Working out at the office? Thinking it would make you look weird to your coworkers? Not necessarily. Here are some creative ways to work out without being a dork.
Sedentary lifestyle kills. To stay fit, you need to keep your muscles working. It’s a no-brainer. You know you should be doing minor yet effective workouts at the office, but the thought of being ridiculed by your coworkers stops you.
Another excuse is that you’re always busy.
I was no exception. Nevertheless, I had to find out some smart ways which would allow me to sneak workouts mostly at my desk. Also, the condition was that these workouts should be done swiftly without drawing much attention to myself.
After digging the internet for hours and a sleepless night, I was ready with my list of super fun workouts that can be done during work hours in a ninja mode.
I have been doing these for some time now and quite confident that it will do wonders for you as well.
Enough of the small talk, let’s get the body moving:
1. The Stair Master
Tempted to take the elevator? Drop the idea (unless you’re Superman and need to change to your outfit).
Take the stairs. It will get your heart pumping.
Looking for an added thrill? Take two steps at a time. Not only can you race your way to the top, it will give your legs and heart a real workout.
2. Mr. Fantastic
Ready to fire up your laptop? Hold your horses and do this first.
Bend your neck so that you drop your right ear towards your right shoulder. You don’t have to be too rubbery and touch your shoulder with your ear.
Bend as much as you can, comfortably.
Hold it for a few seconds or until someone starts ogling you and repeat for the left side.
3. Tap Tap Tap
Enough tapping with your fingers. Time to engage your toes as well.
Speedily tap your toes on the ground, sneakily under your desk.
Be mindful of someone sitting in front of you though, don’t blow a tap tap attack on their feet.
4. Around the World
Need a cunning way to check out that hot new intern? You got one.
Turn your head to your right and try to look over your shoulder. Hold it there for a few seconds or until you get caught staring and repeat on the left side.
5. The Wanderer
Get a break and wander around the office, chatting with colleagues on your way. Do be careful not to disturb anyone who’s wired in.
A quick 5 mins break from your work and a chance to catch up with the latest gossip sounds fun to me.
Be sure you do not wander around all day though. Your boss won’t be happy.
6. The Meh
Whether you’re casually dismissing a thought or getting some shoulder workout, this shoulder shrug is a good choice.
Just raise both of your shoulders towards your ears, freeze for 5 seconds and drop them. Repeat for 10-15 times and you’re set.
7. Talk to the Hand
Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic dialog from the movie Terminator, “Talk to the hand”? It actually might be useful to pose like that.
All those typing can give you a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Be on the safe side by doing this short stretching.
Extend your right arm with your palm facing forward, grab the fingers of your right arm with your left hand and pull them towards your body.
Feel the stretch for a few seconds and then do the same with your left arm. Repeat for a couple of times after typing for a long time.
8. Getting a Raise
Need to get a copy done? Stand holding the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart, gently raise yourself on your toes, hold the position for a second and lower back down slowly.
Keep doing this for a few times or until your copy work is done.
You might even enjoy the boring copy work and get a financial raise too.
9. The Butt Squeeze
This one’s really a ninja technique. Your coworkers won’t notice a thing.
Seated on your comfy chair, squeeze your butt together as hard as you can. Keep them squeezed for a few seconds and then let go.
Do this a couple of times and don’t be surprised if you have a toned butt after a few sessions. Be careful not to fart, though.
10. The Classic Namaste
Feeling religious or just trying to work out your arm muscles, this move will do the trick.
Seated upright on the chair and feet firmly on the ground, join your hands together in a Namaste pose and press them against each other as hard as you can.
Keep them pressed for 10-15 seconds, let go and repeat for a few times.
Feel some contractions in your arms? If no, press harder.
11. The Floating Baba
Wanna conjure a levitation charm to impress everyone at the office?
Being seated in your chair, put your legs in a criss-cross position, your arms resting on the armrest and gently lift your body up with the support of your arms.
Stay afloat for 5-10 seconds and then back to the original position. Repeat a few times and you’re the new office genie.
12. Twist N Turn
Got a swivel chair at the office? Use it to your advantage.
Lift your feet off the ground, sit firmly on the chair and hold the edge of your desk. Now, holding the edge, twist your lower body towards the right and then towards the left.
Repeat this for 10-15 times or until you’re bored.
13. Shake Shake
Wet hands or not, shake them as if you need to dry them and don’t see a towel nearby.
Do this often after typing for hours, get the blood flowing.
14. Project DIY
Getting your coffee delivered to your desk might seem like a VIP status, but walking up to the machine and getting it yourself will do good to your body.
Don’t sit around all day getting everything at your hands reach. When you need something like a cup of coffee or a glass of water, go get it yourself.
Sitting too much is bad for your body, remember?
15. Under the Desk Handshake
Preparing for an upcoming deal or have already closed one, this move has you covered.
With your hands under your desk, do a proper handshake with both hands where one hand’s thumb is pointing towards the ceiling and other towards the floor.
While in that position, pull as hard as you can without letting go. Hold your hands in this position for about 10-15 seconds.
Not only you’ll have a stronger grip, but a stronger bicep as well.
16. Up & Up
No, I’m not asking you to listen to Coldplay’s song.
With your fingers interlaced, raise your hands up in the air and try to stretch it as far as you can while keeping your fingers interlaced and palms facing the ceiling or the sky (if you’re outside).
Stretch out real good and let go.
17. Swelling with Pride
Proud of the work you’ve done lately?
Sit up straight and put your hands behind your back touching the lower back region. With one hand over the other, gently push your back forward and chest out so that your body takes a curved shape.
Hold your position for a few seconds or until you’re satisfied with your gesture.
18. Absolutely Abs
While this may not give you a 6-pack, but is definitely a great workout for your core.
Sitting or standing, just tighten your abs as you inhale, stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and then slowly exhale pushing your abs inward as you exhale.
Repeat this several times, or whenever you need to check out your abs.
19. Twisty Ankles
This might be the simplest workout of all.
Just twist both of your ankles from right to left for about 15-20 times, occasionally.
That’s it. Were you expecting more? I told you it was simple.
20. The Peaceful Warrior
Feeling stressed out with all those work? Need a zen moment?
Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Repeat a couple of times and feel your body relaxing in a jiffy.
If it helps relax you more, close your eyes to have proper isolation from the world around you.
You’ll be charged up to handle more of the work shit after a session.
21. The Bobblehead
Like bobbleheads or not, this will surely stretch your neck well.
Seated or standing, gently drop your head down so that your chin is near your chest. Now start rolling your chin from right to left.
Do this for 10-15 times and then get back to work. You’ve had enough fun.
22. Hands Down
This is hands down one of the best workouts for your wrist.
Stand up near your desk, place your hands on your desk with the back of your palms touching the surface and your fingers pointed towards you.
Gently apply pressure on your hands and feel your wrists stretching. Don’t go overboard and put too much pressure on your wrists though.
Just gently stretch them out after a long typing session.
23. The Oh No!
Put your hands on your forehead as if you’ve remembered the tiny mistake you’ve made in your work. With your hands still there push your head back while trying to resist the force using your neck muscles.
Now, put your hands behind your head and repeat the same but this time in the opposite direction – forward.
24. Over the Rainbow
Raise your right arm and extend it over your head. Now try to reach as far out as you can to your left while slightly bending your body in the process.
Feel the stretch? Hold the position for a few seconds. Stretch your body real good.
Now, repeat the same with your left arm.
A classic yet very effective stretching move.
25. The Flamingo
Not sure if this helps in preparing for a one-legged contest but it sure does stretches your tired legs.
Standing at the edge of your desk or a wall, pull your right leg up, hold it with your left hand and try to touch your thigh with your ankle.
Keep your leg stretched for about 10 seconds and then repeat for the other leg.
Chatting with someone, or just getting some alone time, this is a perfect workout to do in most situations.
26. Finding the Pen
Dropped your pen or a handy tool on the ground? Before you pick it up, try doing this workout.
Keeping your elbows firmly placed on your thighs try to curl your chests towards your knees while resisting the movement with your arms.
Try to feel the tension in your abs. Freeze in the position for about 5-10 seconds, pick up the stationery and repeat once more.
27. The Drug Lord
Whether you’re a fan of Pablo Escobar or just want to look cool, try this out.
While you’re seated, lift your right leg up and so that your ankle rests on your left thigh. Now, gently press down your right knee with your hand so that you feel a stretch in your right thigh.
Hold it for a couple of seconds or until you’re done looking badass and then repeat for the other leg.
Bonus: The Lock-in
Since you’ve made it this far, here’s a bonus workout for being such a patient reader.
Stretch your right arm across your chest towards the left as far as you can while locking it in at the crook of your left arm like a right angle.
Feel the stretch and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat the movement for the other arm.
Making the most out of your work hours
While this list itself is sufficient to keep your muscles active and prevent you from being a victim of the modern sedentary lifestyle, here are some additional tips to make the most out of your work hours:
- Take frequent breaks during your work to do some of the workouts listed above.
- Don’t keep a water bottle at your desk. Walk to the water cooler when you’re thirsty.
- Nothing’s more refreshing than the fresh air. Take a short walk outside your office right after lunch.
- Take baby steps when doing these workouts. You don’t have to do all 28 every single day. Mix and match to keep things interesting throughout the week.
- If your office provides a gym membership, take it and do more advanced workouts at the gym.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to break your working time into fragments so that you can have frequent breaks to do these workouts, throughout the day.
Being busy is not an excuse to skip working out. These workouts each take less than a minute to do but are highly effective.
Be smart instead of busy. Be healthy.