The 10 Best Desk and Office Exercises

Whether you get to the gym after work or not, chances are you're spending a minimum of nine hours every day without a lot of movement. This period of time chained to your desk isn't doing your health any favours. So assuming you haven't got time to slip in a quick sesh in your lunchbreak (gym sesh, that is!), we look at the next best thing – deskercise – a selection of inconspicuous exercises that you can do at your office desk! 

These 10 office workout routines unfortunately won't replace your out-of-hours gym workout, but they will certainly help in your overall goal to get fitter and healthier, plus you'll effectively be getting paid to do them!

1. Take the Stairs

Not strictly a desk exercise (unless you really want to step things up and bring it with you), but by just taking the stairs instead of the lift every day this can help make a huge difference. Take two steps at a time and feel the burn!

Every time you need to go up or down stairs

2. Calf raises during a phone call

Not only will standing up help you to project your voice and sound mightily authoritative (even if you are just ordering more ink!), but extended periods of sitting have been linked to increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, and then press-up onto your tiptoes, hold, and then lower back down again.

Continue for the duration of the call 

3. The bum clencher

This isometric glutes exercise couldn't be easier. While sat at your desk, simply clench your bottom, hold for 5 seconds, release, and repeat.

30 reps 

4. The leg raiser

Following your glute workout, extend your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel with the ground and point your toes. Now hold the position for three seconds and you should feel your calf and quad muscles working. Now slowly lower your legs back to the ground and repeat. No one will ever know.

20 reps 

5. The hip raiser

Keeping your legs bent this time, simply raise your hips to bring your feet an inch or so above the ground. Hold for five seconds so that you can feel it in your quads and abdominal muscles, and then lower your feet slowly back down.

20 Reps

6. The water bottle dumbbell

Keep a two little bottle of water at your desk. Not only will this encourage you to drink more water during the day, but will also double up as an effective weight (and we don't mean paperweight!).

Holding the bottle horizontally in your hand, position your forearm along your hip. Now bend at the elbow and curl your arm up to your chest. Pause for a moment, and then lower the bottle back down to your hip. An excellent exercise while reading through your morning emails.

20 reps on each arm 

7. The finger lock

Place the tips of your fingers together in front of your chest, so that your elbows are pointing outwards in opposite directions. Now lock your fingers together and try pulling your hands apart until you can feel the strain across your torso. Hold for 20 seconds, release and repeat.

An added benefit is that you'll look highly stressed to the rest of the office, and no one will dare give you any more work for at least an hour afterwards.

20 reps

8. Praying for muscles

Place both palms together as if praying and force your hands into each other until you can feel the strain in your chest and biceps. Hold the position for 10 seconds, release and repeat. If you didn't look stressed before, you certainly will do now...

20 reps

9. The chair lift 

Grip each side of your seat, and lift yourself off your office chair until your hovering an inch or so in the air. Hold for ten seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back down. You should be able to feel this in your biceps, triceps and abdominal muscles. To make things harder, keep your legs stretched out parallel to the ground during the entire workout.

10 reps

10. Desk Dips

Stand with your back to your desk and grip the edge of it. Now bend your knees and lower yourself to the floor, hold, and then raise yourself up again. Possibly a little less inconspicuous than the rest of the exercises, but who knows, maybe it will catch on! 15 reps

Let us know below your favourite routine, or any other methods you use to stay fit in the office (but keep it clean!). And while a suit may be appropriate when deskercising, it will still look a little silly at the gym, so we've even selected a few items from the Be An Athlete range so you look the part wherever you are!

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*As with all exercise/fitness/health regimes always consult your physician first


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