5 Exercises to Sneak in at Work!

Written by Peter Jones

You’re triple-booked with meetings, eating at your desk—with no time for a social life let alone a lunch hour! And it’s the holiday season, when all our best habits are dissolving into sugar cookies and sparkling cocktails and cheese trays.

No time to hit the gym? If you can carve out just 15 minutes from your workday, you can keep up your fitness without having to drop any of your spinning plates. Try this simple routine a few days a week. All you need is you, your cubicle, and a little willpower!

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1. Squats

Target area: thighs and butt. How to do it: stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Focus your body weight in your heels as you push your hips down to knee level and lean forward at a 45 degree angle. Make sure to keep your knees above your ankles and your core strong. Do this 12-25 times. Extra credit: hold a book above your head to step up the intensity.

2. Plank

Target area: core, arms, everything. Combat the negative effects of slumping at your desk and help your posture and alignment at the same time. How to do it: lower your forearms to the ground, fits and elbows flat, your palms directly below your shoulders. Keep your neck and spine neutral, keep your shoulders down and back, and stay as straight and firm as possible for 15 seconds. Repeat 4 times.

3. Lunges

Target area: legs, lower body. Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a large step forward so your front and back leg are at a 90 degree angle. Return to the feet together position and repeat with the other leg. Get all the way down your office hallway. Extra credit: hold the book over your head doing this one too.

4. Push-ups and Chair Dips

Target area: arms, arms, arms. Start with doing push-ups (you can use a desk to build up to the real thing), bending at the elbow and lowering your body until you arms are at a 90 degree angle. Repeat 10 times. Then, immediately, go to the chair. With your back to it, use your arms to lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Straighten your arms to raise yourself back up Repeat 10 times. Do this duo 3 times in succession.

5. Power Vs

Target areas: abs, quads, hip flexors. How to do it: sit at the edge of your chair and lean your torso back. Tuck your pelvis, hold the base of the seat for support, and then raise your knees and extend your legs into a ‘V’ position. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower and raise up again. Repeat 10 times.

Do this series of easy heart-pumping, ab-tightening, body-toning exercises twice through a few times a week and you’ll start to see results without letting your job suffer. No gym membership required!

About the author

Peter Jones