When your job requires you to sit at your desk for the majority of the day, there are isometric exercises you can do to spot strengthen your muscles and stay in shape. Isometric exercises are those in which the muscle is contracted and held, but not lengthened. Isometric exercises also provide resistance so you can use stationary objects found in your office as props.
Isometric Exercise #1: Stationary Abdominal Crunch
One isometric exercise you can do at your desk to keep your abs in fabulous shape is the stationary abdominal crunch. This exercise is similar to the regular crunch, but you can do it sitting at your desk whenever you want to and without drawing any attention to yourself. Simply sit up straight while sitting at your desk, with your feet flat on the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles as you would during a floor crunch and hold the contraction for at least ten seconds. Repeat at least 2 to 3 times each session.
Isometric Exercise #2: Hand-to-Hand Resistance
Another isometric exercise to try at your desk is the hand-to-hand resistance. This is very easy to do at any time while sitting at your desk. Sit up straight and move to the edge of your chair so your legs are comfortable and your feet are flat on the floor. Raise both arms in front of you to chest level. Slowly move hands together and press them against each other. This resistance is what enables the muscle to strengthen. Hold for a count of at least ten seconds, preferably twenty. Do 2 to 3 sets for best results.
Isometric Exercise #3: Leg Extensions
This isometric exercise is also done while sitting right at your desk. Start with your back pressed against the back of your chair and both feet flat on the floor. Begin by lifting one leg slowly to a ninety degree angle. Do not lock your knee into place; simply hold the position with your toes reaching toward your shin. Hold for a count of 15 to 20 seconds. Do at least 2 to 3 repetitions for each leg.
Isometric Exercise #4: Calf Extension
This isometric exercise does require you to stand up, but will give you a break from sitting and can be done while standing right next to your desk. Stand up and raise yourself up onto your toes, extending your calves. Hold the raised position for a count of at least 15 to 20 seconds and repeat three times.
Isometric Exercise #5: Desk Resistance Squat
This isometric exercise requires you to use your desk in a different manner. You must ensure that your desk is heavy and immobile before attempting this exercise. Start from a standing position and lean against one side of your desk. Slowly lower your body until you are in a sitting position with your thighs flat. Hold the position for a count of 10 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.
Isometric exercise can be performed just about anywhere and your desk is no exception. This flexibility allows for muscle building and rehabilitation without the hassle of traveling to the gym. Isometric exercises are known to raise blood pressure so it is best to discuss your routine with your physician first.