Try This 15-Minute Toning Workout You Can Do Entirely at Your Desk
Even if it's totally cool at your company to show up to the office dressed for a workout—or in denim that could double as leggings—that doesn't mean there's always time to get in a daily sweat sesh. It's exactly why Minneapolis-based wellness maven and yoga-scuplt instructor Lee Hersh of Fit Foodie Finds came up with a quick, yet effective, circuit you can do right at your desk. All you need is a chair, FYI.
Perform the moves below for 60 seconds each. Looking for more of a challenge? Repeat the series twice for an intermediate-level workout—or three times for an advanced one. If you don't have your own private office space (read: cubicle), pulling a chair (not on wheels) into an empty conference room will work just fine.
Keep reading for 10 bodyweight resistance moves that'll tone your arms, abs, legs, and butt at the same time.
Lunge to step-up glute lift
Begin in a scissor stance: hips squared, right leg staggered in front of your left. Inhale to lower down into a lunge, trying to get both your legs as close to 90-degree angles as possible. Exhale to stand back up and step onto the chair with your back leg. Hinge forward and lift your right leg up into the air, knee slightly bent, hips square and foot in line with your butt. Step back down. Continue for 60 seconds, then repeat on your other leg.
Wide-arm incline pushup
Begin with your feet hip-width apart on the chair. Walk your hands out so that your back is flat and butt is down, creating a single line from your heels to the crown of your head. With your shoulders directly over your wrists, lower down halfway (on the inhale), leading with your chest. On the exhale, press back up. Repeat. If the move feels too hard, modify it by bringing your feet off the chair and knees to the ground.
Bodyweight tricep dip
Place your hands on the edge of the chair, knuckles pointing outward. Your feet should be hip-width apart and bent at 90-degree angles with your knees over your ankles. Inhale, lower down halfway, and squeeze your shoulders together. Exhale and press yourself back up. For more of a challenge, move your feet farther away from the chair.
Assisted single-leg squat
Begin standing on your left leg, with your right leg propped up on the chair for support. On the inhale, bend your left leg, keeping your weight in your heel, and lower down. Make sure to sit back, sticking your butt out, keeping your knee stacked over your ankle. Touch the ground with your hand. On the exhale, stand back up. After a minute, repeat the entire series on your other side.
Begin with your feet hip-width apart on the chair. Walk your hands out so that your back is flat and butt is down. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists, and protect your neck and lower back by keeping your belly button sucked in toward your spine. Hold for 60 seconds.
Begin with your feet hip-width apart, resting on the chair, knees bent, hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward and shoulders over your wrists. Inhale to lift your hips up and exhale to tap your butt on the floor. Keep your arms straight and core engaged—you should really be feeling this move in your hamstrings.
Elevated leg lift
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on the back of the chair. Raise your heels off the ground, so you're balancing on the balls of your feet. Engage your core and glutes, and lift your right leg into the air directly behind you on a eight-count: four seconds up and four seconds down. Repeat for one minute on each side.
Heels up chair squat
Stand with your feet together and your hands on the back of the chair. Rock up onto your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Inhale to lower down into a deep squat on a four-count and exhale to come back up on a four-count. As you stand back up, squeeze your glutes and quads.
Begin sitting on the edge of your chair. Lean back, engaging your core and keeping your chest up. Lift your feet off the ground, point your toes, and scissor kick your legs by crossing your feet at the ankle and alternating one on top of the other. For more of a challenge, bring your hands to your chest.
Raised hip-flexor lift
Stand with the back of the chair to your left side, feet shoulder-width apart, and your left hand on the chair. Raise your heels so that you're balancing on the balls of your feet. Inhale to lift your right leg directly out to the side on a four-count, keeping your foot flexed, and exhale to place it back down on the mat on a four-count. After 60 seconds, repeat on your other leg.
If you're looking for more ways to incorporate wellness into your workplace, consider stashing these 6 things at your desk or keeping some of these healthy snacks nearby.
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