Sitting at a desk all day can take its toll on your body. No time for the gym? Try these work-friendly exercises from New York based Pilates instructor Nicola Yvette, and youll relax and revitalize without even having to leave the office.
Questions? Email Nicola Yvette at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chest Opener: Hunching over the computer can hamper good posture and cause upper body tension, so start by opening your chest and shoulders. Turn sideways in your chair, and align your spine and tailbone. Clasp your hands behind your back, lengthen your arms, and look toward the ceiling. Breathe into the posture for a slow count of five.
Chair Dips: From your seated position, place your hands on the edge of your chair, and move your behind off the seat until your arms are fully supporting you. Lower your rear toward the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then push back up to your starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.
Plank Push-Ups: Turn toward your chair and place your hands on the seat shoulder-width apart. Make sure your back is flat and elbows are facing your toes, then lower your body three inches, pushing your heels forward as you do so. Slowly move back up to the starting position. Repeat 3-5 times; if your wrists hurt, lower into the plank position for 5 seconds and release.
Ream Squats with Bicep Curls: Time to make use of those office supplies: Standing with your feet about a foot wider than your shoulders, hold a ream of paper in front of you, grasping it from the sides. Tuck in your abs and tailbone, squeeze your glutes, and bend your knees until they are at no more than a 90-degree angle with the floor. Slowly lower the ream to the ground, then squeeze your glutes to come back to a standing position. Repeat 5 times. For extra points, add another 5 reps with a bicep curl at the top.
Water Bottle Lunges: If you happen to have water bottles or light weights in the office, snag two; if not, do the next two exercises with free hands. First, lunge your left foot about 2.5 feet behind you, keeping your arms at your sides. Lower until your left knee is directly under your left hip, pushing through that heel as you do so. If you have water bottles, glue your elbows to your sides and extend your arms until they are straightened behind you. Slowly rise back to the starting position and release your arms. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Standing Crunches: Still holding the water bottles, stand with your feet parallel and shoulders open. Leading with your heel, lift your left leg straight up to the side. Then, engaging your abs, stretch your right arm toward the ceiling. Bring your right elbow and left knee to touch as if doing a bicycle crunch, then return your arm and leg to their raised positions. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Final Cool Down: Before you hit the keyboard again, release any remaining tension. Stand behind your chair and turn your wrists so they face away from you, and gently press your weight forward to relax the forearm muscles. Then, back away from your chair and slowly roll your spine and head down toward the ground. Let your head hang heavy, gently shake it, No, and make tiny circles with your shoulders. Inhale as you slowly roll from the base of the spine back up to standing. Open your chest, release your breath, and get back to work.