Sitting at a desk all day can be detrimental to your health, and a lack of movement can result in overall loss of muscle tone, increasing the chance of forming a pancake butt. (Urban Dictionary: pancake butt – when one’s butt has absolutely no shape to it at all. Looking very flat, like a pancake.) To avoid becoming a pancake-butt poster child, not to mention other more serious health issues, exercising on the job can be your fix.
1 Chair Twist Sit up straight on the edge of your chair. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Open your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the ground. Move your trunk and arms to the right side and hold your body in a gentle twist for three seconds. Return slowly to the center, and then twist gently to the left side for three seconds. Repeat five times each side.
2 Knee Ups Sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight. Flex your ab muscles and pull your legs toward your chest while you lean back slightly. You should form a “V” sitting position, as you rest on your tailbone. Bring your knees to your chest as you inhale. Straighten your legs and lean back slightly as you exhale. You may find yourself hitting the back of the chair during this exercise, but try not to rest any weight on it. Repeat the knee-to-chest movement for 20 total repetitions.
3 Single-leg Balance Slowly balance on one foot, holding onto a wall or chair for balance if necessary. Take your time adjusting your balance until you can stand upright with your other foot lifted off the floor, abs engaged and arms extended at your sides. Exhale, keeping your balancing leg still, bend your opposite knee as you lift your thigh parallel to the floor while bending the knee approximately 90 degrees. Inhale and slowly return to the start position to complete one rep. Repeat on other leg and perform for a total of 60 seconds per leg.
4 Seated Knee Extension Sit toward the edge of a chair with good posture and bent knees while holding onto the sides of the chair with your hands. Extend the right knee out so that the toes come up toward the ceiling, being sure to keep the knee slightly bent through the entire movement without locking it. Lower the leg back to a bent position and repeat 20 times, then switch legs and repeat the process.
1 Ab Hold Sit with good posture at the end of your chair. Place your hands flat on the top of your chair. Flex your abdominals and other deep core muscles. Bring your feet two to four inches off the ground. Use your arms to lift your butt off your chair, as high as your hold will allow, or approximately one to two inches. Hold the position for 10 seconds, while keeping your back straight. Lower yourself to the chair and do 20 repetitions.
2 Sumo Squat Begin with your feet wider than your shoulders, toes pointed out and knees over the toes (think of a sumo wrestling stance). Keep your back straight, chest out and abs tight throughout the move. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Focus on sitting down rather than bending your legs to avoid straining the knees. Keep your weight on your heels throughout the exercise while maintaining a straight posture. Push off with your heels at the bottom of your move, squeezing your glutes and inner thighs until you are back in the starting position. Do 20 repetitions.
3 Arm Circles While in a seated position, lift your arms out to your sides to create a 90-degree angle between your arms and your body. Paint circles with your hands, keeping your arms straight. Start with small circles and slowly make them larger. Do 20 repetitions.
4 Standing Leg-raise Stand next to a chair or other support, holding on with one hand. Swing your leg forward, keeping it straight. Continue with a downward swing, bringing the leg as far back as your flexibility allows. Repeat 20 times, and then switch legs.
Sweat in Your Seat
1 Seated Football Drill While seated, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor, football-drill style, for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
2 Chair Crunches Position yourself on the edge of the chair and grab hold of the seat just under your legs. Do crunches by lifting yourself from the seat and bring your knees to your chest. Do 20 repetitions.
3 Seated Jumping Jacks Sit tall on the edge of your chair, elbows bent in front of your body, toes lightly touching the floor. Quickly open your arms and legs into a wide “X” shape, flexing your feet so that only your heels lightly touch the ground. Repeat as fast as you can 20 times.
4 Front-Raise to Tricep Press (using water bottle) Sit tall with your abs in, and hold a full water bottle in your left hand. Lift the bottle up to shoulder level, pause, and then continue lifting all the way up over the head. When the arm is next to the ear, bend the elbow, taking the water bottle behind you and contracting the triceps. Straighten the arm and lower down, repeating 20 times for each arm.
1 Wall Slides Stand upright with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. Hold this position for five seconds. Begin straightening your knees, sliding up the wall until you are fully upright with knees straight. Do 20 repetitions.
2 Desk Pushups (First, make sure your desk is solid enough to support your weight, otherwise use a wall.) Standing, put your hands on the desk. Walk backward, then do pushups against the desk. Repeat 20 times.
3 Reach for the Wall Clock Stand facing a wall, reach your arms above your head and jump up to touch the wall as high as you can. Jump up and down quickly for 30 seconds.
4 Sidekicks Hold onto a chair for balance. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes facing forward. Kick one leg out to the side, keeping the knee straight. Do not lean. Repeat on other side. Do 20 reps per leg.