6 Resistance Training Exercises for the Office

There are certainly times when getting a workout in poses a major challenge.  A few resistance training moves that you can do in the office will help you maintain your workout schedule–no excuses! When you do these office exercises, not only are you knocking out the day’s exercise, but you’re also taking a productive physical and mental break. Take off your heels before completing the exercises so you don’t compromise your form. These exercises work every body part, so try to do them all when you have time during the workday.

You’ll need:

Your best bet is to stash a resistance band in a desk drawer, and use a balance ball for a chair for round the clock ab engaging, but there are certainly moves that you can do equipment free. You will need:

  • a chair
  • a large binder or book (like an encyclopedia)
  • 1 or 2 large water bottles, filled

1.  Chair Squats

Stand in front of your chair (pushed against the wall if it is on wheels) and sit back into the chair, just touching glutes to the seat before pushing up through the heels. Make the exercise harder by lowering the seat of the chair, holding a heavy binder or book, or performing the squats with only one leg.

2.  Calf Raises

Hold a large, full bottle of water, the binder or the book to your chest.  Stand on one foot, steadying yourself against the wall or the chair.  Raise up onto the balls of your foot, hold one second, then lower.  Repeat for 12-15 reps, then switch legs.

3.  V-Sits

Sit down on the edge of the chair, holding the edge with both hands. Lift feet off the ground, leaning back slightly, holding abs tight. Pull knees up toward chest, and lower feet. Tap toes to the ground before lifting knees again. Be sure to keep your back straight as you lift knees up. Increase the intensity, and engage the inner thighs by squeezing one of the water bottles between your knees as you lift.

4.  Shoulder Press

Hold the book in both hands above your head. Push the book up on a slight angle, so you can still see it in your peripheral vision, extending arms, but not locking elbows. Repeat for 15 reps.

5.  Lunge Twists

Hold the binder or book at chest height. Lunge forward with left leg or back with the right, depending on your space. Press the book forward to extend arms, careful not to lock elbows. At the bottom of the lunge, slowly twist over the left leg, then back to the front as you step back up. Repeat on the right side for 1 rep. Do 10 reps, or a total of 20 lunges.

6.  Bicep Curls and Tricep Presses

Hold the book or binder in both hands in front of your chest, plams facing in toward each other. Raise and lower the book, keeping back straight, shoulders back. To make it harder, hold the book and binder, a heavier book, or two large, full water bottles. Do 15 curls, then lift the book up above your head. Lower the book behind your head, keeping the upper part of the arms straight above shoulders.  Focus on keeping elbows squeezed toward each other. Do 15 reps.

Choose any of these moves to keep yourself out of your seat. Try logging a few cardio minutes at lunch by brisk walking for 20 minutes, or walk to your colleagues’ offices to meet face to face instead of sending emails. At the very least, stand and pace while you are on the phone to burn a few extra calories. Add your new office workout on days that you can’t get seem to fit it in otherwise!


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