Many people find sitting down all day challenging. Sitting for long periods can cause backaches, lack of energy and weight gain.
Luckily, there are plenty of desk-friendly exercises you can do to help offset these negative effects. These include cardiovascular conditioning and strength moves.
Squats are one of the most effective exercises to develop strength and muscle. They’re also safe for your knees if you use proper form.
Squatting strengthens the muscles that work your lower back, abs and torso. It’s also a great way to build explosiveness for sports because it requires speed and strength.
You can perform squats while sitting down by using dumbbells. Start with light weights and increase them as your strength increases. You can also try other squat variations to improve your overall strength.
- Glute Kick Back
If you’re looking for an exercise that can help you get your butt in shape, the glute kick back is a great option. It targets your glutes, which are one of the most important muscles in your body.
The movement also engages your hamstrings and calves, helping to create more stability for the leg. This makes it ideal for improving balance.
- Wall Push-Ups
Wall push-ups can help you build strength and endurance in your arms, shoulders and chest. Plus, they’re easier than standard push-ups, which involve a plank position on the floor.
To perform a wall push-up, face a wall and stand a little farther than arm’s length away from it with feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale and bend the elbows, lowering yourself toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion.
- Abdominal Twists
Twist exercises are a great way to target your core. They work the obliques and rectus abdominis, two muscles that help you bend and rotate your torso.
But while twists are a simple exercise, it’s important to perform them correctly. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:
Aside from the basic Russian twist, there are a few variations you can try to increase the challenge and build your strength. These include using a medicine ball or adding a weight to the movement.
- Wall Lunges
Wall lunges are a great way to improve your leg strength, especially if you’re an athlete who works the front of the thighs. This exercise helps prevent muscle imbalances, which can increase your risk of injuries, says Taylor.
If you’re a beginner, start by performing three to four sets of 15 to 20 seconds. That should be plenty of time for your muscles to get used to the movement, he adds.
If you’re feeling more comfortable with the movement, try switching the angle of your legs. For example, instead of sliding down as far, lower your thighs to a 45-degree angle. This will allow you to slowly build your endurance and challenge yourself without putting too much stress on the knees.
- Knee-to-Knee Twists
Knee-to-knee twists can be a great way to stretch out your back and realign your spine. They also hydrate your spinal disks, which can help relieve pressure from chronic or recent injuries in the body.
Start on all fours and bend your knees, keeping your heels on the floor. Pull your knees toward your hands and twist your hips to one side. Hold for a moment, then return to neutral and repeat on the other side.
- Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a classic exercise that is a great way to get your heart rate up without causing any damage to your joints. They are also an excellent workout for anyone with a busy schedule, as they are easy to fit into your daily routine and require no equipment.
To perform jumping jacks while sitting down, start with your feet together and arms by your side. Shift your buttocks forward until you are resting on the front edge of a chair, and swing your arms and legs as though you were jumping jacks.