The New Year has officially begun and we like many of you can’t wait to shred the excess pounds gained over the holiday period. However, with being back in the office, who’s got the time to go to the gym, right?
Fitness is typically thought of in the context of a sport, a gym or in a group fitness setting. However, exercise and activity don’t have to be limited to those spaces. For the average hard working individual, a commute to a gym away from work is not always feasible nor time efficient. Fortunately, you can easily create a workout routine that can be performed entirely within the confines of your iHub Office Space. While your sturdy office furniture can be used as supports throughout these movements, no extra equipment is required to do them. Always keep in mind that stretching before doing high-intensity exercise will help you to warm up your muscles, create blood flow, get you energized to move as well as prevent injury.
An effective movement to challenge your triceps and shoulders is a dip. You can use the edge of your desk, the edge of your chair, or even the floor to perform a dip. If you are using the edge of your office furniture, start with your back to the edge and your hands reaching back and grasping the edge firmly. Your wrists should be rotated towards your midline so that your fingers are pointing in the same direction you are facing. You will use these anchor points to support your body weight. With your legs straight out in front of you and only your heels touching the ground, lower your body down so that your shoulders, elbows and wrists form a 90-degree angle. Drive your body weight through the palms of your hands to push your body back up. You can make this movement easier by bending your legs instead of keeping them straight.
The basic squat is one of the single most beneficial movements you can perform. It’s a true test of lower body mobility, flexibility and strength when done with correct form. This movement primarily recruits your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. To start, place your feet shoulder width apart. Bend at the knee and lower down so that your ankle, knee and glutes form a 90-degree angle. Promptly stand up by driving your body weight through your heels and squeezing your glutes. When you are back in standing position with your hips in a straight line with your shoulders, knees and toes, you have completed one entire repetition.
Form is key while performing a squat. As you descend, think about keeping your hips neutral and your torso as upright as possible. On your ascent, focus on keeping your knee in line with your toe; this will help prevent knee discomfort and injury. Keep in mind that you can do this while holding onto a door frame or vertical apparatus if you cannot maintain balance as you lower down.
Another excellent lower body burner is the stationary lunge. You will feel this movement the most in your hamstrings, quadriceps and glute muscles. To start, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step one foot out in front of you a bit larger than a normal stride. Bend both legs at the knee so that your back knee grazes the ground. From this position, drive your weight through your front heel to push your body back to an upright, standing position. Perform the same sequence of movements on the other leg. Cues to keep in mind while lunging are similar to the squat. Your knees should be over your toes and your hips should stay neutral with an upright torso.
Desk Push Ups
The push up is basic foundational movement that can be done on flat ground or using the edge of your office desk to make the movement easier. This exercise primarily targets the chest and biceps, while also engaging your core abdominal muscles. Start with your hands placed shoulder width apart on either the floor or edge of your desk, depending on the scale you’re using. Keeping your core tight and body in a straight line, lower your body down so that your pectoral muscles touch the ground or desk. Promptly drive your weight through the palms of your hands to press your body back to the starting position.
Even though this movement is simply and static, it’s a mental and physical challenge that can easily be made easier or harder based on how long you hold the position. Begin on all fours, with only your toes and hands making contact with the ground. This position will feel similar to the top of the push up movement. By engaging your core muscles, constantly applying pressure downwards through your shoulders, and flexing your quads, hold this position until your form begins to fail. Shoot for 30 second increments. Repeat this for 3 to 5 rounds, adjusting based on capability and fitness level.
Combining all of these movements will provide you a well rounded, full body workout that will challenge all your major muscle groups, head to toe. A good workout structure to start with is 5 sets of 10 repetitions for each movement. Give yourself the liberty to adjust those numbers if it feels uncomfortable or unattainable. After you wrap up the workout, be sure to cool down your body to prevent lactic acid build up. You can accomplish this by standing at your desk for the 5 minutes proceeding your high intensity movement, versus sitting down right away.