reach desired height. Extend your back leg straight with the foot turned slightly to the side. Stretch and extend your arms straight out from the center of your chest and gaze past the middle finger of the front arm. Hold for about 10 breaths. Repeat on the opposite side, holding the pose for up to 1 minute.
Benefits: Works obliques and core How to do it: Sitting in a chair, take your right elbow and twist your torso so that your elbow touches your left knee, while bending forward so you feel your abdominal muscles contract. Return to an upright position and then repeat, taking the left elbow and bringing it down to the right knee. Work up to 3 sets of 10 reps.
Seated Press Up
Benefits: Works the triceps, relieves spinal compression How to do it: Sitting in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor, place your hands on the arm rests of the chair and press down, raising your body off the chair. Extend your arms straight and allow your hips and buttocks to lift up off the chair. Keep your head lined up over your pelvis. Allow your spine to “dangle” and unravel straight down, creating space between each vertebrae. Hold this position or push up and down to work the backs of the arms more. Repeat 4 times if holding; work up to 3 sets of 10 reps if lifting and lowering.
Benefit: Works the core muscles How to do it: Sit tall (chest high and shoulders down) on the front half of your chair. Grasp the sides lightly with your hands and lean back slightly as you tighten your abs and bring your right knee up to chest height. Lower it as you raise your left knee on the next rep. Alternate sides. If you get really good at this, try lifting both knees at once, even just a few inches. Do up to 5 reps per leg.
Benefits: Works the backs of your thighs How to do it: If you have a chair with wheels, sit and extend both legs forward, toes up and heels on the floor. Keeping the rest of your body still, press your heels into the floor as you bend your knees and try to bring the chair toward your feet. Extend your legs again and repeat. If you're in a regular chair, place your heels on a towel on a slick floor (or wear socks), and draw the towel toward your chair. Straighten your legs and slide the towel out again to return to the starting position. Do up to 10 reps.
Benefits: Works your chest muscles How to do it: Form a goalpost with your arms: Keep your upper arms (shoulders to elbows) parallel to the floor and your lower arms (elbows to hands) perpendicular to it. Bring your forearms together in front of your face. Press forearms together and lift arms 1 inch, squeezing through chest. Return your arms to the starting point, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and repeat as long as you can hold proper form. Your back, chest, and arms will get a workout.
Alright, time to give it a shot. You know you want to!
Do you have exercises you do at the office? Share with us.
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