I came home after 10 hours of sitting at my desk and I realized a few things. I needed an office exercise program! First, my entire body was stiff and sore. Second, I had eaten more than my daily allotment of calories in vending machine snacks due to a forgotten lunch at home. Third, my feet and calves were swollen, and finally, I realized that my workout routine was really suffering, an increase in pay means an increase in hours and, seriously, who has the time any more?
I have heard all this talk around the gym I used to go to when I had the time, from the fitness gurus, about using breaks and walk time to its full advantage while at the office. I did a little research and honestly, it was all unrealistic Yoga moves or exercises that are made for men, not a woman in a pencil skirt. I don’t know about you but none of this was for me. I decided to take charge. For the last six months, I have consistently done the following 10-minute office exercise program designed for a woman at the office. Spoiler, the result has been amazing.
Some of the following things I alter depending on the clothes for the day, I also am lucky enough to have access to an empty office on my breaks, so I keep a yoga mat under my desk. This gives variety to my workout. Keeping variety helps keep focus, there is nothing worse than doing the exact same workout every day.
You Can Design Your Own 10-Minute Office Exercise Program
I commute to work and invest in a great pair of walking shoes and bike shorts to wear under my skirts. While running is not an option because no one wants to show up all sweaty, a brisk walk gets the blood pumping and helps circulation that can be reduced by sitting for long periods with your legs down. Be creative here, park further away from the entrance to your office building. If you use a parking garage, don’t park right next to the door. This brisk walk is a great way to start your office exercise program off for the day. A brisk walk is a great way to get your endorphins flowing, guaranteeing a positive attitude when you walk through the office door.
Now, what we are really here to talk about. What can we do now that we are at the office to stay fit and healthy? When I have a free ten minutes, usually a few hours into my shift, I start my office exercise program off with twenty high knees. Raising the legs alternately, in a standing position, until the hip is at a 90-degree angle. This is so amazing for circulation and helps reduce the swelling in your lower legs and feet. I follow this with twenty side step-outs. Starting with your feet shoulder width apart, step to the left side and slightly squat down. Stand straight and step back to the starting position, you then do the same for the right.
I love to do this at my desk because honestly by this point, I have to stop for two minutes to answer an email or answer my phone. If I don’t get interrupted, I can simply continue, I then go into 20 calf raises. I love this one because if I am wearing flats it’s easy and if I’m wearing heels, it’s still easy!
Now, this is where change up sometimes occurs. When I am wearing slacks or a longer skirt, I do 10 chair tricep dips. This is not only great for your arms and shoulders but also for stretching your hands and wrists. I really feel the burn with this one. If I am wearing a skirt that makes this difficult, I replace it with, 20-wall press pushups. You stand and put your hands against the wall, simply follow with a push-out. As you get better and start building muscle, increase the angle to make the push up more difficult.
I also put variation in the next few office exercises, as needed to accommodate my choice of outfit and shoes, for the day. I love leg lifts in any workout. These exercises tone so many muscles and really help with circulation and overall health. When I can sneak into the empty office, I do a standard, lay down leg lift set of 35. If I have to stay at my desk, I hold on to my chair and do a side leg lift. I do at least 50 of this type. If a skirt won’t let you raise your leg high, increase the number of times and the speed at which you complete your set. There are always ways to work around your office exercise program with a variety of exercises available.
To finish up I do 20-knee pull in or 20 chair leg lifts, again make sure to have a backup for those shorter skirt days. So, you sit on the edge of your chair and pull your knees up or from the same position straighten them out and slightly raise up and down. And Finally, 20-squats, feel free to alter how far you part your feet and how far down you go to make sure you are safe and comfortable.
I have lost some significant weight and my body thanks me every day for instituting an office exercise program into my daily routine. As I have built and toned my muscle I have been able to increase from one set to, on really good days, 7 sets throughout my day. What a lifesaver, I hope this 10-minute office workout will help you exceed your goals.
If you need a little help with an office exercise program, here is a post from WebMD. Exercise At Your Desk
10 Office Exercise Program
1 Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
2 Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
3 Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
4 Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
5 Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.
Seated Leg Lifts
1 Grasp the sides of a stationary chair with your knees together in front of you, resting on your toes. Straighten one leg completely to form a right angle with your upper body, and point the toe. Keep your abs tight as you lift the leg an inch, then lower an inch, completing 15 to 20 lifts. Switch sides.
2 Sit up straight and away from the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
Seated Ab Twists
1 Sit up straight and away from the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
2 Position your hands behind your head and lift one knee toward the opposite elbow, twisting your body down toward it, then return to the seated, straight-back position. Finish 15 twists, then repeat on the other side.
1 Form a V with your feet with your heels together, toes a few inches apart, grasping the edge of a desk or table lightly for support.
2 Rise a few inches onto your toes, keeping your heels together. Lower your body down as far as you can while keeping your back straight (avoid leaning forward), then lift up only until your hips reach knee level. Repeat 15 to 20 reps of lowering down and halfway up, then return all the way to standing.
3 Hold the edge of a desk or table lightly with one hand and step your feet apart into a wide ballet second position.
1 Hold the edge of a desk or table lightly with one hand and step your feet apart into a wide ballet “second position.” Lower down as if sliding your back against a wall (don’t lean forward) until you reach knee level, then pulse down one inch and back up one inch 30 to 60 times.
2 Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support feet together and facing forward. Bend one leg behind you flexing your thigh muscles.
Standing Rear Pulses
1 Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support, feet together and facing forward. Bend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Raise your heel up a few inches, then release slightly and press your foot directly back behind you. Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back (one of each equals one set) 20 to 30 times, keeping your bent knee behind the standing leg the entire time. Switch sides.
2 Slide your back down a wall until your hips are at the same level as your knees and your knees are together at 90degree…
1 Stand with your back pressing against a wall.
2 Slide downward into a squat position by moving your feet forward until your knees make a 90-degree angle and your hamstrings are parallel to the floor.
3 Hold this move as long as you can.
Wall Sits With Heel Jogs
1 Slide back down into your wall sit position, and maintain it as you lift one heel, then the other. Alternate for 30 seconds, then release.
2 Stand away from a wall and lean toward it placing your hands flat and wider than your shoulders. Lower yourself down the wall and then back up as in the video.
1 Stand away from a wall and lean toward it, placing your hands flat and wider than your shoulders. Lower yourself down toward the wall, keeping your abs tight to maintain a straight line from your head to your toes, then push back up until your arms are straight (but not locked). Complete 20 push-ups.
2 Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support and step one leg back into a lunge.
Incline Lunge With Foot Tap
1Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support, and step one leg back into a lunge.
2With your weight on your front leg, tap the back leg in next to the front foot, then back out into a lunge 10 to 15 times. Repeat on the other side.